The global solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter market is expected to grow steadily after experiencing a tremendous growth in the past year. China is the fast growing market, which is likely to reach the 1 GW cumulative installation mark soon, according to a research by market analyst Taiyou Research. India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region hold long term growth potential with clear government road maps for increasing the share of renewable energy generation to reach 2020 targets.
The global solar energy market is largely dependent on government incentives and market stimulation packages such as the American Recovery and Re-investment Act (ARRA) carry benefits for the PV sector creating sustainable employment opportunities.
The PV inverters market is largely a seller’s market and therefore pricing pressure is not as high as that on the module and cell sectors. However, inverters are also enduring their share of falling prices due to technological advances. Considerable developing is done in streamlining production processes, improving product efficiency and minimising the number of power electronics components used to reduce costs. Fluctuations in component prices and the demand-supply gap are resulting in price fluctuations and therefore the pricing pressure is expected to be medium in this market during the forecast period, as increases in competition will lead to price reduction.
Governments across various countries have introduced financial support and capital subsidy programs to offset a certain percentage of the investment cost needed to set up PV plants or PV manufacturing units. Countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, India and the US have introduced various subsidy and incentive programs to compensate for the high initial capital investment required for the development of solar PV.
Financial incentives provided by governments, such as feed-in tariffs (FIT), will remain a key driver for the development of the PV inverters market. FIT are one of the major incentives employed by European countries to increase grid connected PV installations. Such installations have driven the demand for grid connected PV inverters. The uptake of FIT is critical for the development of the PV inverters market in countries like Germany, the US and Italy.