Global MLPE market to grow to $1.16bn by 2021 in wake of new regulatory requirements, finds Frost & Sullivan

The global module level power electronics (MLPE) market – comprising DC power optimizers and microinverters – will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% between now and 2021 as more countries embrace distributed renewable power generation, finds a new report by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Reaching a market value of $1.16 billion in 2021 – up from $648.7 million last year – the MLPE sector will enjoy the benefits of supportive regulatory requirements and energy efficiency drives in both developed and developing markets, the report adds.

The maturing and expanding solar industry will increasingly turn to the power gains proffered by MLPE components, while governments will seek to introduce policies that will increasingly require the types of safety features offered by products such as DC power optimizers, including rapid shutdown capabilities.

Further, the modernization of grid infrastructure will smooth the passage for greater uptake of grid-connected residential and commercial rooftop solar systems fitted with MLPE, while public attitudes towards energy efficiency and clean energy will grow ever more positive.

“With movement towards renewable power and distributed power sources, the MLPE market is expected to sustain further significant growth in all regions of the globe,” said Frost & Sullivan energy and environment research analyst Manoj Shankar. “To gain a competitive advantage and increase market share in a highly consolidated and fiercely competitive market, MLPE companies must innovate their products to reduce prices, seek geographical expansion, and invest in partnerships or merger and acquisition strategies.”

Additional key points raised in the Frost & Sullivan report suggest that low product prices will continue to drive adoption rates of MLPE, with the total MW-level of MLPE-powered installations rising from 3.3 GW in 2016 to 10.7 GW in 2021. This would represent a CAGR of 26.2%, which is more than double the CAGR expected in market growth and highlights how price pressures are biting down hard on the sector.

In emerging solar regions such as Latin America and Africa, the report adds, supportive government policies – allied to lower costs – will boost adoption rates of MLPE, while the growth of rooftop solar in markets traditionally dominated by ground-mounted PV development, namely China and India, will also provide a sustained and substantial boost for the sector.

In the more developed solar markets of the U.S., Japan and Europe, a lack of protocol standards and inconsistent regulations need to be addressed, but the report adds that demand for greater safety will benefit MLPE growth.

Shankar concluded: “Renewable energy targets and regulations are set to play a major role in the development of the MLPE market as countries move towards more efficient and sustainable power generation.”