SMA Solar The stock price of the company has touched new lows, as investors are anticipating that the company will be unable to face the onslaught of the Chinese solar inverter manufacturers. Note SMA Solar held a dominating 40% solar inverter global marketshare in 2010, compared to the solar panel manufacturers, none of which has […]

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.

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.However SMA is known as the best brand of solar inverter in the industry for its high quality and reliability.SMA Sunny Boy inverters are known for their high efficiency and good performance .Despite the higher prices charged by SMA Solar,the company has managed to keep its top dog spot in the solar inverter market.

After Solar Panels,Solar Inverters are the second most crucial component of the overall solar system accounting for around 10% of the overall costs.Solar inverters connect the solar panels to the grid converting the DC to AC which is used by the grid.Note for off grid solar installations,solar inverters are required as most electrical devices need AC for their operation.There are both grid tied and non grid tied inverters available on the market.Solar inverters have become highly sophisticated with features like optimization and monitoring etc.The efficiency of solar inverters are a major factor in their purchase as well as the quality and reliability.Inverters comes in various sizes and can be as large as 1 MW for utility applications.Note unlike solar panels,solar inverter manufactures are much bigger in size with SMA Solar having a 40% global marketshare.

Solar Microinverters have opened an entire new category in the traditional Solar Inverter Industry threatening the business model of the incumbent companies which have seen spectacular growth in recent years.Solar Inverter Manufacturers have enjoyed enviable growth of more than 50% CAGR to become a $5 billion industry in 2010.However this industry faces competition from a host of new tiny competitors led by Enphase Energy who claim to reduce costs,increase reliability and add monitory plus flexibility as compared to String Inverters.The threat is the most in residential and commercial solar installations where the advantages of solar micro inverters are more pronounced than in utility applications.Solar EPC Companies in the USA have started adopting this new product though the growing size of the Solar Inverter Industry has managed to temporarily lower the thread.SMA Solar,the biggest solar inverter company in the world recently bought a couple of firms like OKE Services to increase its presence in distributed electronics for the solar panel industry.Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages of Central Inverters and Microinverters.

German’s Solar Energy Market is the biggest in the world by a fair margin.Germany installed almost 6 gigawatts of solar panels in 2010 taking the total installed capacity to almost 16 GW which is 40% of the world’s total installed solar capacity.Note Germany’s Photovoltaic Solar Electricity now forms almost 10-15% of the total electricity production in the country at peak time.Note Germany’s solar industry got a renewed boost when 7 old nuclear plants were shutdown following Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster recently.Previously Germany had decided to extend the operating life of its Nuclear Plants despite stiff opposition.Germany Solar Subsidy which is framed under the Renewable Energy EEG law has made Germany one of the world’s leaders in Wind,Solar and Biomass Energy.Germany’s Manufacturing Industry has benefited from the strong domestic market with many of the world’s top solar panel companies located there.Solar equipment,inverters and cell companies are also present in large numbers.Recently Germany amended its Feed in Tariff Law to slowdown the exponential growth in solar panel installations.This is over and above the regular reduction in solar subsidies done each year.