A new report from IDC Energy Insights suggests that the utility-scale solar photovoltaic inverter market is expected to continue its 60%annual growth rate in the North American market for at least the nextthree to five years.
The report, "Vendor Assessment: IndustryShort List for Utility-Scale Photovoltaic Inverters for the NorthAmerican Market," says the market’s rapid growth will cause an "alreadycrowded field of vendors to multiply as new start-ups and otherindustrial giants recognize the opportunity."
"Thanks todramatically decreasing production costs and price points, PV systemsare more economical today than they ever have been," says Sam Jaffe,co-author of the report and research manager for the distributed energystrategies program at IDC Energy Insights. "The three fundamental legsthat support a buying decision in the inverter field are cost,efficiency and long-term reliability. The inverter is no longer a box of wires and parts bolted onto a PV array – it has become the heart andbrains of the system."
Among the drivers pushing the market forlarge-scale solar power are ratepayer pressure to increase access torenewable sources of energy; regulatory and policy requirements;government incentives; and declining PV module costs, IDC EnergyInsights says. In turn, equipment vendors have been investing heavily in R&D for several years, manifested in new inverter models’ boastinghigher efficiency, better reliability and greater control.