Microinverters and DC optimizers (collectively known as module-level power electronics, or MLPE power electronics market ) comprise one of the newest and fastest-growing sectors in the solar industry. The product segment surpassed 1 GW of annual volume and over 2 GW of cumulative installed capacity in 2013, just four years after the first contemporary products entered the market. While initially considered a niche solution for residential or shaded rooftops, the category has consistently expanded its appeal, to the point where nearly half of the MLPE category’s volume is in the commercial-scale market, particularly for DC optimizers. The module-level electronics providers have done this by evolving their value proposition while simultaneously reducing product costs.
2014 marks a transition year as the MLPE category ends its first chapter, in which dozens of startups entered the market promising to increase energy yield, improve system reliability, and provide granular monitoring. By the end of 2013, many of these companies went dormant, bankrupt, or began to undergo significant restructuring, while three leaders emerged; Enphase Energy, SolarEdge Technologies, and Tigo Energy in a distant third. These three companies accounted for 88 percent of capacity shipped in 2013.
The incumbent firms are executing new strategies to evolve beyond their initial base demand to stay ahead of a new group of well-funded competitors. The product value propositions are shifting to an entirely new set of more nuanced and more valuable areas, including installer operational throughput, design flexibility, and cost reduction in labor and electrical balance of systems.
Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Electronics.ca Publications’ web site. View the report: The Microinverter and DC Optimizer Landscape 2014: The Evolution From Market Niche to Market Success.