Chinese Solar Inverters
The Chinese solar panel producers have become dominant players in the global solar panel industry, with almost 7 out of the top 10 solar panel producers being from China. The solar inverter space had not seen inroads being made by the Chinese companies, as they were dominated by European companies such as ABB, SMA Solar, Kaco and others, because of the higher technology intensity of solar inverters as compared to solar panels.
However, even this bastion of the Europeans have been destroyed by the Chinese companies who have used their traditional weapon of super cheap costs of exterminating their global competitors. Huawei the Chinese telecom giant has made huge progress in the solar inverter market, becoming the No.1 player in the global market. The Chinese companies such as TBEA, Sungrow and others have used their massive domestic market to become large global players.
Read more about Solar Inverters here.
Now they are using their scale to enter new foreign markets which are still dominated by the Europeans and Americans. Like in solar panels, Chinese solar inverter makers have drastically reduced the prices of solar inverters. While solar inverters in 2011 used to sell for 30-40 cents/watt, now they sell for as low as 5 cents/watt.
Working on low margins and huge scale, the Chinese have vanquished the global large players like SMA, who used to make billions of dollars from solar inverter sales sold at high margins. The 3 phase and string inverter segments have been easy pickings for the Chinese solar inverter companies. Only some inverter companies such as Solaredge have managed to escape the low cost low margin trap set up by the Chinese. SMA Solar is trying to diversify into the energy storage market in order to move away from the commodity industry that normal solar inverters have become.
Top 10 Solar Inverter Companies globally
Approximately 50% of the top 10 solar inverter rankings are now taken up by the Chinese: