Sunday, April 1, 2012
IMS Research: China's FIT Drives PV Inverter Market
The China PV inverter market, driven by the introduction of the national feed-in-tariff (FIT), grew by over 400% in 2011 to reach more than 2.5 GW in shipments, according IMS Research. The research institute also found that the market was highly consolidated in 2011 and the 10 largest suppliers, which accounted for over 80% of shipments, included only one non China-based manufacturer. The strong growth of the Chinese market and the dominance of domestic suppliers will lead to China-based manufacturers gaining significant share of the global PV inverter market, the research firm concluded. IMS Research found that China's release of its national FIT scheme in July, 2011 drove installations to reach some 2.4GW in the year. As a result, this created a PV inverter market worth more than US$300 million. Unlike other major PV markets however, demand for inverters is not widely spread across many model types and inverters rated at 500kW were by far the most popular last year. Commented Frank Xie, senior analyst of IMS Research, "500kW inverters dominated utility-scale installations last year, as they best fulfill the project developers' requirements to install ground-mount stations quickly, beating the end of year FIT reduction. As a result they represented more than three-quarters of inverter shipments last year." The research firm indicated that Sungrow Power Supply, which recently listed on the China stock market, was by far the largest supplier to the market in 2011, holding a share of more than one-third. China-based suppliers dominated the domestic market last year, and Elettronica Santerno was the only western supplier ranked in the top 10 in 2011. "Due to the drastically growing China PV market, inverters shipped to China accounted for 10% of global shipments in 2011," added Xie.