Strategy challenges of Solar Energy Players-1

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This study looks at one of the emerging energy alternatives, solar energy.The gap between demand and supply of energy is huge, specially in developing countries like china and India.Most part of Europe is dependent on Russian gas for its winter supply of energy. Solar energy is one of the alternatives for energy in these countries, as fuel ( sunlight) is free and non polluting.
Here the focus is on three countries Germany, USA and India. The choice is based on the emergence of the different needs of these countries, which are in different stages of development of solar energy. This makes an interesting observance.

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  • I think the biggest obstacle is that BIG oil companies don't want you to use solar energy. Any alternative energy, as a matter of fact!
    If you want to live off the grid with your own Power Plant in your house, then check out DIY Solar Panels. But, what if you could reduce the time needed to build your first solar panel?
    Well, a great instructional guide is the KEY. Check out this article, why you need an excellent DIY Solar Panels Guide: http://ezinearticles.com/?DIY-Solar-Panels---3-Reasons-Why-You-Need-a-DIY-Solar-Panels-Guide&id=5377193
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  • This looks like a very interesting piece of work!
    Is there any way to get the full version of this article?
    I am student at the German Zeppelin University and am currently working on a study on challenges in the solar market.
    I think your work might be very helpful!

    You can contact me at any time via s.schabernak@zeppelin-university.net
    Thanks in advance!
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Strategy challenges of Solar Energy Players-1

  1. 1. STRATEGY
CHALLENGES
OF
 SOLAR
ENERGY
PLAYERS
 ”... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!” Thomas elva edison Prepared by Pranay Kumar Under guidance of Prof. Patrick Courtin HULT International Business School One Education Street Cambridge, MA – 02141, USA 1
  2. 2. Table
of
Contents
 
 


















Contents
























































































Pages
 

 

1.
Executive
summary





















































































1
 
 

 

2.
Solar
Energy
Technologies










































































2‐7
 
 
 

3.
Comparison
of
technologies‐Applications
environment























8‐9

 
 


 

4.
Government
Policies
and
socio‐political
dimensions





























10‐14

 
 
 

5.
Issues
and
Challenges
for
solar
energy
players








































15‐16
 
 
 

6.
Strategy
Challenges
for
solar
energy
players











































17‐20
 
 



 

7.
Technology
Illustrations















































































21‐27
 
 

 

8.
Appendix‐Governments
















































































28‐33
 
 
 
9.
Value
chain
of
select
companies



































































34‐38
 
 
 
10.
Manufacturing
poly
silicion‐cost
analysis


















































39‐40



 
 
 
11.
Bibliography




































































































41










 
 








 2
  3. 3. Executive
Summary

 
 









World
is
facing
new
challenges
in

rapidly
evolving
scenarios
such
as
climate
change,
 carbon
emissions,
water
crisis
in
developing
countries,
wars
over
oil
.
Energy
and
water
have
 come
to
the
forefront
as
the
two
most
important
issues.

 
 








This
study
looks
at
one
of
the
emerging
energy
alternatives,
solar
energy.
The
gap
between
 demand
and
supply
of
energy
is
huge,
especially
in
developing
countries
like
China
and
India.
 Solar
energy
is
one
of
the
alternatives
for
energy
in
these
countries
as
the
fuel
(sunlight)
is
free.
 But
the
focus
of
the
study
is
on
three
countries,
Germany,
USA
and
India.
The
choice
is
based
on
 the
emergence
of
the
different
needs
of
these
countries.
These
countries
are
in
different
stages
 of
development
of
solar
energy,
which
makes
it
interesting
to
observe
as
solar
energy
players.







 
 







In
this
study
we
look
at
different
technologies,
established
and
emerging.
We
look
at
 advantages
and
disadvantage
of
each
technology
and
usage
compatibility
with
different
 geographies
and
different
customers
across
the
world,
but
focusing
on
three
countries
of
our
 choice.
 
