According to market research company IHS, the power optimizer shipments reached 1.3 GW in 2013, which is higher than 856 MW in 2012. Several key drivers are playing a role in advancing photovoltaic micro-inverters.
However, IHS pointed out to reporters that due to slower-than-expected product intake in markets outside the United States, actual market growth in 2012 was lower than expected. Since the US Enphase and other companies created this market, markets outside the United States have been leading sales.
According to IHS, micro-inverter shipments are expected to be around 500MW in 2013, but will increase to 2.1GW in 2017.
Due to continued traction outside of the United States, the penetration of the commercial roof market and the decline in average selling prices, it is expected that growth will be strong.
According to Cormac Gilligan, an IHS photovoltaic market analyst, â€œMicro-inverters have become very popular in the United States recently, especially in the residential market, and the penetration rate will exceed 40% in 2013. However, in order to increase or maintain market share, Microinverter suppliers are currently working hard to expand into new areas that do not use the technology, and the benefits of micro-inverters â€“ including higher energy production, improved safety, and component-level monitoring capabilities â€“ are making It is more attractive in residential systems, especially small projects."
The research company said that in 2012, the United States accounted for 72% of micro-inverter shipments, but due to the development of new markets such as the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia, the share of 2017 will gradually decline to about 50%.
IHS pointed out that nearly one-third of global micro-inverter shipments are expected to be commercial systems in 2017, compared with only 9% in 2012. Most of the 2017 shipments will be for systems with a scale of 10 to 100 kW.
Another demand factor is expected to be the growth of AC components.
Gilligan pointed out: "AC components make component suppliers stand out from the competition, and also allow micro-inverter manufacturers to use component suppliers' sales channels. Since micro-inverters are installed in the component factory instead of on-site, they also make installation time. Shortening this can be a compelling reason to enable micro-inverters."
IHS expects that AC component shipments will grow more than fourfold in 2013 and continue to show growth. In 2017, it accounted for 32% of global shipments.
However, new market participants in the micro-inverter market, such as SMASolar and PowerOne, are expected to lead to increasingly fierce market competitiveness and push the decline in average selling prices. IHS expects prices to drop by 16% in 2013.
Despite the expected double-digit price decline, strong shipment growth will boost the 2013 inverter market revenue to over US$250 million, and it is expected that revenue in 2017 will reach US$700 million.
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