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Competitive Advantage Market Analysis

The market for solar energy technologies continues to grow (48% compound annual growth rate [CAGR] from 1999-2008). Globalization of these markets has advanced the industry by accelerating performance improvements and reducing product costs through increased competition. NREL's analysis of competitiveness is focused on understanding the key global market drivers and U.S. opportunities in the solar energy technologies global market.

NREL's analysis shows that:

  • The United States was a net exporter of solar technologies in 2010 and, as an innovation leader in this area, is well positioned for future export opportunities in the global solar market.

Highlights of Recent Studies

Assessment of U.S. Competitive Advantage in the Global Solar Energy Technologies Market

This study conducted a market assessment of raw and intermediate materials, equipment and products for commercial solar energy technologies—C-Si, TF PV, CPV, CSP, BoS—and summarized the US solar energy technology market advantages as follows:

  • Well-established producer of polysilicon feedstock and manufacturing equipment for c-Si PV
  • Abundant raw materials for production of moisture barrier films, glass, aluminum extrusions, Mo, Se, and CD for TF PV modules
  • Strong technology innovation capability
  • Innovative metallization methods for c-Si PV
  • Component manufacturing for CPV and CSP
  • Strong institutional capacity supporting technology advancements

For questions about this project, contact energy.analysis@nrel.gov.