Global microinverter &power optimizer solar market to hit $1b by 2018

The global solar microinverter and power optimizer market will grow at a CAGR of 27 percent crossing the $1 billion barrier in 2018, reports IHS Technology.

In 2013, the market value recorded for global solar micro-inverter and power optimizer was $329 million.

Currently, the U.S. represents the largest market for micro inverters, with the amount of the business going to residential systems.

The market growth is driven by increased market penetration in residential and small commercial segments in USA, Canada, UK and Australia.

In addition, the continued adoption of the technology in European markets such as France, Germany and Italy are driving growth factors. The decrease in price of micro inverters and power optimizers due to next generation product releases makes Module-Level Power Electronics (MLPE) an attractive solution.

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A combination of improving technology and competitive market are the reasons for falling costs of MLPE technology. Latest models produced with cheaper parts counts and new competitors in the market experience high price competition.

With drop in prices and MLPE price becoming parallel with traditional string inverters, new regions will adopt the use of micro inverters and power optimizers to the sum of 6.6 GW by 2018.

However the market segment monopoly may soon witness a balancing, as lots of installations will emerge once the price is dropped. Power optimizers are selling in plenty, with shipments set to increase by 160 percent this year alone.

Japan has high demand for power optimizers, which is predicted to swell to a penetration rate of 7 percent by 2018.

Japanese rules forbid the importing of microinverters due to Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) certification requirements, but soon suppliers will be able to gain JET certification and take the opportunities.

MLPE is the term used to summarize solar microinverters and power optimizers. Micro inverters bring 25 percent more electricity than conventional string inverters, which connect to entire systems. Power optimizers require string inverters, but optimize efficiency by tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of individual modules.

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