PV inverter sales in Q3: Look outside Germany

The photovoltaics (PV) inverter market stayed in decline in Q3 2011, with industry revenues more than 20% below Q3 2010 and shipments down 8%, reports IMS Research.

December 5, 2011 — The photovoltaics (PV) inverter market stayed in decline in Q3 2011, with industry revenues more than 20% below Q3 2010 (Euros) and shipments down 8%, reports IMS Research. IMS Research?s quarterly PV Inverter Supply & Demand report collects revenue and shipment data from more than 90% of the PV inverter industry.

The German market pulled global sales down; Germany saw a 50%+ decline year-over-year for the quarter, buying 1GW less.

However, prices stabilized in the third quarter, signifying an end to price erosion that started at the beginning of the year. IMS Research calls this a sign of healthy inventory levels on the market. Prices came to rest about 15% below 2010 rates. Shipments have grown for two consecutive quarters, but falling prices have pushed down revenues. Price pressure isn’t going anywhere, said Tom Haddon, PV market analyst at IMS Research. “It wouldn?t be wise for PV inverter suppliers to count on prices staying at this level for long.”

IMS Research found that exchange rates contributed to revenue and price changes in Q3. Companies outside the Eurozone probably felt more price pressure as the dollar fell in exchange rates from Q2. However, notes Haddon, the majority of inverters are still sold in Europe. There, “the average price per watt stabilized last quarter if measured in Euros.”

Solar inverter market leader SMA Solar Technology?s share held stable (over 30% of revenues), pulling in orders from its increased focus on foreign markets (outside Germany). The Americas have become a “larger proportion” of SMA Solar Technology’s business, Haddon notes, and says the strategy could continue to increase SMA’s market share.

IMS Research forecasts annual inverter shipments grew in 2011, topping 25GW thanks to Asian countries’ new incentives and year-end German buying to beat the 2012 FIT cut.

Quarterly analysis of global PV inverter market is available from IMS Research?s Quarterly PV Inverter Supply & Demand Report.

The PV Inverter Supply & Demand Quarterly Report’s assessment of the global market for solar inverters is derived from IMS Research?s primary data collection from major PV inverter suppliers. IMS Research is an independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry, offering syndicated market studies, bespoke research and consultancy services. Learn more at www.pvmarketresearch.com.

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