 





Government
Incentives
and
programs
form
the
backbone
of
the
solar
energy
as
this
industry
 is
in
nascent
stage
of
development,
cost
is
high
and
awareness
amongst
the
public
is
low.
 Economies
of
scale
is
low
so
cost
is
high,
thus
installation
is
also
low
(3.5
Giga
watt
in
2007
 throughout
the
world).

Here
we
look
at
different
programs
and
implications
and
future
 scenarios.
 
 





Issues
and
challenges
facing
these
technologies
in
context
with
the
countries
are
discussed.

 Strategy
challenges
based
on
usage,
issues
and
technologies
are
discussed
to
look
into
the
 future
until
2015.
 
 






As
the
technologies
are
developing
and
trying
to
reach
equivalence
in
cost
to
the
consumers
 and
governments
are
testing
different
methodologies
for
solar
energy
support
programs,
the
 future
depends
on
how
these
factors
will
play
out.
 
 















 














 
 











 

 












 
 
 
 3
  4. 4. 
 
 
 




















































Solar
Energy
Technologies
 


 












The
Solar
energy
is
claimed
to
be
the
energy
of
the
future.
This
technology
section
looks
 into
different
types
of
technologies
available
now
and
in
future.
The
study
also
looks
at
futuristic
 technologies
like
nanotechnology,
which
have
the
potential
to
be
low
cost
energy
solutions.
This
 section
intention
is
to
look
at
solar
energy
technologies
from
business
perspective,
rather
than
 being
a
technology
report.
 
 









The
total
energy
the
Sun
produces
at
its
surface
is
4
*
1026



watts/second.
This
means
 power
produced
by
2.5
billions
power
plants
of
5000megawatts
each.

The
total
energy
the
 earth
gets
on
an
average
is
164
Watts
per
square
meter.
[Technology appendix- A1, A2] 
 The
Sun
produces
solar
flux
(energy
per
unit
area
per
second)
according
to
the
formula
given
 below:
 Solar
flux
at
the
Earth
=
 



































The
Sun's
surface
flux
×
(Sun's
radius/Earth's
distance)2
=
1366
watts/meter2
 Basis
of
solar
energy
technologies:

All
technologies
are
based
on
any
of
the
three
methods
 listed
below:
 


1)
Increasing
the
surface
area
for
absorption
of
sunlight.
 


2)
The
other
basis
is
wattage
or
intensity
of
light
per
unit
area.
 


3)
Using
different
layers
to
increase
capture
of
the
incident
light
on
the
principle
of
total
 internal
reflection

 Photovoltaic
generations
and
technologies
 Photovoltaic
Effect:
When
the
sunlight
(photons)
strike
the
semiconductor
material
within
a
 solar
cell,
negatively
charged
electrons
flow
freely
to
produce
electricity.
As
electricity
produced
 is
DC
(direct
current),
it
has
to
be
converted
to
AC
(alternating
current)
electricity
by
an
inverter.
 
 
Generations
of
PV
technologies
can
be
categorized
on
basis
of
raw
materials
used.

 
 The
first
PV
generation
can
be
considered
to
be
based
on
crystalline
silicon
technology
(mono
 and
poly).
Both
mono
and
poly
crystalline
technologies
are
well
established
and
use
one
of
the
 most
abundant
elements
on
and
inside
the
earth,
silicon.


 The
second
generation
is
based
on
thin
films
technologies:
Cadmium
Telluride
(CdTe),
Copper
 Indium
diselenide
(CIS
and
CIGS),
amorphous
silicon
and
tandem
(amorphous
+
crystalline
 layers),
and
polycrystalline
thin
films.
(see Technology illustration 1 for working of PV cells)
 4
  5. 5. 
 The
combinations
of
materials
are
used
to
maximize
absorption
of
photons
and
generate
 electricity
or
heat.
Extremely
thin
semiconductor
layers
are
provided
through
the
use
of
 polycrystalline
CdS
and
CdTe.

