IHS: Inverter price declines to lead BoS cost reductions

IHS released its PV Balance of System Equipment 2015 report yesterday. Data from the report indicate that inverters price reductions will be a major driver of cost reduction in the market segment. Fierce competition between inverter suppliers in Europe and the U.S. will drive the trend.

The entry of Chinese inverter suppliers, which are quickly growing in market share, is also placing downward pressure on inverter prices, IHS notes.

Downward price pressure on the inverter market has been particularly evident in the performance of European inverter suppliers of late. In November 2014 Switzerland’s SolarMax filed for insolvency and market leader SMA has implemented a dramatic program of job cuts to stem losses.

IHS analyst Cormac Gilligan told pv magazine that following inverters, roof mounting systems will be the next most important cost-reduction segment with 4% annual cost decreases predicted.

“This is due to the suppliers continually optimizing the quantity of steel and aluminum used as well as reducing the number of components,” said Gilligan. “In terms of other major BoS components such as cabling, connectors and combiner boxes, price reductions will remain limited to 1-3% due to the quantity of copper, steel and aluminum used in these products and the limited capacity for these commodities to decrease.”

IHS’ PV Balance of System Equipment 2015 report concludes that the global BoS market across all segments will be worth US$21 billion in 2019.