Global inverter shipments enjoy record Q1 – IHS

Solar PV inverter shipments leapt 37.5% year-on-year to over 11GW in Q1 2015, a record delivery level for a quarter, according to new figures from consultancy IHS.

Prices for the technology continue to fall, "both like-for-like reductions, with suppliers making their usual start-of-year price adjustments, but also due to trends towards lower-priced products and end-markets" – but bullish order levels drove a 5.4% increase in industry revenue.

"While falling inverter prices is a constant issue for suppliers, the strong start to 2015 in the first quarter in terms of global shipments will give a lot of the suppliers some breathing space and allow them to at least maintain or possibly grow their business in 2015," IHS senior analyst Cormac Gilligan tells Recharge.

Deliveries to EMEA, the Americas and Asia all jumped at a rate of more than 30% in Q1, with the UK accounting for more than half of the EMEA region's 2.7GW of shipments as developers rushed to finish projects ahead of the 31 March deadline for renewable obligation credit (ROC) support.

Shipments to Asia, meanwhile, surpassed 6GW in the first quarter, while those to China hit 2.5GW and to Japan exceeded 2.7GW.

Market front-runner SMA Solar Technology, "enjoyed an outstanding quarter", notes Gilligan, with a global market share increase to 15.7% in Q1.

The top four inverter suppliers all saw market gains in Q1 2015, together growing their share to nearly 36%.

Power Electronics, given a fillip by its success in the UK, entered the IHS top 10 rankings for the first time, climbing to ninth with a 4% slice of the market.