 
 Third
generation
PV
technologies
are
based
on
organic,
hybrid
and
dye
solar
cells
(DSC).
Here
 only
DSC
is
presently
in
the
marketing
phase.
The
technology
is
based
on
application
of
different
 transparent/semi‐transparent
dyes
which
absorbs/filters
particular
wavelengths
to
maximize
 light
intensity
to
generate
electricity.
Principles
of
total
internal
reflection,
diffraction
are
used
 for
maximizing
the
capture
of
light/photons.
These
applications
have
limitations
of
being
only
 used
with
horizontally
inclined
structures
and
can’t
be
used
in
vertical
windows,
presently.

 
 
Mono
crystalline
Silicon
 Cut
from
a
single
cylindrical
crystal
of
silicon,
it
has
higher
efficiency
of
16‐18
%
in
production.
 This
is
then
sliced
into
thin
wafers
and
assembled
into
solar
cells.
38
%
of
total
PV
manufacturing
 

 Multi
crystalline
Silicon
 Composed
of
multi
crystalline
layers
of
silicon
it’s
less
expensive
than
Mono
crystalline
but
less
 efficient
also
14‐16%
in
production.

 Different
processes
like
single
and
multiple
ribbon
technology
are
used
to
produce
wafers
 directly
from
silicon
crystal
thus
reducing
wastage
and
cost.
Evergreen
solar
is
one
of
the
 pioneers
using
technology
developed
by
Dr.
Emanuel
Sachs
(who
now
is
heading
1366
 technologies).
 
 Thin
Film
Technologies
 CdTe



Most
commercially
advanced
in
thin
film
technologies
has
a
potential
downside
that
it
 could
be
toxic
due
to
cadmium.
Secondly,
tellurium
is
a
rare
mineral
on
the
earth
and
its
 production
can
be
a
constraint
in
future1.
 
 CIGS


Copper‐indium‐gallium‐selenide
is
a
promising
technology
and
can
be
used
to
produce
 flexible
material,
opening
the
path
to
BIPV
(building
integrated
PV).
Its
efficiency
is
quite
low
(5‐ 11
%)
 
 Amorphous
Silicon


Low
cost
glass,
aluminum,
polymer
or
steel
can
be
coated
with
amorphous
 layers
making
it
very
flexible.
Still
in
the
early
stages
of
commercialization
it’s
suited
for
BIPV
 applications
though
it
has
low
efficiency
(6
%)
until
now.

Research
is
going
on
fullerenes
to
 produce
more
efficient
cells,
which
could
be
potentially
inexpensive,
as
there
is
no
need
to
 produce
wafers.

 
 Organic
PV
Manufactured
using
thin
films
of
organic
semiconductors.
These
semiconductors
are
 made
through
bio
synthesis
or
modifications
of
natural
polymers.
It’s
easy
to
fabricate,
 lightweight,
flexible
disposable
with
minimal
environmental
impact.
Unproven
technology
in
the
 filed
and
low
efficiency
(5%)
is
its
challenge.
Konarka
Tech
has
developed
OPV
which
can
be
 printed
or
coated
and
manufactured
as
a
roll.

 
 
 
 
 5
  6. 6. 1~
http://minerals.er.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/selenium/mcs‐2008‐tellu.pdf
 
 Nano‐structured
PV‐
These
structures
make
use
of
some
of
the
same
thin‐film
light
absorbing
 materials
but
are
overlain
as
an
extremely
thin
absorber
on
a
supporting
matrix
of
conductive
 polymer
or
mesoporous
metal
oxide
having
a
very
high
surface
area
to
increase
internal
 reflections
(and
hence
increase
the
probability
of
light
absorption.
Nanosolar
is
one
of
the
 leading
companies
in
this
technology
[See, Technology appendix A 3, for different PV technologies and processes]


(Technology illustration 2 for different PV technologies) 

 Key
advantages
of
PV
technology 1)
PV
panels
are
light
and
can
be
used
with
tracking
system
to
increase
production
of
electricity
 2)
Established
and
proven
technology
 3)
No
direct
impact
on
the
environment
 4)
Minimal
maintenance
 5)
Availability
throughout
the
world

