2 September 2010


Renewed solar shakeout favors Solibro, MiaSolé in CIGS; Amonix in CPV

Despite a strong opening to 2010 for the solar market, manufacturers are now bracing themselves for further price declines and stiffer competition, according to the new report ‘Sorting Solar Module and Inverter Manufacturers on the Lux Innovation Grid’ from Lux Research (part of the Lux Solar Intelligence service), which assesses the likely winners and losers among photovoltaic module and inverter makers in the renewed solar shakeout.

The market analyst firm applies its proprietary ‘Lux Innovation Grid’ to assess the competitiveness of module makers using crystalline silicon (x-Si), thin-film silicon (TF-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), and concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) technology. The report also compares inverter makers competing for residential/small-commercial and large-commercial/utility markets. As module makers prepare for a renewed trench warfare based on production scale, inverter players aim to stake their competitive territory based on performance improvements and novel architectures, the firm comments.

“As the solar industry braces for a renewed shakeout, identifying which module and inverter makers have the greatest value is more important than ever,” says the report’s lead author, research associate Jason Eckstein. “The Lux Innovation Grid provides an intuitive tool for assessing the performance of individual companies and the technology space in which they compete.”

One notable observation of the report is that, while familiar trends continue to advance in x-Si, TF-Si and CdTe, clear leaders have finally emerged in CIGS and CPV. Among CIGS players, Q-Cells subsidiary Solibro and start-up MiaSolé have moved into the Lux Innovation Grid’s ‘dominant’ quadrant. Meanwhile, in CPV, Amonix has broken away from its competitors, followed by Concentrix and Solaria, while the rest of the CPV field struggles.

In addition, start-ups appearing in the Lux Innovation Grid’s ‘dominant’ quadrant are likely candidates for an initial public offering. Amonix, inverter maker Enphase, and CdTe module maker Abound Solar have all met critical milestones over the past year and are in strong positions to launch successful IPOs in the coming year, reckons Lux Research. Enphase is likely to move the most quickly, having already reached high sales volumes in the inverter market, the report concludes.

See related items:

Solar installations to grow at 23% annually to 2015, but revenue to lag at 14%

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