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Solar PV inverter market grew 17.4% in 2009

The solar photovoltaic (PV) market grew 17.4% to US$2.8 billion with shipments totalling 8.3 GW, according to IMS Research.

IMS Research’s report, The World Market for PV Inverters – 2010, shows that huge demand for solar PV inverters, fuelled by uncertainty around several European countries incentive schemes led to more than 1 million inverters being shipped for the first time in 2009.

The 35% increase in shipments of solar PV inverters was primarily driven by Germany which consumed over 4.2 GW of inverters and generated revenues of US$1.4bn.

IMS Research analyst Tom Haddon says: “Several European markets recorded growth above all expectations including Germany, Italy and Czech Republic in 2009. These three markets combined generated close to US$2bn in 2009 (€1.5b) and are predicted to continue to drive high growth for the PV inverter market in 2010.”

Haddon adds: “High demand was seen for almost every inverter type and size, with single-phase inverters contributing most to the industry’s growth in 2009. However we expect this to change in 2010”.

Strong demand in 2010

Strong demand is projected to characterize the solar PV industry in 2010 as uncertainty regarding incentives continues.

IMS Research’s analysis of the solar PV industry has produced a projected market size of 14.6 GW in 2010.

However, growth of almost 70% per year is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. It is forecast that in 2011 new installations will be roughly the same and as such solar PV inverter revenues will grow to around US$4.5bn.

SMA remains the leader

IMS Research says SMA Solar Technology retained its position as the world’s largest solar inverter supplier, with a market share of more than 37%; however, due to extreme shortages and supply issues, the analyst predicts many inverter suppliers are in a position to both gain and lose major market share in 2010.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity