Hammered by the recession and excess capacity, the solar energy industry’s revenues declined sharply in 2009, but CCBJ puts the downturn in the context of a longer-term trend toward a high-volume, lower-priced market, particularly for the photovoltaic (PV) segment. CCBJ’s quantitative analysis includes the value of energy produced, both in electricity from PV and concentrating solar thermal power (CSTP) and heat and hot water from solar water heating (SWH) units. CCBJ estimates that lower pricing and decreased volume will reduce PV manufacturers’ revenues by 27% in 2009, but that recovery will begin in 2010, followed by a return to double-digit growth in 2011 or 2012.
Inside this edition:
- The PV manufacturing segment saw First Solar become the leading supplier of PV cells by the first quarter of 2009, surpassing other market leaders Q-Cells, Suntech and Sharp. In profiles, executives from SunPower, Suntech and Sharp discuss their strategies to thrive in the increasingly price- and volume-driven U.S. PV business.
- Regional and local firms still dominate the PV installer market, but about a dozen firms have grown large enough to operate in multiple states, competing with national players such as Sun Edison, SunPower’s Powerlight and Chevron Energy Sources.
- Most concentrating solar thermal power (CSTP) project developers are proposing new and emerging technologies such as power tower and dish engine.
Companies and Institutions:
ACS Cobra, American Electric Power, Black & Veatch, CH2M Hill, Concentrix Solar, eclareon, Emerging Energy Research, Exelon Corp., GE Energy Financial Services, Green Mountain Power, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, iSuppli, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Lockheed Martin, Lonestar Capital Corp., MAC Global Exchange Solar Index, Morningstar, Moser Baer India Ltd., NRG Energy, O’Brien & Gere, Photon Consulting, Renewable Power Systems, Sempra Generation, Southern California Edison, SunRun and more.