Solar Market Analysis

Few would argue that the markets for solar energy generating systems will expand substantially over the next several decades. Worldwide, renewable energy has become a focus—if not a mission—of leading industrial nations, and of all the candidate systems, solar has gained the most traction. Though today it supplies a tiny fraction of the world’s energy, it is poised to grow at a dramatic rate.

Market Overview

Although the U.S. is well behind other leading nations in renewable-energy mandates, it has become more aggressive in recent years, and well on its way to a renewable-energy future. Many states require utilities to provide a certain amount of renewable power in their electricity mix, which is known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). It is expected that the federal government will eventually adopt a minimum standard that all states will have to meet. A few states specifically require that solar energy make up part of the renewable energy mix—referred to as a solar set aside.

Market Segmentation

While there are several means of deriving electric power from the sun—thermally, where focused rays boil steam, then among the photovoltaic approaches, a wide variety of photovoltaic materials, configurations and systems. And though within PV, more traditional crystalline-silicon–based technology has been challenged by thin-film approaches in recent years, Perseid Solar (and this plan) will focus on crystalline silicon. Among the reasons: crystalline silicon has a long history, boasts the highest efficiency (currently up to 22%, which facilitates smaller modules), is the only solution for roof-top installations, and represents some 80% of the installed solar market.