By Nick Gilbert
At the Intersolar Europe 2012 trade fair in Munich, Germany, members of IEEE, the largest technical professional association in the world for the advancement of technology, explored market competition in the global solar industry and emphasized the significance of partnerships in the worldwide solar energy marketplace.
Competition in the solar industry is at an unprecedented level because worldwide solar energy capacity increased to 40 GW in 2010, an over four-fold increase when compared to the 2007 value of 9.5 GW. Total worldwide renewable energy spend is estimated to increase two-fold in 2030, thus spurring industry competition over the projected new worldwide capital of $7 trillion to be invested by 2030. This has formed a marketplace in which photovoltaic players in some nations are growing, especially in nations with subsidy policies like Germany.
IEEE Director of EMEA, Dr. Marko Delimar, who is also a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, cautioned that since photovoltaic manufacturers are not equally participating in the electricity market, efforts need to be taken to make them take part in the market when these subsidies end. Since solar power-related production and supply is basically localized, partnerships must take place worldwide to realize a sustainable future.
IEEE Member, Dr. Karl Weber, who is also a Principal Expert Smart Grid, TUV Sud, informed that teamwork between all major players in the solar energy market, backed by international standards can drive this market to achieve success. IEEE Member, Dr. Juris Kalejs, who also serves as CTO at American Capital Energy, commented that the smart grid will be the key to solar utilities to know where energy needs to be distributed. An efficient solar industry that is suitable for all countries can be made by using best practices and information acquired through modelling.