Microinverters and power optimizers to see 70 percent growth in 2012

September 05, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Microinverters and power optimizers continued to be the fastest growing segment of the photovoltaic (PV) inverter market, growing by 180 percent in 2011, according to a new report published by IMS Research.

IMS Research also forecasts shipments of these disruptive technologies will grow by more than 70 percent in 2012 to reach nearly 900 MW.

IMS Research’s report entitled 'The World Market for Microinverters & Power Optimizers – 2012' revealed that shipments of the products grew by more than 180 percent last year and at the same time revenues surged by 160 percent to more than $200 million. The research firm predicts that combined shipments will grow again in 2012 to almost 900 MW despite the relatively weak state of the PV industry as a whole.

“Microinverter and power optimizer vendors have been somewhat insulated from the weak underlying demand and consolidation in the PV industry. The technologies are still relatively new and growth is simply coming from capturing share from existing solutions such as string inverters. Microinverters have now carved out a significant portion of the US residential market and have begun to make some inroads in Europe,” explained Research Director Ash Sharma.

Looking further ahead, the outlook for microinverters and power optimizers remains positive with the report predicting that they would capture more than 10 percent of the market in 2016, generating revenues of nearly $1.5 billion. Whilst microinverters are expected to hold a greater share than power optimizers this year, optimizer shipments are forecast to accelerate over the next five years outpacing microinverters.

“Whilst microinverters are likely to remain limited to mainly residential and small commercial systems, optimizers will more likely be used in even larger installations, expanding their addressable market. Suppliers of the devices are also working closely with manufacturers of junction boxes, modules and inverters to offer several new routes to market that will help to further accelerate adoption,” added Sharma.

According to the report five of the most attractive markets for microinverters and power optimizers will be the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and Japan, which will see the disruptive technologies capturing up to a 25 percent