Record inverter shipments in 2017, three-phase string inverters overtake central for first time

Global solar PV inverter shipments grew 23% on 2016, reports GTM Research in its latest Global Solar PV Inverter Market Shares and Shipment Trends 2018 report. Revenues, meanwhile, increased by 11%.

Although the analysts have not provided concrete figures, based on 2016 shipments, which were a record 80 GWac, this would mean shipments grew to around 98.4 GWac in 2017.

IHS Markit, in comparison, forecasts that between 94 to 95 GWac were shipped last year. “China, India and Latin America were blowout years for inverter shipments,” according to Cormack Gilligan, Senior Solar Analyst at IHS Markit.

Shipments in Europe were found to have grown by 34%, continued GTM Research, which added, “This excludes Turkey and is significantly greater than the 8% increase in solar installations, implying that the solar growth should continue in 2018 as those shipments are deployed.”

Overall, displaying no change on 2016, Huawei, Sungrow, SMA and ABB topped the inverter shipment charts, said GTM Research. Dropping three places, however, TMEIC slid to number eight. See the table below for the top 10 inverter vendors by shipments, according to GTM Research.

The company also found that a total of 20 vendors shipped over 1 GW of product in 2017, versus 15 in 2016. Meanwhile, the top five comprised 62% of global shipments.

A first, three-phase string inverter shipments exceeded those of central inverters last year.

pv magazine has contacted GTM Research for more information.

In the April edition of pv magazine out now, managing editor, Ian Clover provides a round up of some of the latest trends in the solar PV inverter space, including higher power products.

Clover also discussed the six trends that will shape the inverter landscape in 2018, in January including: a continuing Chinese dominance; Indian opportunities; a hardening MLPE landscape; and component shortages.