Global Markets for Industrial and Utility Solar Thermal Technologies

Jan 2010| EGY070A| BCC Publishing

Report Highlights

  • Global Markets for Industrial and Utility Solar Thermal Technologies amounted to $929 million in 2008, which increased further to $3.7 billion in 2009. The estimate for 2014 is $12.8 billion, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.9% in the 5-year period.
  • North American market was nearly $35 million in 2008; this further increased to $536 million in 2009, this is projected to reach $7.6 billion in 2014, for a 5-year CAGR of 70.3%.
  • European market was $892 million in 2008; this further increased to $2.8 billion in 2009, this is projected to fall to $1.2 billion in 2014, for a 5-year CAGR of -15.7%.


BCC’s goal in conducting this study was to assess and describe the current status and assess the potential growth of the worldwide solar thermal (ST) industry for all major industrial and utility scale ST technologies. More specifically, the study included the following objectives: (1) summarize existing industrial and utility scale ST technologies and promising emerging technologies that are under development; (2) evaluate the existing ST industry, focused on the manufacturers and providers of major components for viable industrial or utility scale ST technologies; and (3) assess market potential for industrial and utility scale ST technologies over a 5-year period, from 2009 through 2014. 
Driven by the intensification and increased global awareness surrounding several energy-related issues, including energy cost and security, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change, air and water pollution, and other environmental and economic concerns, worldwide interest in alternative energy is quickly rising. The application of ST technologies represents one of several potential solutions that are being widely implemented by power providers, heating and power utilities and other diverse industries to address these issues. Industrial and utility scale ST technologies represent effective, increasingly economically viable opportunities for power providers, utilities, industries, and communities to capture and utilize renewable solar energy for process heating and electrical power generation.
Broad-based support for alternative energy as a solution to energy security, global warming, and rising fossil energy prices has generated tremendous interest in solar energy technologies. Overlooked within the market for renewable energy technologies and long overshadowed by solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, ST technologies have undergone extensive development and represent a unique technological platform for utility scale power generation. Unlike solar PV technologies, ST technologies can be readily applied to industrial and utility heating systems or power plant thermal storage systems to generate power when sunlight is unavailable. In some cases, utility scale deployments of ST technologies for power generation have demonstrated lower capital costs than PV technologies of the same capacity. Solar thermal technologies used for power generation also have great potential to further reduce production, assembly, and installation costs and remain competitive with solar PV technologies. 
A newfound emphasis upon alternative and renewable energy stands to directly benefit the industry for industrial and utility scale ST technologies. The business activity of industry participants, or those companies involved in the manufacture or deployment of industrial and utility scale ST technologies, has risen significantly in recent years as a result of the rising demand for renewable energies from governments, utilities, and industry. In the following sections, this study thoroughly assesses market conditions that have facilitated the growing demand for industrial and utility scale ST technologies and their increasing implementation around the world.
This study reviews industrial and utility scale ST technologies, along with relevant market and production information, technological descriptions and issues, applications, market factors and potential, and an overview of supporting incentives and regulations in major worldwide markets. This study will be of interest to current and potential manufacturers and suppliers of ST technologies as well as entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies interested in entering or expanding into the ST technology sector. It will also be of interest to corporate planners and strategists, industrial energy consumers, power providers, electrical power or heating utility companies, energy market researchers, solar energy advocacy groups, and other public and private-sector interest groups and market analysts.  
The scope of this investigation includes only major viable technologies and products implemented in the industrial and utility sectors to concentrate, collect, receive, absorb or otherwise make available solar thermal energy for heating or power generation processes. These ST technologies can include various components such as receiver surfaces, receiver tubes (heat collection elements), solar collector assemblies (structural frames), reflective surfaces (mirrors, reflective film), and solar tracking and motion control systems. Solar thermal technologies are integral components to any industrial or utility scale ST system whose sales and manufacturing volumes are largely indicative of the actual or anticipated performance of the entire industrial and utility scale ST technology market. Emerging ST technologies anticipated to be commercially viable within the next 5 years are summarized, but are not included in the market assessment of this report. BCC analyzes each major viable ST technology, determines its current market status, examines its impact on future markets, and presents forecasts of growth over the next 5 years. Technological issues including the latest trends are assessed and discussed, as are the current and likely regulatory environment in support of this industry. 
BCC analyzes the industry on a worldwide basis in terms of its manufacturing and the deployment of its technologies or products. BCC examines government roles in support of solar thermal (ST) technologies worldwide, including regulatory support and requirements, feed in tariffs, and promotional incentives for various ST technologies, as relevant and available. BCC provides a review of the most relevant industrial and utility scale ST technologies, discuss recent trends in capacity installation and unit sales, and provide industry overviews and market assessments for each ST technology. 
The following table provides a review of the major worldwide markets that were assessed in support of this study.
Table A

List of Global Markets Considered in this Study
Countries Included
North America
United States, Mexico
European Union, Switzerland, Norway
Middle East and Africa
Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Asia and Australia
Australia, China, East Asia, India
Source: BCC Research
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. Background information, including reviews of each industrial and utility scale ST technology and its implementation status, was collected from government and industry sources. Specific citations and references are provided as needed to support this study, and website links to government and industry studies, white papers, and other relevant information are provided whenever available. 
BCC’s research of present and historic market trends was conducted primarily via phone interviews and internet research, relying on personal interviews and available governmental data. Provided internal company data and annual documentation of sales relevant to a particular ST technology were also reviewed in order to prepare market assessments. Based on the results of our surveys and research, BCC analyzed the potential applications for each technology, and forecasted remaining 2009 sales and sales through 2014. 
Market sizes and installed capacity figures were calculated based upon data obtained from surveyed parties. Additionally, when available, the data provided in this report were compared with other industry data to ensure relevance, applicability, and accuracy. 
Table B

Research Information Sources
Portion of BCC Report
Information Source
Primary or Secondary
Review of industrial and utility scale solar
thermal technologies and products
Scientific, government, and industry research
Regulatory support for solar thermal energy
Government documents
Primary and secondary
Industry structure and market overview
Industry interviews
Major companies and company profiles
Industry interviews
Market assessment and projections
Industry interviews, Government documents, BCC Research calculations
Source: BCC Research
Both primary and secondary research methods were used in preparing this report. BCC surveyed over 70 companies to obtain the data for this study. Included were manufacturers of ST technologies, distributors of ST technologies, and companies involved with the deployment of industrial and utility scale ST systems and plants. BCC also spoke with users of these technologies in a variety of locales worldwide. Additionally, BCC compiled data from current financial and trade information, industry associations, and government sources. 
Robert Eckard has more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental industries. Currently pursuing a PhD in water and energy resources at the University of California at Davis, Robert also runs a small industry research and technical consulting company, with an emphasis on energy/water/ environmental sectors. Robert has provided economic analysis market assessments, environmental analysis, and technical water and energy reports to state and local governments, other consultants, and private companies and individuals throughout the U.S., Australia, and Singapore. Previously, he has produced reports for BCC Research on the global markets for residential and commercial ST technologies, distributed generation (DG) technologies, and energy efficiency (EE) technologies.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Title/Chapter NamePagesPrice Member Price
Full Report: Global Markets for Industrial and Utility Solar Thermal Technologies325 $2,750 Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION5Free
Chapter- 2: SUMMARY2$250Free
Chapter- 3: OVERVIEW57$482Free
Chapter- 5: INDUSTRY STRUCTURE24$203Free
Chapter- 6: COMPANY PROFILES82$694Free
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