 6)
Can
be
installed
and
operated
in
areas
of
difficult
access

 7)
Cheap
power
source

 8)
Long
life
and
durability
 
9)
Low
operating
costs. [see Technology appendix A4 for Polysilicon manufacturing cost analysis] 10)
Usable
in
decentralized
plants
as
well
as
in
larger,
central
power
plants

 11)
Can
be
built
in
sizes
from
cm2
up
to
km2
and
can
be
used
in
many
different
types
of
locations
 12)
Not
the
least,
the
fuel
is
free!
 
 Disadvantages
of
PV
technology
 1) Low
efficiency
(5‐17
%)


 2) Low
supply
of
silicon
creating
a
glitch
for
progress
of
silicon

based
technologies
 3) High
extraction
price
of
silicon
from
sand
(
SI02
 )

and
complex
process
consuming
a
large
 amount
of
energy
 4) Installation
challenges
and
integration
with
buildings
 5) Large
areas
required
to
produce
low
amount
of
energy
due
to
low
efficiency.


 6) Challenged
by
low
cost,
more
efficient
emerging
technologies
like
CSP,
CPV.
 7) Some
thin
film
applications
could
be
toxic
like
CdTe
or
GaAs

 

 
 
 
























































Concentrated
Photovoltaic
(CPV)
 
 CPV
systems
can
be
thought
of
as
“telescopes,”
(see Technology Illustration 3)
trained
on
the
sun’s
 position
and
feeding
the
concentrated
light
to
the
cell.
Referred
to
as
“III‐V”
or
“Multi‐junction”,
 it
was
originally
developed
for
space
applications.
The
magnification
ratio
used
in
different
CPV
 system
designs
varies
so
widely
that
three
classes
of
systems
have
developed:
 •
Low
concentration,
where
the
magnification
ratio
is
less
than
10X;
 •
Medium
concentration,
between
10X
and
100X;
 •
High
concentration,
where
the
ratio
lies
above
100X,
but
is
usually
less
than
1000X
 
 
 
 6
  7. 7. There
are
two
main
types
of
concentrating
optical
systems
in
use
today:
refractive
types
that
 use
Fresnel
lenses,
and
reflective
systems
that
use
one
or
more
mirrors.
Regardless
of
the
 chosen
optical
system,
the
result
is
concentrated
sunlight
being
aimed
at
the
sensitive
face
of
 the
cell,
to
produce
more
energy
from
less
photovoltaic
material.
 
 Advantages:
 1) High
efficiency
30‐35
%

of
the
multi‐junction
cells
 2) Low
cost
per
unit
area
due
to
concentration
and
minimal
use
of
high
cost
material
like
 Silicon
(10‐15%)

 3) Scalability
due
to

established
PV
technology
 4) Economical
in
high‐sunlight
intensity
area
 
 Disadvantages




 1) Very
low
efficiency
during

less
intense
sunlight
or
hazy
days
as
compared
to
PV
 technology,
works
best
in
sunny
conditions
with
high
direct
sunlight
 2) 
Low
field
of
view
or
acceptance
angle
(area
exposed
to
sunlight
very
low,
decreases
 with
increasing
concentrations),
so
require
tracking
on
one
or
two
axes.
 3) Cannot
be
used
in
low
intensity
light
or
hazy
conditions
 
 


















































Extremely
Concentrated
Photovoltaic
(XCPV)
 
 


In
this
technology
light
gathering
capacity
is
increased
by
a
converging
lens
to
increase
the
 intensity
of
light
by
1600
times
on
more
efficient
PV
[triple
junction]
cells
increasing
the
 efficiency
to
37%

and
reducing
the
cost
drastically
to
5cents/Kwh
(as
claimed
by
Sunrgi).

