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The US Solar Market & the Integration of Clean Technology

Where is the solar industry heading, is there a future for solar on a global or even local scale, will solar live up to its hype and promise it has shown over the past few years? All these are questions that are currently frequently asked and that I come across at various conferences, meetings and trade shows. In my opinion, and of course you have the right to disagree or agree, depending on which side of the argument you stand, solar has an even bigger and prosperous future ahead than it has shown up until now. Yes, the prices of solar modules are dramatically decreasing, which puts many manufacturers in a bind and causes some protectionism as we have seen by actions lead by Solarworld in the recent weeks. Yes, the disaster around Solyndra has caused mainstream media to write-off solar and its promise of new technologies. However what I see in the market is just a boom driven by installers, integrators, and project developers who are able to install PV systems at prices that we were never able to project just one year ago. In some markets, solar can be installed at at the same cost than traditional energy, reaching grid-parity, which will just drive the solar market even further in these markets. The US solar market is driven at the moment by large scale utility projects, however, the ingenuity of the solar leasing companies out there and the hopeful return of the PACE program is driving residential installations forward as well.

The focus on clean technology as a whole and the combination of renewable energy generation with e-mobility using various methods of power generation, such as plug-in electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and mixed developments such as plug-in hybrids will also created a tremendous market, which should be exciting to watch in the upcoming quarters. Our symposiums held together with the German State of Baden-Wuerttemberg gave us insights into the development of such projects and provided a platform for technology companies and institutions to showcase their research and developments for the future. Visit for presentations, videos, and pictures of the events.

Combining all these efforts solar, e-mobility, wind power generation, with efforts undertaken in the roll-out of smart-grids should create a market place where renewable energy and technologies that are using clean energy should strive for many years to come. Yes, the solar market will see a shake-out in the next few months of companies that are not stable, have inferior quality products, however many segments of the market downstream should benefit from these developments as well as the end-user.

This allows me to look bullish at the future of the solar market and the market for clean-technologies as a whole. I do believe that it simply makes sense in the long run for the industry and for society as a whole.

Have a sunny day!


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