Solar Inverters: Revenues decline despite market growth

BY EDWIN 

BY
EDWIN
 

Citing SMA in their Press Release of July 3rd: “We are expecting an extended period of consolidation in the solar sector. For the first time in many years, measured in Euros, the global photovoltaic market will decline in 2013.”

On the other hand, PV market analysts expect the global solar market to grow in MegaWatts in 2013. According to SolarBuzz in their new NPD Quarterly report: “...This increase, driven largely by aggressive PV development in China and Japan, will drive full year 2013 PV demand to a record high of 35.1 GW...”. If revenues drop while the market goes up in volume, it means profits and prices are in decline, or ‘under accelerated pressure”.. Comparable to what we saw with the rise of Chinese solar module manufacturers since 2006, we now see happening in the inverter market. More and more Chinese inverter manufacturers are challenging the (European) market leaders. Partly related to the strong market solar growth in Asia and particularly China. SMA talks about “...decrease in sales of nearly 50% since 2010”.

We can expect consolidation in this industry sector in the coming years. Frankly, I see (private) customers who really have no idea about quality, guarantees, and brands of inverters. They will purely select on the (system) price or what their installer says is good.... How to pick the good one? Solarquotes made an interesting video and comparison. What to expect next? Measures on a European level to protect this vital and high-tech industry?