Energy and Power

Thin Film Solar Technology Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2011 to 2017

  • WIN178657
  • 496 Pages
  • September 2011
  • Energy and Power

Product Synopsis

WinterGreen Research announces that it has a new study on Solar Panel and System Market Shares and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2011-2017. The 2011 study has 1,075 pages, 334 tables and figures. Solar energy units re evolving more sophisticated technology that works. The worldwide demand for energy is steadily increasing. Demand for energy is doubling every 15 years. The major effort is to sustain growth in the electricity supply without causing irreversible harm to the environment. Solar energy has rapidly grown as a clean, renewable alternative to limited fossil fuels. Recognition of the need to reduce reliance on coal and fossil fuels is driving interest in solar energy.

Growth of solar markets will depend on continued investment in energy infrastructure by governments. When you think about it, there is no better investment government can make than in achieving development of low cost, reliable solar energy. This availability of low cost energy is what makes an economy hum. Some governments are sure to recognize these issues and make the investment, others will not.

The worldwide demand for energy is steadily increasing. Demand for energy is doubling every 15 years. The major effort is to sustain growth in the electricity supply without causing irreversible harm to the environment. Solar energy has rapidly grown as a clean, renewable alternative to limited fossil fuels. Recognition of the need to reduce reliance on coal and fossil fuels is driving interest in solar energy.

The need to reduce reliance on coal and fossil fuels is intuitive. The science agrees -- climate change is a reality. Government priorities are changing. The military robots have brought a dramatic shift in the nature of combat, lowering the cost of military engagement. Many combat situations are engagements against bad guys, not nation against nation.

There is no better place for a country to invest than in providing tax credits for solar energy. Assuming that the political framework is reliable, that companies and customers have the planning security they need, and that the demand situation stabilizes once again, solar market growth will accelerate. Solar energy makes electric vehicles possible. The auto industry drives the economy. As people buy electric vehicles, they will keep their existing vehicles and drive them less. They will plug the vehicles into parking meters on a street or at work, and recharge the electric vehicle at home from a bank of batteries located beside the home.

Change is a single constant in the solar industry. Changes in customer requirements result in new and more demanding technologies, product specifications and sizes, and manufacturing processes.

The ability to remain competitive depends upon the ability to develop technologically advanced products and processes. What better investment in infrastructure on the part of a government than solar power? Cheap energy promises to provide water, cheap manufacturing, electric vehicles, all sorts of things more useful than a war that the government might alternatively spend its money on.

There are three main areas of solar technology: crystalline types are suitable for colder temperatures at high latitudes, thin film types and concentrating solar technology. The largest market for photovoltaics is for large scale utility systems connected to the electrical grid.

There are 150 solar manufacturers with measurable market shares in some region. Solar markets are significant with 16,469 solar panel manufacturers. This is by far the largest number of viable, functioning companies in any market segment. This many companies participating in the market mean there is enormous, ongoing investment in new technologies. The competitive situation bodes well for market growth, with solar energy complimented by wind and stationary fuel cells poised to become virtually the only systems that deliver energy for the world.

Global production of photovoltaic cells and modules in 2009 was 9.2 GW gigawatts. In 2010, a tremendous growth of solar PV cell shipments increased the solar PV cell market shipments to 16.6GW. The top ten manufacturers accounted for 67% of this total.

Solar energy is headed toward becoming the only viable energy source, complimented by wind and some fossil fuels and the nuclear industry in China. Solar energy, now at less than 1% of world electrical generation, will quickly go to 92% of what is used as a source to generate electricity. The speed of adoption of solar energy and the penetrations will rival or exceed the speed of adoption and penetrations of cell phones. The same factors are in play, relatively low cost local units, battery power mobility supported, and availability to everyone at an affordable price.

As electric vehicles come on-stream for use in short distance travel, they complement the internal combustion vehicles used to move longer distances. The use of electricity will extend support of travel of short distances by electric vehicles, vastly increasing the quantity of electricity generated. Electricity for vehicles will be distributed in two ways, through parking meter type posts in garages and on streets, and from hardened boxes in a yard or parking facility that contain many thin film batteries with high energy density. Vehicle fuel from solar energy is what provides the quickest payback for solar panels.

Markets at $32.1 billion in 2010 are set to grow to $338.2 billion by 2017, reaching $ 1 trillion sometime in the middle of 2021.

Growth is patchy by region, with investment ebbing and waning regionally, but cumulatively showing a rapid pace of adoption of solar energy as technologies continue to evolve to exceed grid parity by a goodly margin. The combination of attractive technology and government subsidies will create a thriving solar energy business.

The holy grail for the solar industry has been grid parity. Grid parity has been reached in every part of the world if solar systems are looked at over the 25 year useful life of the systems. Solar power has achieved recognized grid parity in some areas and is approaching recognized grid parity in other areas. According to Susan Eustis, the principal author of the study, "The concentrated solar power adventure is like the old railroads, those who get there first with all the will be the winners. Large fortunes are to be made in concentrated solar power CSP." Solar energy provides energy for lighting and power, for data centers, for electric vehicles, for transportation, and to desalinate water, making much more of the earth's land mass usable.

WinterGreen Research is an independent research organization funded by the sale of market research studies all over the world and by the implementation of ROI models that are used to calculate the total cost of ownership of equipment, services, and software. The company has 35 distributors worldwide, including Global Information Info Shop, Market, Research and Markets, Bloomberg, and Thompson Financial.

Report Methodology

This is the 477th report in a series of market research reports that provide forecasts in communications, telecommunications, the internet, computer, software, and telephone equipment. The project leaders take direct responsibility for writing and preparing each report. They have significant experience preparing industry studies. Forecasts are based on primary research and proprietary data bases. Forecasts reflect analysis of the market trends in the segment and related segments. Unit and dollar shipments are analyzed through consideration of dollar volume of each market participation in the segment. Market share analysis includes conversations with key customers of products, industry segment leaders, marketing directors, distributors, leading market participants, and companies seeking to develop measurable market share. Over 200 in-depth interviews are conducted for each report with a broad range of key participants and opinion leaders in the market segment.

About the Company

WinterGreen Research, founded in 1985, provides strategic market assessments in telecommunications, communications equipment, health care, and advanced computer technology. Industry reports focus on opportunities that will expand existing markets or develop major new markets. The reports assess new product and service positioning strategies, new and evolving technologies, and technological impact on products, services, and markets. Market shares are provided. Leading market participants are profiled, and their marketing strategies, acquisitions, and strategic alliances are discussed. The principals of WinterGreen Research have been involved in analysis and forecasting of international business opportunities in telecommunications and advanced computer technology markets for over 30 years.

About the Principal Authors

Ellen T. Curtiss, Technical Director, co-founder of WinterGreen Research, conducts strategic and market assessments in technology-based industries. Previously she was a member of the staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc., for 23 years, most recently as Vice President of Arthur D. Little Decision Resources, specializing in strategic planning and market development services. She is a graduate of Boston University and the Program for Management Development at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. She is the author of recent studies on worldwide telecommunications markets and the Top Ten Telecommunications market analysis and forecasts.

Susan Eustis, President, co-founder of WinterGreen Research, has done research in communications and computer markets and applications. She holds several patents in microcomputing and parallel processing. She is the author of recent studies of the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) marketing strategies, Internet software, a study of Push to Talk Equipment, Worldwide Telecommunications Equipment, Top Ten Telecommunications, Digital Loop Carrier, Web Hosting, Business Process Management, Servers, Blades, the Mainframe as a Green Machine, and Application Server markets. Ms. Eustis is a graduate of Barnard College.

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