For the first time, every top PV inverter supplier hailed from Europe, with Power One making the biggest climb up the list, according to IMS Research.
The overall global market for PV inverters well more than doubled (140%) in 2010, driven by main European markets in Germany, Italy, France, and the Czech Republic. High demand led to component shortages particularly earlier in the year, extending suppliers’ lead times to an astonishing 30 weeks in some cases. Thus, suppliers who could source components — such as Power One — benefited most, noted Tom Haddon, PV market analyst for IMS Research.
Power One, Siemens, Advanced Energy, Sungrow, and Danfoss snatched the most market share in 2010, for different reasons — small three-phase inverter demand (10kW-20kW), for example, helped Danfoss, Refu, and Siemens in particular, Haddon said
Looking ahead to 2011, strong North American demand should help domestic suppliers such as Satcon and Advanced Energy (the former was 2010’s top non-EU inverter supplier, the latter had the biggest list-leapfrog). AE also got a boost from its acquisition of PV Powered.
Other key trends for 2011 include getting a handle on 2010 excess inventory and oversupplies, and a shift of influence away from Europe (destination of 80% of 2010’s PV inverter shipments) and toward North America and Asia. “With faster growth now forecast in non-European emerging markets such as the USA, China and India, opportunities for European-focused suppliers to gain share may be limited,” Haddon wrote.