December 8 (SeeNews) - The top 10 solar inverter makers globally held an 80% share of global shipments in the first half of 2016, GTM Research says, pointing out that this is the highest level seen since 2010.
In 2015 the top 10 accounted for 72% of all shipments, while in 2014 their share was 66%.
As the photovoltaic (PV) inverter market is concentrating, the top five in the first half of this year grabbed over 50% of all shipments. Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (SHE:002502) ranked first in terms of shipments, with a 17% share, and second by revenue. Germany's SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) was number one by revenue.
“Pricing pressure remains a constant, unrelenting reality in the maturing solar inverter market,” said report author Scott Moskowitz. Bankable suppliers are gaining foothold as low prices help to drive out competition. In some segments, prices have contracted by 10% in just six months.
Due to the significant price declines, in mid-2016 Swiss industrial group ABB Ltd (VTX:ABBN) and SMA have both announced closure of US factories in order to consolidate production in European factories.
GTM expects global inverter shipments to hit 63.5 GW in 2016 and then inch down by 5% in 2017 as demand weakens. PV inverter revenue, however, will decline by just 1.2% in 2017 with gains coming in sales of residential string inverters and module-level power electronics, the research company said.
The long-term outlook is more positive, with GTM Research forecasting shipments of over 100 GW by 2021. New markets in the Middle East and South East Asia will be the fastest growing regions between now and 2021.