Solar market research

The Global PV Inverter Landscape: Technology and Market Trends, 2011-2015

The global inverter market is assuming a greater profile along the solar PV supply chain with advances in inverter technology promising more sophisticated grid support and system optimization for residential installations up to utilityscale, multi-MW projects. Inverter technology development is attracting and will continue to attract greater attention as gains in long-term project generation and reliability become crucial to achieve project bankability given forecasted cuts in global solar incentives (i.e., FiTs) and competitive PPA modeling.

Along with the industry’s increasing technology and bankability requirements, leading EU-based inverter suppliers are seeing global demand shift away from their domestic markets toward major PV growth markets in North America and Asia. In the coming year, this expansion of global demand will lead to increased competition and slower growth for inverter incumbents who do not diversify from their domestic base while providing new supply opportunities to US- and Asia-based inverter manufacturers and to global energy conglomerates leveraging parallel power inversion competencies. 

Figure: Global PV Inverter Manufacturer Taxonomy

Note: Click on image above for link to larger version
Source: GTM Research

GTM Research’s latest analysis on the global inverter market covers the industry from end-to-end, exploring the technology’s increasing importance in the functionality of PV power delivery. The report also dissects inverter deployment across market segment, as micro-inverter technologies begin to capture greater share of residential and commercial installations. In addition, the report presents in detail the competitive dynamics that global inverter manufacturers will encounter as PV demand decentralizes and regional supply factors influence global market share. 

Figure:Cost Structure of Utility Inverter

Note: Click on image above for link to larger version

Source: GTM Research

Download the report's brochure for a complete Table of Contents and List of Figures as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

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Report Author

  • MJ Shiao
  • Director, Solar Research
  • contact

MJ Shiao is the Director of Solar Research for GTM Research and is a leading expert on PV inverters, electronics, and balance of system components. A 9-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed several MWs of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ worked at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). MJ holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was named a National Truman Scholar. A believer in the social benefits of solar power, MJ has researched, installed and tested rural off-grid PV in India and Thailand and formerly served on the Steering Committee of SustainUS, a non-profit engaging U.S. youth in sustainable development advocacy.

Follow MJ Shiao on Twitter@solarmj

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value added elements

  • Review of recent inverter-based technology gains, including reactive voltage support, low voltage/fault ride-through, power ramp and frequency controls.
  • Competitive analysis of global PV market dynamics driving inverter demand.
  • Global demand forecasts by country and market segment through 2015.
  • Examination of the business case for micro-inverters.
  • Over 40 company profiles of leading and emerging manufacturers globally.

strategic inquiries

  • As global solar demand spreads and inverter market share splinters, what will the competitive landscape look like?
  • What are the global market shares of major inverter manufacturers?
  • Can micro-inverters compete and earn widespread adoption across all market segments?
  • Which competitive strategies are manufacturers pursuing?

contact: Justin Freedman

Phone: 617.500.6243