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Despite Record PV Inverter Shipments in 2015, Lower Prices Limit Global Revenue Growth, IHS Says

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (December 2, 2015) – Year-over-year global photovoltaic (PV) inverter shipments increased 35 percent in the first nine months of this year; however, prices fell 26 percent to $0.12 per watt. Although global prices are declining, 20 gigawatts (GW) of inverters will ship in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015, leading to 4 percent year-over-year revenue growth reaching $6.9 billion. Increased competition in China, the United States and other key growth markets -- combined with stagnating markets in Japan and Germany -- have exacerbated falling prices, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight.

“The shift to utility-scale installations is changing the product mix and causing prices to fall,” said Cormac Gilligan, Solar Supply Chain Senior Analyst for IHS Technology. “For example in the United States lower-priced large central inverters will account for an increasing share of inverter shipments over the next 15 months.”

The latest IHS PV Inverter Customer Insight Survey reveals a growing acceptance of Chinese inverters in recent years. In fact more than half (58 percent) of all PV inverter buyers noted that Chinese inverters offered acceptable levels of quality, compared to just 30 percent in 2013. The growing acceptance of lower-cost Chinese suppliers is contributing to the price pressure on the industry.

“Leading Western suppliers offer inverters that meet the latest grid codes and offer a high quality after-sales service,” Gilligan said. “Although Chinese inverters are gaining acceptance, in terms of quality, Chinese companies must still offer competitive pricing to be considered by customers in new markets.”

“Inverter buyers are concerned that Chinese inverters suppliers offer inadequate technical support and after-sales service,” Gilligan said. “As more customers realize Chinese inverters offer acceptable levels of quality, it is only a matter of time before they are selected as preferred suppliers by some of the leading solar lease suppliers and companies offering EPC services in the United States; however, while Chinese inverters are gaining acceptance, SMA Solar Technology was still the top brand globally for the fourth consecutive year.”

The IHS PV Inverter Customer Insight Survey collects information directly from PV inverter suppliers, including installers, integrators and distributors on a monthly basis. For information about subscribing to the IHS PV Inverter Intelligence Service, contact the sales department at IHS in the Americas at +1 844 301 7334 or AmericasLeads@ihs.com; in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at +44 1344 328 300 or technology_emea@ihs.com; or Asia-Pacific (APAC) at +604 291 3600 or technology_APAC@ihs.com.

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About IHS (www.ihs.com)

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. © 2015 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.

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