The Renewable Energy Industry

Is there such a thing as a "Renewable Energy Industry"? That depends on the point along the value chain. Most certainly not where the technologies are developed and manufactured. Due to the very different nature of the various sources such as wind, waves and solar, there are very few touchpoints between the technologies. There is just not much that a wind turbine has in common with a solar module. As a result, the indsutry structure reflects that, with companies focusing on one major technology. Companies may be active in both thin film and crystalline pv, but they don't also develop tidal stream technologies. Consequently, there are separate industries for hydro, tidal, wave, wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal, geothermal and biomass.

Renewable Energy Industry Structure

 

The exception may be the solar industry where all three major technologies (photovoltaics, concentrated solar thermal and solar heating) the same measuring devices and glass.

Further along the value chain, grd-tied inverter companies span multiple renewable technologies. For instance, SMA offers its "SunnyBoy" range of inverters to the photovoltaics industry and its "WindyBoy" range to the wind industry.

Even further downstream, companies active in plant operation, distribution, consulting or financing are often involved in all technologies, though this is by no means the norm.

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