IHS inverter scorecard praises leading suppliers' tenacity and ambition

Ranking inverter suppliers is an ostensibly simple affair involving the examination of global revenue share and MW shipments, but analyst firm IHS has, in its recent PV Inverter Supplier Scorecard, sought to assess the performance of leading inverter suppliers based on a totally new set of metrics.

This more holistic review of the PV inverter supplier base seeks to recognize companies based on how they approach certain markets and overcome the challenges inherent therein.

According to the latest scorecard, published this week, Germany’s SMA ranked the highest in terms of market presence, scoring maximum marks on nearly all categories thanks to its complete product portfolio, strong global brand, exposure in all major regions and consistent ability to draw the most revenue annually.

China’s Sungrow and Swiss power electronics firm ABB also performed strongly in terms of market presence, both recording "consistently elevated scores" for all categories, according to IHS.

Among the companies named, it would appear that each of the leading specialists – in terms of revenue and global market share – excel in at least one metric, with China’s Huawei, for example, scoring highest for market momentum. IHS recognized the alacrity with which Huawei had gained global market share, and was effusive about the proportion of the firm’s revenue that is invested in R&D.

Other companies singled out in the report include U.S. microinverter specialist Enphase, which – like Huawei – scored highly for market momentum but is still hamstrung somewhat by its limited product portfolio and low score for financials relative to other suppliers. Equally, General Electric’s rapid gains globally and in North America were also recognized in the scorecard, with IHS placing the company, along with Enphase, in its group of ‘Challengers’ to the top table.

"IHS has evaluated each of the biggest suppliers based on nine different metrics to arrive at overall scores for market presence and market momentum," said Sam Wilkinson, senior manager, solar research at IHS Technology. "This diverse group of companies has effectively overcome challenges, to position themselves at the forefront of the market."