Solar market research

Concentrating Photovoltaics 2011: Technology, Costs and Markets

After decades of R&D, the concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) industry is finally breaking into the utility-scale solar market. GTM Research forecasts new CPV installations to grow from under 5 MW in 2010 to more than 1,000 MW globally by 2015. The key driver enabling CPV to win projects in high-solar resource locations is CPV's ability to provide developers with superior economics, as CPV has a lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) versus the non-concentrating PV alternatives.

Currently, the CPV pipeline is dominated by three system manufacturers: Concentrix Solar, Amonix, and SolFocus. As shown in the chart below, Solar Developers and Independent Power Producers (IPPs), such as Tenaska Solar, Cogentrix, and Sol Orchard have recently partnered with these leading CPV companies to develop large-scale plants in the U.S.

Figure: Global CPV Ecosystem

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Source: GTM Research

GTM Research’s CPV report is the most comprehensive analysis available - with over 70 company profiles and a complete listing of key specifications for all 170 CPV projects in operation or under development worldwide. The report focuses on CPV’s competitive position within the greater solar market, and compares High, Medium, and Low CPV versus non-concentrating solar options on key metrics including: installed cost per watt, capacity factor, land usage, O&M costs, current and forecasted LCOE, and bankability.

Note: Click on image above for larger version
Source: GTM Research

Download the report's brochure for a complete Table of Contents and List of Figures as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

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Report Author

Brett Prior is a Senior Analyst with GTM Research, the market research arm of Greentech Media, where he focuses on solar, energy storage, and project finance. Brett has published reports on Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP), Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV), Project Finance, and Polysilicon.

An expert in utility-scale solar, he has been quoted in numerous publications including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Forbes. Brett earned an MBA with distinction from London Business School. Before graduate school, Brett served as a Senior Equity Analyst at Bishop Street Capital Management, a mutual fund company in Hawaii. Brett holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Yale University, and he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Report Author

Chitra Seshan has been analyzing technology and high-tech companies for decades; first in the hard disk drive industry, and more recently in the solar industry.

Chitra Seshan has experience at large firms including Digital Equipment and Quantum, as well as start-ups Cornice and ZettaSun in the CPV space. Her experience encompasses technical and management roles ranging the gamut of materials research, process and product development, product quality and reliability, customer support and development, and business analyst. She has also taught Mathematics and Chemistry and has developed and delivered technical training seminars in the disk drive industry. Ms. Seshan holds a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. She is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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value added elements

  • Project tracker with more than 170 CPV projects.
  • CPV technology advances and requirements in the field of cells, optics and trackers.
  • Comprehensive cost matrices, presenting CPV economics in relation to competing solar technologies.
  • CPV cost forecasts through 2015, with in-depth LCOE and capital cost breakdowns by technology and geographic location.
  • Market demand forecasts through 2015 by country and U.S. state.
  • Market profiles dissecting competitive histories of industry's leading players.

strategic inquiries

  • Why should developers consider CPV for utility scale solar projects?
  • Which are the most bankable CPV systems?
  • How do CPV economics compare against other solar options in high, medium, and low solar resource locations?
  • Who are the key players in the CPV Value Chain – developers, EPCs, III-V triple junction cell manufacturers, Fresnel lens suppliers, tracking system vendors, and electricity purchasers?
  • Which countries show the most potential for CPV adoption?

contact: Justin Freedman

Phone: 617.500.6243