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Power optimizer, microinverter market to grow by 2015

Posted: 19 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power optimizer? microinverter? PV market?

The recent IMS Research report titled "PV Microinverter & Power Optimizer" has revealed that while the market for microinverters and power optimizers grew nearly 500 percent last year, this only translates to less than one percent of PV inverter revenues. The majority of shipments are limited to just a few suppliers but Enphase and SolarEdge have been successful in the market. There are about 20 active suppliersnot counting the emerging playersthat would push the market to grow considerably until 2015.

According to IMS Research, the market for microinverters and power optimizers is forecast to reach $1.3 billion in 2015. Prices for these disruptive technologies are predicted to be significantly lower than they are today, with volume production achieved through OEM agreements. However, in 2015, it is seen that microinverter average prices will still be 50 percent higher than conventional inverters, limiting their penetration to only six percent.

The report revealed that the growing supplier base and decreasing prices of the two disruptive technologies will drive growth. "Disruptive technologies such as microinverters and power optimizers claim to offer many benefits including greater yield, easier installation and improved safety and monitoring, but their higher prices and relative immaturity in the marketplace has restricted uptake, especially in non-residential installations. Uptake of microinverters in particular has been very slow outside of North America with installers in Europe still more confident in using string inverters," noted Tom Haddon, PV market analyst at IMS Research.

The findings also stated that although the market is still incredibly young, several factors are likely to either enhance adoption of the technology or hinder it. A number of microinverter and power optimizer suppliers are known to be in active partnership discussions with module suppliers for module-integrated solutions. It is predicted that 45 percent of microinverters and 40 percent of power optimizers will be shipped in combination with a module in 2015. "By partnering with module suppliers, microinverter and power optimizer suppliers gain access to a huge customer base and an established sales channel, present a better price proposition and offer product differentiation," added Haddon.

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