Multiple Factors Enable Growth For Alternative Energy Inverters

June 01, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

In the just-released Third Edition of "Inverters for Alternative Energy Resources: Economic Factors, Application Drivers, Architecture/Packaging Trends, Technology and Regulatory Developments," Darnell Group details the multiple factors that are enabling continued growth in the adoption of inverters for alternative energy systems. According to Darnell’s in-depth analysis, various photovoltaic applications will represent the best opportunities for growth for inverter makers.

"Projected to make up over 95% of the market, the inverters used in PV installations, both small (1-5kW) and large (>6MW), will far outpace those used in either wind or fuel cell applications," observed Richard Ruiz, Research Analyst with Darnell Group. "The diverse factors leading to the dominance of photovoltaic applications include the relatively more mature status of PV modules, the development of building-integrated PV that is reducing the already increasingly competitive cost of PV energy, the emergence of practical solutions to the problems associated with PV shading, the development of lower-cost and reliable transformerless inverters, the improving worldwide regulatory climate for connecting PV installations to the utility grid, and more."

Driven by the need to develop alternative sources of energy, limit greenhouse gasses and reduce the dependence on foreign energy supplies, the market forces driving the alternative energy resources industry vary by region. In Europe, the primary driving forces are feed-in tariffs, which have been successfully used in 16 EU countries, most notably Germany, Italy and Spain. In fact, in Europe renewables comprise the fastest-growing segment of the energy market. In North America, the alternative energy industry is driven by a combination of standards, regulations and tax incentives, such as Renewable Portfolio Standards. In contrast, Asia employs a patchwork system of government subsidies for alternative energy that address the alleviation of power shortages and the development of backup and emergency power.

This report delves into the factors influencing worldwide growth rates, regional trends, standards, and other economic and regulatory conditions for PV, wind power and fuel cell technologies. Given the current economic slowdown, the Darnell Group does not expect consistent growth over the next five years; it will be slower over the first several years of the period and will return to normal within 24 months. The effect of the slowdown will vary by category, with some applications being more affected than others.

This comprehensive 82-page analysis provides decision makers with a detailed and insightful look into the current and future opportunities and threats available in the inverter market for Alternative Energy Resources. Among the areas covered are new architecture and packaging trends, as well as a thorough discussion of emerging technologies, such as communications and monitoring, micro inverter systems, semiconductor materials and digital control. Over 30 illustrations, graphs and tables are presented depicting a variety of power system schematics, cost comparisons, product introductions, efficiency standards and other relevant information.

"Inverters for Alternative Energy Resources: Economic Factors, Application Drivers, Architecture/Packaging Trends, Technology and Regulatory Developments" is now available. For more information, or to order the report, please contact Darnell at +1-951-279-6684; by e-mail at [email protected]; or visit .