New Report: Tough Times Ahead for PV Inverter Incumbents

New Report: Tough Times Ahead for PV Inverter Incumbents

GTM Research publishes flagship report on PV inverter markets, technologies
and strategies

BOSTON, April 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new 225-page report from GTM
Research finds that, over the next three years, leading PV inverter suppliers
will be pinched by shifts in global demand and the continued swing toward
low-price market segments and geographies. This swing will push PV inverter
prices down, from a global blended average of $0.22 per watt in 2012 to just
$0.14 per watt in 2016 – a compound annual reduction of 10 percent.

GTM Research's report, The Global PV Inverter Landscape 2013, finds that
incumbent PV inverter manufacturers remain at the front of the market today,
with low-cost players from Asia and diversified giants gaining ground as PV
demand expands globally.

GTM Research Top 10 Competitively Positioned PV Inverter Companies
1. SMA
2. Power-One
3. Schneider Electric
4. SunGrow
5. Advanced Energy (REFUsol)
6. ABB
8. KACO New Energy
9. ABB
10. Fronius

The report's ranking is based on key qualitative metrics that measure each
company's product offering, bankability, and growth prospect alignment. While
this year's ranking is lead by incumbent vendors, these companies are facing
increased competition and collapsing margins brought on by global over-supply,
diffusion of PV demand away from European markets, and the commercialization
of advanced technologies such as module-level power electronics (MLPE).

FIGURE: Global PV Inverter Taxonomy 2013

"While SMA continues to dominate the rankings, near-term growth will be
challenging as it competes with new low-cost or well-capitalized suppliers,"
said MJ Shiao, the report's author and a Senior Analyst at GTM Research. "Even
so, unseating SMA and achieving success globally will not be easy despite a
fragmented landscape. Factors such as bankability, reliability, and
serviceability are transforming from buzzwords to key values. In conjunction
with a demand market that is rapidly shifting to new geographies, these
stringent barriers will force incumbent firms toward restructuring, mergers &
acquisitions or obsolescence."

This shakeout is already playing out including the recent liquidation of
Satcon, divestments by Diehl Controls and Siemens, and strategic acquisitions
by SMA (Zeversolar) and Advanced Energy (REFUsol).

In addition to incisive analysis on the PV inverter market's competitive
landscape, the report includes a competitive outlook and ranking of MLPE
technology suppliers. Theses suppliers have seen demand for micro-inverter and
DC optimizer technologies increase exponentially, rising from just 51
megawatts in 2009 to over 785 megawatts in 2012. While much of the adoption
has come from residential systems, small and large commercial applications are
joining the fray as well.

"While there are numerous companies attacking the MLPE space, three companies
–Enphase, SolarEdge and Tigo – account for over 93 percent of the total
market share of shipments and installations, with Enecsys, SolarBridge, Petra
Solar and others lagging much further behind," said Shiao. "The first-mover's
advantage has allowed these players to make critical R &D and distribution
partnerships and to gain significant market traction ahead of newcomers.
Nevertheless, we expect significant shakeup in the rankings especially as
traditional inverter companies like SMA and Power-One continue to develop and
promote their own MLPE products."

FIGURE: Module Level Power Electronics Taxonomy

The Global PV Inverter Landscape 2013also contains analysis on global
inverter shipments from 2012, with shipment forecasts by technology through

FIGURE: Global PV Inverter Shipments by Inverter Size, 2011-2016E

In 2012, major markets continued to work off channel inventory and falling
markets further stagnated shipments in Europe. Throughout 2013, GTM Research
forecasts additional shipments to come on-line in major growth markets like
China, Japan and the U.S. By 2014, the report sees the inverter market in
consolidation mode as struggling inverter suppliers exit the market. A
healthier market with vast new emerging markets will dictate the course of
2015 and 2016, and GTM expects shipments to boom to serve new, growing

For more information on The Global PV Inverter Landscape 2013, visit

About GTM Research

GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely
market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory
services and strategic consulting. GTM Research's analysis also underpins
Greentech Media's webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green
energy industry including solar power, smart grid, energy storage, energy
efficiency and wind power sectors.

CONTACT: Nicholas Rinaldi
         Senior Marketing Manager, GTM Research

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