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Booming China Market Creates Opportunities For PV Inverters



The Chinese PV inverter market, driven by the
introduction of the national FiT, grew by over 400% in 2011 to reach more than
2.5 GW in shipments according to a new report from IMS Research. The report
also found that the market was highly consolidated in 2011 and the ten largest
suppliers, which accounted for over 80% of shipments, included only one
non-Chinese manufacturer. The strong growth of the Chinese market and the
dominance of domestic suppliers will lead to Chinese manufacturers gaining
significant share of the global PV inverter market, the research firm
concluded.

The new report, "The China Market for PV Inverters",
found that China's release of its national FiT scheme in July, 2011 drove
installations to reach some 2.4 GW in the year. As a result, this created a PV
inverter market worth more than $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. "500kW
inverters dominated utility-scale installations last year, as they best fulfil
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", comment Frank Xie, senior
analyst and report author.

According to the recent report, Sungrow Power Supply,
which recently listed on the Chinese stock market was by far the largest
supplier to the market in 2011, holding a share of more than one-third. Chinese
suppliers dominated the domestic market last year, and Elettronica Santerno was
the only western supplier ranked in the top ten in 2011. The rapid growth of
the domestic market, and the strong hold Chinese suppliers have it may see the
suppliers gain in the overall global market, the report concluded. "Due to the
drastically growing Chinese PV market, inverters shipped to China accounted for
10% of global shipments in 2011", added Xie.

The report also revealed that the pricing for PV
inverters in China is significantly lower than the global market. "As per
requirements of the project bidding rules, all inverters are required to be
shipped with free installation and warrantee for five years in China. Due to
the very large nature of most of the projects being developed in China, prices
of the winning bids are typically very low, ." added Frank Xie.


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