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Solar PV inverter market recovers in Q3

The solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter market made a strong recovery in the third quarter (Q3) of 2009 with shipments reaching record levels and the outlook for the market becoming increasingly positive, according to analysis from IMS Research.

Over 2.5 GW of solar PV inverters were shipped in Q3, marking an impressive recovery for the market, which had stalled in the first half of the year.

Global revenues for solar PV inverters are estimated to have reached over €600m, 30% up on the same quarter in 2008 and nearly double the previous quarter. Germany, in particular, showed very strong growth with over 1.2 GW of solar PV inverters shipped in the third quarter alone - almost twice the amount that was shipped in the first half of the year, IMS Research revels.

“The third quarter of 2009 has been incredibly strong for the PV inverter market and we expect this to continue until the end of the year,” says Sam Wilkinson, one of IMS Research’s solar PV research analysts.

“The rapid module price declines in the first half of the year, coupled with better financing conditions has led to a surge of investors returning to PV, desperate to get systems connected in Germany before the feed in tariff reduction on 31 December,” Wilkinson adds.

Demand is anticipated to remain very strong in the fourth quarter but is now limited by the availability of solar PV inverters and other components with most suppliers now unable to deliver products until Q1, 2010, IMS Research says.

Prices of solar PV inverters have fallen around 10% over the last year, a relatively small amount compared to the severe price declines experienced by PV module suppliers.

SMA Solar Technology, the largest supplier of solar PV inverters, gained further market share having shipped over 1 GW of inverters in Q3.For the year-to-date it is estimated to have held a share of more than 40% of the global solar PV inverter market, IMS Research adds.

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