The U. S. solar energy market has been soaring for the past three years, as production, shipments, installations, and sales have skyrocketed between 2005 and 2007. With many factors aligned in its favor—ever-higher nonrenewable energy prices, ever-lower solar prices, climate change, energy security, a solidifying market structure, solar stocks on fire, and the federal government finally beginning to get behind solar—the upward trajectory appears set to continue. Yet looking to 2008 and beyond, obstacles and challenges remain to be addressed and overcome before the solar power market begins to reach a true take-off stage into the mainstream.
This SBI study examines the dynamics both pushing solar forward and holding it back. Comprehensive data on shipments, along with sales estimates and five-year projections, are offered for all three major solar categories: solar electric (PV), solar thermal, and concentrating solar power (CSP). Companies competing in the multitude of solar segments and niche areas are listed and discussed, with five major competitors profiled.
Key trends—including technological, investment, financing, and government involvement—are analyzed, and the developing solar distribution structure is explained. The overall picture that emerges is of a market set to create conditions for a new industrial boom cycle.
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