There
 is
a
special
heat
removal
technology,
so
that
cells
do
not
get
damaged.
This
technology
is
led
by
 one
company,
SUNRGI.
(Technology illustration 6)
 
 Advantages
 1) Most
inexpensive
technology
presently
at
5
cents/Kwh
 2) Greater
efficiency
means
less
PV
cells,
less
dependence
on
silicon
 3) Less
area
required
to
produce
a
unit
of
electricity

 
 Disadvantages
 1) Not
proven
technology
on
field
 2) Heat
may
reduce
the
efficiency
of
cells
over
a
period
of
time
 3) Not
usable
across
all
intensities
of
light
hence
geographies
 
 
 














































Concentrated
Solar
Power
(CSP)

 
Concentrating
the
sunlight
by
use
of
mirrors,
parabolic
troughs
(like
in
telecommunication
 technology)
or
semicircular
dish
produce
power
.This
is
the
basis
of
the
technology.
Heat
is
 stored
in
a
transfer
medium
like
molten
salt
(as
in
nuclear
reactor),
which
is
used
to
boil
water
 and
produce
steam
and
drive
a
turbine
to
produce
power
like
normal
thermal/nuclear
power
 plant.
 
 
 
 
 7
  8. 8. Different
Technologies
 
 Parabolic
Trough
 Most
commercially
advanced
and
mature
solar
thermal
electric
technology.
These
troughs
use
 arrays
of
parabolic
mirrors
to
concentrate
sunlight
to
heat
up
fluids,
running
through
pipes
 under
mirrors.
Heat
transfer
fluid
(HTF)
is
heated,
which
is
used
to
generate
super
heated
steam
 to
run
turbines.
It
can
be
hybridized
with
natural
gas‐fired
to
compliment
and
produce
power
 even
during
night.
(see Technology illustration 4)
 
 Power
Tower
 

In
developing
stage,
the
technology
uses
sun
tracking
mirrors
(heliostats)
to
concentrate
 sunlight
on
a
receiver.
HTF
(molten
nitrate
salt)
is
used
to
transfer
heat.
 
 Solar
Chimneys
(Tower)
 Heat
under
large
semi‐transparent
cheap
plastic
(parabolic
shape)
covered
area
(collector
field)
 is
used
to
drive
air
underneath
it.
Air
thus
becomes
the
heat
transfer
fluid.
This
hot
air
is
guided
 towards
a
tower
which
contains
a
turbine,
thus
producing
power.

 
 Dish
Engine
 A
parabolic
mirror
used
as
a
collector
focuses
sunlight
toward
a
concentrator
placed
on
a
 structure
located
at
mirror’s
focal
point.
Two
axes
tracking
system
is
used
to
follow
the
sun
and
 maximize
the
power
produced
during
the
day.
(see Technology illustration 5)
 
 Compact
Linear
Fresnel
Reflector
 CLFR
uses
flat,
sun
tracking
reflectors,
which
is
concentrated
with
a
Fresnel
lens
to
focus
light
on
 pipes,
where
steam
is
generated
directly.


 
 Micro
CSP
 Uses
the
same
concept
as
CSP
but
can
be
used
for
residential
and
small
commercial
purposes.
 Sopogy
is
the
leader
in
this
technology.
Sponova
4,
Sopogy’s
micro
CSP
panel
(12
feet
by
5
feet)
 can
produce
2.56
Kwh/day.
Production
of
1
megawatt
of
electricity
requires
around
5.5
acres
of
 space.


 
 Advantages
 1) Less
expensive
than
PV
technologies
 2) Power
generated
per
unit
area
,
high
 3) Thermal
storage
systems
provide
power
even
in
absence
of
the
sun.
 4) Use
steel
and
glass,
reducing
cost
and
dependence
on
silicon

 5) Dry
cooling
can
decrease
water
consumption
by
90%
 6) Can
be
combined
with
natural
gas‐fired
combined
cycle
to
increase
efficiency
and
 reduce
cost
 
