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Competitive Advantage Market Analysis

NREL's competitive advantage market analysis—part of our broader effort supporting manufacturing analysis—identifies the key global market drivers and opportunities for manufacturers within various markets.

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

An NREL market assessment of raw and intermediate materials, equipment, and products for commercial solar energy technologies (c-Si, TF PV, CPV, CSP, BoS) summarized the U.S. 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.

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