IDC Energy Insights MarketScape Evaluates North American Residential Solar Inverter Market

FRAMINGHAM, MA, November 1, 2011 – IDC Energy Insights announced today the availability of a new IDC MarketScape report designed to help installers of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems evaluate inverter technologies and make informed decisions about which vendors to avoid and which to engage. This comprehensive study, IDC MarketScape: North American Residential Solar Inverter Market, 2011 (Document # EI230799), evaluate inverters for the North American market, providing a side-by-side comparison that emphasizes installer feedback. Key vendors featured include: Enphase Energy, Fronius, Schneider Electric (Xantrex), SMA, SolarEdge, and Solectria Renewables.

"The PV industry in North America is young, but PV technology is rapidly evolving. Our Quarterly Photovoltaic Module Forecast predicts an annual growth rate of around 24% in the US for the next four years, and inverter technology will be a key differentiator between installers that capitalize on that growth and those that languish," said Jay Holman, Research Manager of IDC Energy Insights.

Designed to provide a framework for the comparison of key performance metrics between string inverters, micro-inverters, and string inverter/DC optimizer solutions, the new MarketScape also provides recommendations on the different approaches to inverter vendor selection based on various circumstances faced by installers serving the residential solar inverter market.

According to the new report, standard string inverters are becoming commoditized, with the cost leader gaining market share. However, vendors with innovative products, such as micro-inverters, are also gaining traction in the market, particularly for installations exposed to partial shading, or where panels are installed with multiple orientations. Installers must keep on top of the latest technological trends to remain competitive in this growing industry or will risk being left behind.

IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys and the input of a review board of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions within the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor's characteristics, behavior and capability.

Solar installers interested in the report's findings can receive a complimentary copy by participating in the ASES/IDC Energy Insights Panel of North American PV Installers. To learn more, click here.

For additional information, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Jay Holman, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or sarahbethmurray@gmail.com. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact info@idc-ei.com.

About IDC MarketScapes

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights assists energy businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the utility and oil and gas industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ei.com, email info@idc-ei.com, or call 508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/energy.