New record set as inverter shipments hit nearly 5 GW in second quarter, says new research

EMEA accounted for around 90 percent of inverter shipments in Q2, growing by more than 300 percent over the previous year, continued IMS. It added that the Americas market doubled in size. Indeed, it says all regions recorded impressive growth, generating around 1.5 billion in revenues for inverter suppliers. The inverter shipments of more than eight GW in in the first half of the year were similar to shipments for the whole of last year.

According to PV research director Ash Sharma: “Records continue to be broken in the photovoltaics (PV) market and Q2 was no different. 4.9 GW of inverters shipped made it the largest quarter on record and 30 percent higher than the previous record of 3.7 GW shipped in Q4’09.” He added: “Shipments of eight GW in the first six months of the year appear to support IMS Research’s prediction of close to 15 GW of new PV installations in 2010; with Q3 and Q4 both expected to be strong quarters for suppliers.”

Whilst MW shipments grew 284 percent in Q2, revenues ‘only’ grew by 165 percent, says IMS, due to a 30 percent fall in inverter prices. Despite extraordinarily high demand amidst tight supply, inverter prices fell for the fifth consecutive quarter in Q2. Much of this, however, can be attributed to a continuing shift towards larger inverters, which have an inherently lower price per Watt, explains the company.

With the market being affected both by extremely high demand and also production issues, major changes in the market share of suppliers are expected this year, continues IMS. It estimates that market leader, SMA Solar Technology’s market share fell by five percent in Q2, whilst Power-One was the industry’s biggest share gainer, up by more than six percent.