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SunShot Vision Study - Chapter 2: Solar Energy Market Evolution and Technical Potential

SunShot Vision Study - Chapter 2: Solar Energy Market Evolution and Technical Potential

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Published by Tom Cotter
SunShot Vision Study - Chapter 2: Solar Energy Market Evolution and Technical Potential

The SunShot Vision Study projects that solar technologies could satisfy roughly 14% of U.S. electricity demand by 2030 and 27% by 2050. Cover Design by Josh Bauer/NREL

The SunShot Vision Study provides an in-depth assessment of the potential for solar technologies to meet a significant share of electricity demand in the United States during the next several decades. The DOE study explores a future in which the cost of solar technologies decreases by about 75% between 2010 and 2020 in line with the SunShot Initiative's cost targets.

With a focus on photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP), the SunShot Vision Study examines the potential pathways, barriers, and implications of achieving the SunShot Initiative price reduction targets and resulting market penetration levels.
Methodology

The study used two models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate a SunShot scenario and a reference scenario. Key findings of the study include the following:

- Achieving the level of price reductions envisioned in the SunShot Initiative could result in solar energy meeting 14% of U.S. electricity needs by 2030 and 27% by 2050. However, realizing these price and installation targets will require a combination of evolutionary and revolutionary technological changes.

- Annual U.S. electricity-sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to be significantly lower in the SunShot scenario than in the reference scenario: 8%, or 181 million metric tons (MMT), lower in 2030, and 28%, or 760 MMT, lower in 2050.

- Achieving the SunShot scenario level of solar deployment could support 290,000 new solar jobs by 2030, and 390,000 new solar jobs by 2050.

Across all market sectors, the lower electricity prices in the SunShot scenario translate into about $30 billion in annual cost savings by 2030 and $50 billion in annual savings by 2050 compared to the reference scenario.

Source: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/vision_study.html
SunShot Vision Study - Chapter 2: Solar Energy Market Evolution and Technical Potential

The SunShot Vision Study projects that solar technologies could satisfy roughly 14% of U.S. electricity demand by 2030 and 27% by 2050. Cover Design by Josh Bauer/NREL

The SunShot Vision Study provides an in-depth assessment of the potential for solar technologies to meet a significant share of electricity demand in the United States during the next several decades. The DOE study explores a future in which the cost of solar technologies decreases by about 75% between 2010 and 2020 in line with the SunShot Initiative's cost targets.

With a focus on photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP), the SunShot Vision Study examines the potential pathways, barriers, and implications of achieving the SunShot Initiative price reduction targets and resulting market penetration levels.
Methodology

The study used two models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate a SunShot scenario and a reference scenario. Key findings of the study include the following:

- Achieving the level of price reductions envisioned in the SunShot Initiative could result in solar energy meeting 14% of U.S. electricity needs by 2030 and 27% by 2050. However, realizing these price and installation targets will require a combination of evolutionary and revolutionary technological changes.

- Annual U.S. electricity-sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to be significantly lower in the SunShot scenario than in the reference scenario: 8%, or 181 million metric tons (MMT), lower in 2030, and 28%, or 760 MMT, lower in 2050.

- Achieving the SunShot scenario level of solar deployment could support 290,000 new solar jobs by 2030, and 390,000 new solar jobs by 2050.

Across all market sectors, the lower electricity prices in the SunShot scenario translate into about $30 billion in annual cost savings by 2030 and $50 billion in annual savings by 2050 compared to the reference scenario.

Source: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/vision_study.html

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Published by: Tom Cotter on Oct 07, 2012
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SunShot Vision Study
February 2012
 
 
SunShot Vision Study – February 2012 
25
 
2.
 
Solar Energy MarketEvolution and TechnicalPotential
This chapter provides context for the SunShot scenario by reviewing the evolutionof global and U.S. markets for photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). It also examines the maximum potential of U.S. solar markets as determined by the potential of solar technologies to convert available sunlight into electricityand thermal energy.The global PV market has accelerated over the past decade, with PV shipmentsaveraging 53% annual growth and reaching 17 gigawatts (GW) in 2010, bringingcumulative shipments to about 40 GW. In 2010, the United States accounted for 8%or about 1,400 megawatts (MW) of PV market demand and 6% or about 1,000 MWof supply. The technical potential of the U.S. PV market is large. In fact, oneestimate of the land area required to supply all end-use electricity in the UnitedStates using PV is only about 0.6% of the country’s total land area or about 22% of the “urban area” footprint (Denholm and Margolis 2008a).
10
 The technical potential for CSP is also large. After implementing filters that accountfor insolation, slope, and land-use restrictions, the technical potential of the U.S.CSP market is about 7,500 GW of potential generating capacity—several timeshigher than the entire U.S. electric grid’s capacity—in seven southwestern states(Turchi 2009). However, CSP market growth has been historically sporadic. After CSP plants were built in California in the late 1980s, almost 15 years passed beforethe next commercial CSP plant was built, followed by a surge of new plants in theUnited States and Spain during 2007–2010. At the end of 2010, global CSP capacitywas about 1,300 MW, with about 39% in the United States and 57% in Spain; parabolic trough technology accounted for about 96% of the global total and tower technology for 3%.
2.1
 
E
VOLUTION OF
U.S.
 
S
OLAR
M
 ARKETS
 
This section discusses market evolution for PV and CSP, including changes inglobal and U.S. supply and demand and the current status of U.S. solar technologymanufacturing. Also discussed are the factors affecting solar market evolution andrecent solar industry employment statistics. Putting all the information together, a picture emerges of a solar industry that has come a long way over the past fewdecades, setting the stage for SunShot-scale deployment during the next severaldecades.
10
This calculation is based on deployment/land in all 50 states.
 
SOLAR ENERGY MARKET EVOLUTION AND TECHNICAL POTENTIAL
2
 
26 
SunShot Vision Study – February 2012 
 
2.1.1
 
P
HOTOVOLTAICS
 
While the global PV market grew rapidly during the past decade, the U.S. market position declined based on more rapid growth in Asia and Europe. During the pastcouple of years, federal and state policies have helped to drive PV market demandgrowth and a renewed interest in PV manufacturing in the United States.
Global PV Supply and Demand
Shipments of PV cells and modules by region are a key indicator of marketevolution. Shipments attributed to a given region represent PV supplied by thatregion, as measured at the first point of sale. However, not all shipped cells andmodules end up in the market the year they are produced or in the country in whichthey were first sold.Figure 2-1shows the dramatic growth in PV shipments during the past decade: a53% compound annual growth rate from 2000 through 2010, reaching 17.4 GW inannual shipments in 2010. The United States accounted for 30% of global PVshipments in 2000, but then lost market share over the next decade, first to Japan,then to Germany, and finally to China and Taiwan. In 2010, China and Taiwanaccounted for 53% of global PV shipments. The Japanese market surge resultedlargely from its residential subsidy program, which began during the mid-1990s. TheEuropean surge resulted largely from the German feed-in tariff, which wasimplemented in 2000, streamlined over the next couple of years, and adopted by anumber of other European countries during the past 5 years. During 2006–2010,China and Taiwan invested heavily in PV manufacturing and demonstrated anability to scale-up production rapidly while reducing manufacturing costsubstantially.
Figure 2-1. Regional PV Cell and Module Shipments, 2000–2010
Source: Mints (2011a)
 

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