A forthcoming book "The Clean Tech Revolution" by two staff members of Clean Edge, the leading authority in clean tech market research, highlights, amongst other technologies, the latest trends and future opportunities of solar power. In fact, the complete chapter on solar is available on the book's website as a preview for a free download. It reviews the declining price and increaseing competitiveness of solar power, identifies the break-through solar technologies and applications such as concentrated solar power, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), thin-film solar, utility-scale solar farms, and innovative third-party financing techniques (see my blog posting on third party financing) that will power solar into a market breakthrough.
Additionally, the article highlights ten companies in the solar space that embody the above-mentioned technologies and trends to keep an eye on:
1. Applied Materials: Semiconductor powerhouse now venturing into solar, including thin-film technolologies
2. Miasole: Founders were technology pioneers in hard disk storage, which requires thin-film technology applications; now parlaying this knowledge to CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium)-based thin-film technologies in solar
3. MMA Renewable Ventures: Innovative financier, operator and owner of renewable energy projects. See e.g.
4. Nanosolar: An innovator of "photovolatic ink", the next generation in thin-film technology
5. Q-Cells: A leading German crystalline player
6. REC : Diversified Norwegian wafer and module producer
7. Sharp: The global leader of solar module supply with a 25% market share.
8. Sun Edison: Systems integrater and installer, and provides third-party financing to make PV systems more affordable for the consumer.
9. Sunpower: Maker of the most efficient PV modules commercially available, and one of the first vertically-integrated solar companies.
10. Suntech Power: China's leading solar company, previously focused on crystalline-based modules, but now venturing into thin-film and BIPV (see report)