 Disadvantages
 1) Requires
high
intensity
of
sunlight
so
cannot
be
used
throughout
the
year
or
in
areas
 with
less
intense
sun.
 2) Except
for
Parabolic
trough
technology,
no
other
CSP
is
established.
 3) Requires
large
investment
as
minimum
25
Kw
can
be
produced
with
present
technology
 4) Micro
CSP
requires
large
area
making
its
installation
feasible
only
in
few
locations



 8
  9. 9. 

















































 
























































Upcoming
Technologies
 
 Carbon
Nanotube
A
relatively
new
area,
carbon
nanotube
can
be
used
a
transparent
conductor
 for
organic
solar
cells.
Nanotube
networks
are
flexible
and
can
be
deposited
on
surfaces
a
 variety
of
ways.
With
some
treatment,
nanotube
films
can
be
highly
transparent
in
the
infrared,
 possibly
enabling
efficient
low
band
gap
solar
cells.
Nanotube
networks
are
p‐type
conductors,
 whereas
traditional
transparent
conductors
are
exclusively
n‐type
the
availability
of
a
p
type
 transparent
conductor
could
lead
to
new
cell
designs
that
simplify
manufacturing
and
improve
 efficiency.

 
 Inflatable
CPV


A
unique
way
to
harness
CPV
technology
by
suspending
inflatable
mirrors
which
 are
inexpensive
and
save
land
area
and
which
can
withstand
100mph
wind
speed
has
been
 developed
by
Dr.
Cummings
who
is
the
founder
of
COOLEARTH.
Dr.
Cummings
claims
that
it
is
 possible
to
bring
down
the
cost
per
watt
to
3
cents
by
using
this
technology.
(See
technology
 figure).
 
 Coating
and
film
technologies:
There
are
startups
like
1366
which
are
working
on
3
different
 types
of
technologies
to
bring
down
the
cost
of
silicon
PV
cells.

Glass
concentrators
are
another
 method.
Star
Solar
an
MIT
startup
is
developing
“photonic
crystals”
to
capture
more
light
to
 produce
more
energy.

Xerocoat,
an
Australian
startup
is
developing
coatings,
which
increase
 anti‐reflective
properties
of
any
surface
thus
increasing
absorption
of
sunlight.
These
 technologies
focus
on
increasing
efficiencies
of
existing
technologies.

 
 Konarka
Technologies
have
developed
Power
Plastic
TM,
which
is
a
low
power,
portable,
light
 absorbing
plastic,
which
can
be
used
in
small
electronic
devices
(
PDA,
mobiles)
,
architectural
 materials
(
window
panes,
blinds).
Power
Plastic’s
low
cost
(about
5
times
less
expensive),
easy
 applicability
and
integration
makes
it
an
attractive
technology.





 
 































































Conclusion


 
 





























The
current
high
investment
in
research
and
development
will
advance
many
 technologies
to
an
economical
level
making
solar
energy
a
very
viable
option
within
10
years.
 The
silicon
based
PV
technologies
will
retain
their
dominance
with
reduction
in
cost
of
 manufacturing
but
upcoming
technologies
like
CPV
and
organic
photovoltaic
(OPV)
will
compete
 with
PV,
due
to
reduction
in
cost.
CSP,
if
it
able
to
reduce
the
cost
further
and
develop
Micro
 CSP
will
be
in
position
to
challenge
PV’s
dominance
within
a
few
years.
All
the
technologies
will
 be
able
to
co‐exist,
as
the
Sun’s
intensity
and
natural
day
and
night
cycle
is
an
enabler
of
many
 possibilities.
The
challenges
of
efficiency,
storage
of
energy,
and
integration
in
solar
technology
 would
be
dealt
with
more
R&D
as
well
more
field
experience
of
the
industry.
Solar
technology
as
 whole
will
co‐exist
with
renewable
energy
technologies
and
non
renewable
technologies
for
a
 long
time
to
come.
Hybrid
technologies
(wind‐solar,
solar‐natural
gas
etc)
could
get
a
boost
with
 advancements
and
integration
of
technologies.
 
 9

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