It has been widely reported Europe’s solar power industry has entered a downturn period, especially the PV inverter sector of it. Today’s gloomy condition has seen the slump of some of the once influential solar product suppliers on this continent, including SAM and Advanced Energy (Europe branch). The former has been reported to cut 1,600 jobs as it expects its sales to fall in the coming year; and the latter has been reported continuous PV inverter sales decline in Europe for a long time. But what are the most possible reasons that affect the industry?
The German solar inverter producer has not clearly released any statements about why their sales have slumped worldwide, but the obvious reality shows that fierce price competition, human labor cost and Euro price drop may have been proven the main reasons accounting for its downturn. It has lost massive market shares worldwide, and its major loss comes from Germany and Europe. The American solar firm has also experienced profit losses in Europe although it still earns lucrative sums of money. According to PVTEC’s report, the company noted its profit losses were mainly caused by pricing pressure, current exchange rate changes, weak economy in Europe and overall inverter market competition. Therefore, its president and CEO say they will seek alternatives for development in the future.
As pieces of reports about European solar’s tragic phase fly about on the internet, many positive reports about India’s increasing solar installations and China’s inverter and panel sales are seen everywhere online and offline. India is predicted to conserve 100,000 MW solar power by 2020. Sungrow and Huawei from China have been well-complimented and ranked high among the top PV inverter suppliers in the world.
India is a poor nation but has a high target. As we compliment its ambitious plan, we also see financial weakness in its ideal. To solve this problem, the government is hoping to get loans. A recent report has shown that the World Bank may lend $500 million to help it further develop solar power. China’s Huawei has been very successful in the PV inverter industry, and it has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Longi Silicon to boost PV power plant performance and reliability. This signals cooperation of this kind may lead to a further prosperity for the two solar companies in the future. For Advanced Energy, acquisitions may seem to be a solution to solving its current problem, for it thinks diversification might be a good way out.
The Times of India reports 86% of the buildings in Patna have the potential for residential and commercial rooftop PV system potential, and the city is planning to do the job. At present, many families in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan and China have already installed residential solar power systems in their houses. This seems to indicate home solar power can serve as an alternative for the industry. Manufacturing solar products targeting home solar power can be something worth trying.