Boom time ahead for Australian solar inverter makers

With renewable energy technologies today accounting for over 50% of new power plants coming up across the globe, the energy scenario is rapidly changing worldwide.

A milestone of sorts was marked in 2014, when, for the first time, the growth rate for the use of coal in power generation came to a stop globally including China.

The current situation is basically on account of the record lows that oil and coal prices have sunk to, which has now halted development of oil drilling too.

In a domino effect, the developments in the outside world are beginning to leave a mark on the Australian energy market, and the footprint can only get enhanced. Australia is expected to be one of the largest markets for battery storage due to the high cost of electricity.

Given Australia’s excellent solar resources, thousands of households have opted to go for the installation of solar panels and currently, small-scale PV solar systems which are over 1.5 million in number, have been installed across the country.

The Clean Energy Council, Australia’s apex organization for the green energy sector, has in its 2015 annual report said renewable energy met 14.6% of the country’s power needs during the year.

According to the report, over 2500 MW of solar power projects are in the pipeline; once these go on stream, Australia would be in line to meet the 2020 target.

The commercial implications are hard to miss; as the Institute of Sustainable Futures, a research organization in Australia says, “the fundamental shifts in the energy system globally represent a huge opportunity” for local companies, some of which are:

  1. SMA Australia PTY Ltd 

The Sydney-based SMA Australia is the Australian subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA), a German system technology major in the green energy space for over 30 years.

SMA Australia manufactures and distributes photovoltaic (PV) inverters, and figures among the most recognized brands globally.

In India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, too, has presented its local subsidiary, SMA Solar India, with the National Excellence Award for Rooftop Solar Power Projects for its PV inverters.

  1. Selectronic Australia

The Muroolbark, Victoria-based Selectronic Australia manufactures PV inverters such as the multi-mode inverter that manages various facets of energy needs.

Its SP PRO brand of inverters is designed to suit both standalone off-grid as well as grid-connected solar hybrid installations for residential, commercial and industrial needs. The Selectronic inverters facilitate easy passage from hybrid to an off-grid system and vice versa.

In recognition of its product quality, the company has been awarded $250,000 in grant funding by the state government as part of its New Energy Jobs Fund, which seeks to create employment in “futuristic sectors” including renewable energy.

Selectronic says it will be working with other project partners “to use shared communications protocols to enable plug-and-play between intelligent inverters, batteries and weather forecasting apps.”

  1. Latronic Sunpower Pty Ltd

Headquartered in Caloundra, Queensland, the company has been in the business of designing and manufacturing power inverters since February 1985.

All its offerings sport the Latronics trademark.

The Lactronics in-grid inverters convert the power from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable sources straight into the grid, cutting out the needs for large expensive batteries.

This makes it ideal for remote area installations.

  1. Samil Power Australia Pty Ltd

This company, located in Sydney, is a subsidiary of Samil Power Co of China, a well-known name in photovoltaic grid inverter knowhow.

Samil is into research and development, manufacture, sales and tech support for PV solar inverters, and its products are found in over 60 markets worldwide.

Certified by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) of Australia, Samil offers various categories of inverters, covering all module types. It is grid-connection while it also feeds into stand-alone grids. It is for both- commercial systems as well as small house systems in the Megawatt range.

  1. ReneSola Australia Pty Ltd

Established in 2005 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, ReneSola is a renewable energy major, its products including solar inverters.

Headquartered in Bayswater, Victoria, ReneSola’s Australian operations are an extension of its global presence with offices and warehouses in more than 16 countries.

  1. Evergen

Evergen is a renewable energy tech start-up, set up in mid-2016 with AMP Capital and its former chief executive Stephen Dunne jointly investing A$2.9 million, and entering into a joint venture with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The company develops and sells intelligent home energy systems, using technology from CSIRO – a federal government agency for scientific research in Australia – to make efficient use of solar power.

The Evergen system spans a range of products including inverter and grid connections, plus total installation.

  1. Solar Australia

Solar Australia, founded in Newcastle, New South Wales in 2006, was originally named Solar Newcastle, but rechristened itself as it forayed into the Port Stephens regions and Central Coast, Greater Hunter in the state. It is one of Australia’s first solar companies.

Solar Australia is attempting to rewrite the inverter business by making storage batteries with in-built inverters to build a base outside the grid.

A Clean Energy Council, that is, CEC member, the company offerings portend to catch on in New South Wales in a big way, given that from December 31, 2016, the state has withdrawn power subsidy for solar panel owners.

  1. Enphase Energy Australia

Enphase Energy Australia is the local subsidiary of the Petaluma, California-based energy technology company, Enphase Energy which is also listed on NASDAQ. Enphase designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span a range of solar products including inverters.

The $344 million revenue Enphase is particularly known for its micro-inverters, (200W) for grid tied systems.

The micro-inverters are suitable for domestic and commercial use.

  1. Fronius Australia

This Melbourne-located company is the subsidiary of Fronius International GmbH, which is based in Pettenbach, Austria, and is engaged in the spheres of welding technology, photovoltaics and battery charging technology for over six decades.

Fronius began its Australian operations in 2010 to tap the region’s expanding PV market, and soon made a name for its mains-connected inverters, which interact optimally with all solar modules.