IHS says global energy storage inverter shipments are forecast to surge at a compound annual growth rate of 38% to reach 4.5GW in 2020. Prices for energy inverters will continue to fall at an average 13% a year from 2016 to 2020.

“The energy storage market hinges on cost-efficient and flexible inverters,” says Isabella Ni, senior analyst at IHS. “Recent inverter launches have the ability to distribute power flows between the network, batteries, load centres and generation assets.”

Products with a power rating of less than one megawatt are forecast to capture 70% of cumulative grid-tied energy storage inverter shipments between 2016 and 2020.

In particular, nearly 40% of inverter shipments during the forecast period will have a power rating between 100kW and 999kW, as these products are used extensively in the utility-scale market, as well as playing a growing role in the commercial segment where average system sizes are quickly increasing.

Inverter suppliers Parker Hannifin and BYD led the market, supported by shipments to utility-scale projects. SMA topped the providers of sub-100kW energy storage inverters segment.

“The sub-100kW inverters segment is highly competitive, with about half of the shipments coming from companies with a global market share of less than 5%,” says Ni.

“The large-scale energy storage inverter market, by comparison, is much more concentrated with three manufacturers – BYD, Parker Hannifin and Woojin Industrials – representing half the market.”