Solar Power Generation
Companies in this industry operate solar electric power generation facilities. Major companies include diversified electric utilities and independent producers Berkshire Hathaway Energy, NextEra Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, SunEdison, and TerraForm Power (all based in the US); as well as SPIC (China), Enerparc (Germany), Lightsource BP Renewable Energy (UK), and Panda Green Energy (Hong Kong).
Asia has surpassed Europe as the most advanced market for solar energy generation. China leads the world in installed solar energy capacity, followed by the US, Japan, Germany, and Italy. China also dominates manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) cells, the leading technology used to produce solar power, accounting for about two-thirds of global production.
The US solar power generation industry includes about 150 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined revenue of $430 million that provide a small but growing amount of the nation's electricity. Overall, solar energy accounts for more than 2% of energy consumed in the US.
As with other power sources, demand for solar power is driven by residential, commercial, and industrial electricity demand, which increases with population and economic growth. Additionally, growing concern over environmental and geopolitical issues surrounding fossil fuels has boosted interest in renewable energy sources such as solar.
The profitability of individual companies is determined by government regulations and incentives, as well as technological factors. Large companies have an advantage in their ability to secure the financing necessary to build solar power generation facilities. Small companies can compete by attracting venture capital and using government subsidies. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest firms generate more than 95% of total revenue. The top 10 utilities involved in solar power generation account for about 60% of cumulative solar capacity in the US, according to the Solar Electric Power Association.
The competitive environment for solar power generation is complex, as the independent power producers and utilities that offer solar power often do so as part of a larger power portfolio; coal and natural gas continue to dominate the power generation market. As a technology, solar competes with other forms of renewable energy, such as wind power, for investment dollars.
Products, Operations & Technology
Solar producers use two technologies to convert energy from the sun into electricity: photovoltaic (PV) power and concentrated solar power (CSP). PV accounts
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms