Does the Berlin Wall Exist in PV Industry?

Inverter industry has witnessed a rapid development, along with the boom of whole PV industry. Reports on the global PV market indicate that there are more than 100 big inverter shots currently. Notably, ‘Sungrow’, ‘Eversolar’ and ‘Samil Power’ are some of the pioneering Asian inverter companies; meanwhile, ‘SMA’, ‘KACO’ and ‘Power-one are big players in the West. Beyond doubt, the competitive environment in the highly commercialized PV industry brings about another Berlin Wall.

With the increase in overseas inverter demand, Chinese companies are seeking to compete internationally. Another Berlin Wall was established, as a result of the intense competition between Asian companies and Western Big Boys. Reports show that Germany is the global and European leader in terms of PV application and inverter demand. Local companies like SMA are afraid of being grabbed a slice of the pie in their lucrative market; as a result, they are unwilling to permitany Asian companies cross the Berlin Wall.

Examples of Asian entities trying to break into the German market would be “Sungrow”, “Eversolar” and “Samil Power”. Samil Power was one of the leadingAsian companies to penetrate to the German Market. However, even until recently, they have not had much success with their attempts to open up the German market; being questioned by the who’s who of the German Power market---SMA, especially regarding Samil Power advertising claims about being “the best Asian inverter”. However, things may have taken a turn for the better with Photon Magazine conducting an article of Samil Power’sSolarRiver SR4K4TLA1 inverter in August 2011. The article stated that ‘Samil Power’s SolarRiver SR4K4TLA1 is the best Asian inverter to be tested by PHOTON Lab’ and that it is in the same league as big shots like SMASolar Technology AG, Kaco New Energy GmbHand Refusol GmbH.’ Further to that, another article in Photon Magazine publicized in April, 2012 mentioned SMA’s Tripower Models’failure rate was over 20 percent.

Relying on the invisible wall, western companies like SMA and SolarWorld have adopted various means in order to prevent some ‘foreign invaders’ from going beyond the Wall. For example, the recent anti-dumping and anti-subsidy are temporary, and the invisible wall would be torn down again eventually because the demand of free trade and open market in PV industry cannot be restrained.

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