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Solar Inverter Shipments Hit Record 7 GW in Q3

Shipments, which rose from 5 GW in the second quarter, were mainly to Germany, said the UK-based PV market intelligence firm.

But the 50% surge in shipments largely reflected growing demand in Italy and Asia, while the rise in German demand has slowed. Other European markets also fared well, expanding by more than 300% year-on-year.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for around 80% of inverter shipments in the third quarter of 2010, down from 90% the previous quarter, partly due to the high growth of the Americas market, estimated to have doubled from the same period last year.

Substantial growth across all regions led to revenues for suppliers passing $2 billion during the quarter.

“Again we are referring to a record quarter for inverter suppliers with the previous record of 5 GW of shipments in Q2’10 being beaten by almost 50% in Q3’10,” said Tom Haddon, a PV analyst at IMS Research.

But he warned that that the final quarter would see shipments soften.

“Q4 however is likely to be a much weaker quarter, as Germany, the largest market, continues to slow. Additionally, significant inventory now exists in the supply chain and a sharp correction seems inevitable”. 

For the second consecutive quarter, IMS Research’s analysis found factory-gate inverter prices fell due to the continuing shift towards larger inverters, which have an inherently lower price per watt.

Satcon was one of the standout performers of the quarter, increasing its share in both the Americas and the global market. SMA, which dominates the market, continued to lose share in the third quarter, despite a record quarter and a big improvement in its supply problems. 

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