Analysis: Sungrow targets global growth to match domestic strength

Having amassed 5.89 GW in inverter orders in 2014, Chinese supplier Sungrow is likely to seek to replicate its domestic dominance in the international realm in the near future, suggests IHS solar analyst Cormac Gilligan.

Sungrow announced yesterday that it has so far shipped 4.23 GW of inverters for 2014, but the majority of that figure – 3.8 GW – remained within China’s borders. Its international markets accounted for 430 MW of inverters shipped, largely to the same leading solar markets the company has always been prominent in.

However, Sungrow has learned in recent months the folly of overreliance on one or two key markets, Gilligan told pv magazine, and is likely to seek to rectify that in the coming months.

“While China is still its main focus, Sungrow is striving to expand into some of the largest solar markets, such as the U.S. and Japan, as well as entering into high-growth emerging markets in order to establish an early presence,” said Gilligan.

According to IHS, Sungrow ranked in the top five inverter suppliers for global shipments for the first nine months of 2014, and is likely to increase its share of the domestic market year on year. Currently, according to Sungrow’s international VP for sales, William Zhou, the company supplies around 35% of the domestic Chinese market.

“In terms of its internationalization,” added Gilligan, “Sungrow has been one of the leading Asian suppliers in expanding abroad in recent years, with Germany and the U.S. being some of its key export markets.”

One advantage Sungrow has traditionally had over its Japanese, U.S. and European rivals is its ability to offer extremely competitively priced inverters in its chosen export markets – making the company an attractive option for customers eager to lower their total PV system costs, said Gilligan.

“Sungrow is also continuing to expand its portfolio of inverters, with its 60 kW string inverter helping it gain market share in regions where string inverters are being increasingly used instead of central inverters,” the analyst concluded.

The March issue of pv magazine features an in-depth look at leading inverter suppliers’ manufacturing and export strategies. The issue is published on March 9.