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PV Market Breaks Record for Inverter Shipments

Solar inverter shipments reached 4.9 gigawatts (GW) in the second quarter of 2010, growing by 284 percent, according to a report from IMS Research. The market researcher says more than half of those shipments were for installations in Germany, which grew by 388 percent in the second quarter, driving total shipments up to more than 8 GW for the first six months of 2010.

This translates into a three-fold increase over the same period last year, according to IMS.

EMEA accounted for about 90 percent of inverter shipments in the second quarter of 2010, growing by more than 300 percent over the previous year. The Americas market region doubled in size. All regions recorded significant growth, generating around €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in revenues, according to the report.

“Records continue to be broken in the PV market and the second quarter of 2010 was no different. 4.9 GW of inverters shipped made it the largest quarter on record and 30 percent higher than the previous record of 3.7 GW shipped in the fourth quarter of 2009,” says IMS PV research director Ash Sharma.

IMS Research projects close to 15 GW of new PV installations in 2010 with strong third and fourth quarters.

Although MW shipments grew 284 percent in the second quarter, revenues grew by 165 percent due to a 30 percent decrease in inverter prices, says IMS. Despite high demand and tight supply, inverter prices fell for the fifth consecutive quarter, which IMS attributes to a continuing shift towards larger inverters, which have an inherently lower price per watt.

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