SMA Solar ,the biggest German Solar Energy company is now losing marketshare to the new solar inverter manufacturers in USA and China. Note SMA Solar held a dominating 40% solar inverter global marketshare in 2010 compared to the solar panel manufacturers none of which has managed more than a 10% marketshare . SMA Solar however is now feeling the heat of the competition as solar energy prices continue to go down steadily. The pressure on the solar inverter companies has been increasing as solar inverter prices as a percentage of the total solar system cost has risen from 5% to almost 10% now as solar panel prices have come down much more rapidly.
Chinese solar inverter makers are also selling photovoltaic inverters at almost 30-40% discount over the Western producers. Though the quality of the Chinese made inverters is lower they are slowly improving it and the price differential is quite huge . Also with the Chinese solar domestic market set to become one of the world’s biggest in2012, the Chinese solar inverter companies will capture a massive chunk of global marketshare given that foreign companies have a tough time in competing in China.
New entrants into the solar inverter market like Solectria are expanding capacity and workforce as they capture business in the 30% growing solar inverter market .Solectria Renewables LLC is a US based solar inverter company that was founded in 2005 in Massachusetts by a group of MIT engineers.The company has expanded quickly to 1 GW of grid tied pv inverter capacity in USA alone and is looking to set up smaller solar inverter factories in China and India which are looking to be the next high growth solar markets.Solectria Renewables specializes in large sized grid tie solar inverters ranging from 1.8 kilowatts to 500 kilowatt sizes.
Read Review on SMA Solar Inverters.
SMA Solar is the world’s biggest supplier and manufacturer of solar inverters with 40% marketshare of the world market of solar inverters.This Germany company has become the most valued solar company in Germany beating out the old stalwarts like Q-Cells and Solarworld. SMA Solar has managed to maintain its marketshare and grow as fast with the global solar demand unlike some of its competitors.The company has been one of the few solar companies in the globe abe to maintain their margins despite a massive gut of solar panels which have brought down solar panel prices below cash costs.Over 3.5 GW of SMA solar inverters are installed globally and the company employs thousands of people Globally.SMA Solar is now facing still competition from Chinese companies who have a dominant presence in the growing domestic market of China and also from competitors like Power-One,Satcon and others who have entered the hugely profitable and growing market of solar inverters.Besides these pure play solar inverter companies,industrial giants like Schneider Electric (Xantrex solar inverters),GE Solar Inverters,ABB and Siemens too are biting at SMA’s heels.SMA Solar is facing competition from the growing presence of solar micro inverters led by companies such as Enphase which threaten to reduce the market for the normal solar inverters
SMA losing marketshare
The company claimed that it maintained a global market share of 35% in 2011, the same as the share in 2010. However, when reporting 2010 results the PV inverter supplier claimed a global market share of between 39% and 45% and 40% share was claimed in 2009.According to IMS Research, SMA is still the largest supplier of PV inverters in the world but its market share is claimed to be closer to 30%. The disparities occur, according to IMS, because SMA underestimates global demand levels.As a result, management said that it would at this time be providing a sales and earnings forecast for 2012.