UK inverter suppliers shifting focus to residential and commercial segments, awaiting Irish ground-mount opportunity

UK inverter suppliers shifting focus to residential and commercial segments, awaiting Irish ground-mount opportunity

Release Time:2016.10.19    Source:Trannergy

Following the rapid decline of the UK ground-mount PV market at the end of Q1’16, the majority of leading PV inverter suppliers are now shifting focus towards the residential and commercial segments in the UK market and eagerly waiting on a new solar policy in Ireland to be announced, especially in relation to the ground-mount segment.

Key Points

  • The rankings of four of the top five inverter suppliers in the first half of 2016 were attributed to their shipments to large commercial and utility-scale installations.
  • SMA dominated the rankings based on shipments in the first half of 2016. Its market share was greatly assisted by the fact that it is active in all segments of the solar market and not just utility-scale.
  • Two of the top five suppliers were Chinese – Huawei and Ginlong, following their significant investment in the market. Whilst Huawei is mainly active in the large ground-mount market, Ginlong in contrast is active in the residential market.
  • The majority of leading PV inverter suppliers active in the United Kingdom market are currently shifting their focus from utility-scale to residential and commercial.
  • Some suppliers who only produce central inverters will have to consider exiting the market, looking towards new high-potential?European ground-mount markets such as Ireland in 2017

Markit Analysis

Given the collapse of the ground-mount market in the UK and the limited potential in the next few quarters, many of the leading inverter suppliers active in the market are re-focussing their efforts on other key segments such as residential and commercial.

This change will impact the inverter competitive landscape in the coming quarters with single-phase and three-phase string inverter suppliers mainly benefitting and gaining market share as a result. Suppliers such as SMA, Ginlong, Solaredge, Enphase, Trannergy and Fronius are most likely to be the main benefactors of this change.

One solution for many of the top five leading PV inverter suppliers will be to release new three-phase string inverters aimed at the ground-mount and commercial roof-top segment. Whilst top five suppliers such as SMA, Huawei, Schneider Electric and Ginlong will be able to target this market, they will face stiff competition from ABB, Fronius, Sungrow and Solaredge.

For many of the inverter suppliers who only offer central inverters, there will be limited potential in the UK in the next five years and as a result, they will have to focus on other European ground-mount markets. Many of them will be preparing for a solar incentive for ground-mount systems to be announced in Ireland, hoping that this will lead to the market taking off in 2017. This would be a welcome respite for many European central inverter suppliers who were heavily reliant on the UK utility-scale market in recent years following the weak appetite for utility-scale PV in many European markets.

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