Inverters Hold More Power Than Solar Panel Manufacturers – Part Three Of Three
As the solar industry grew over the past decade, installers have pieced together the components they needed. One solar panel didn't work better with an inverter or racking, "so why not just choose what has the lowest cost with the capabilities needed to make a sale?" has been their mantra.
But, the solar industry is moving toward more solar-plus-storage applications as residential and commercial customers face lower net metering rates that give them an incentive to use more of their energy production on-site. As a result, everyone from installers to solar module manufacturers are moving to become the "brains" of the solar system.
SunPower, Sunrun, Vivint and First Solar are moving to control the energy storage system and inverter through their own developments or partnerships.
If customers have an incentive to purchase their own control solutions that include energy storage, they will reduce the power and profitability of inverter manufacturers. SolarEdge and Enphase Energy are trying to hold their positions by developing their own energy storage solutions, but they're not vertically integrated so they'll face a new level of competition as energy storage grows.
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