Solar Power Generators Solar Power Generators have become a mainstream product as plunging costs of solar panels has suddenly made them affordable for a vast majority of citizens. Hurricane Sandy brought into focus the shortcomings of our dependence on fossil fuel based transportation and heating systems. With no supplies of gasoline and natural gas to […]

Solar Power Generators Hurricane Sandy which caused massive damage to the eastern coast of USA particularly New Jersey and New York bought home the importance of emergency electricity generators. As the power went out in large chunks for days, most of the electricity guzzling devices shut down. Even emergency equipment like medical devices went down […]

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.

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.The company sells its solar inverter solutions to residential,commercial as well as utility customers.The company also sells a String Sizing Tool and SolRen monitoring software.The company received a grant to develop Smart Grid capable solar inverter from DOE.Note Solar Inverter Manufacturers are currently facing increased competition from Chinese low cost players as well as new companies.Satcon,AEIS and Power-One which are the biggest US Solar Inverter companies have already seen their revenue and profit growth go down due to decreased demand growth and falling prices.However there is greater differentiation and technology barriers in high end solar inverters than in solar panels in which Chinese are dominating currently.Solectria is differentiating itself by its decently priced solar inverters which are high efficiency pv inverters as well

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.

Note both the Solar Thermal and Solar PV Project bidding have led to grave doubts about how these solar plants will be implemented.Not only are the firms small,unknown with little project experience but they have also bid for feed in tariffs which would definitely lead to losses.According to MNRE,the government also plans to make the local domestic content requirements more stringent.The requirements will be extended to solar inverters as well and the provisions may not stop at 2013 but will go beyond as well.Note the JNNSM mandates that modules for solar energy be made in India in the first year and both cells and panels be made in the 2nd year.This is important for the growth of solar energy equipment manufacturing in India.This has been successfully used by both China and Canada to foster the growth of the green industry in their domestic market.However it has the side effect of raising prices and increasing inefficiency as they would lead to higher costs.They could also lead to the gaming of the system particularly as India is highly corruption prone country.