Solar Power » Industry

Substitutes for Solar Power


There are many other technologies to generate electricity that are potentially a threat, including fossil sources and other renewables. One way of judging that threat would be to look at comparison of costs of energy by technology or capacity factors. In addition, it is useful to look at the different applications of solar seperately:
Solar Application Substitutes Threat
Building Integrated Photovoltaics Other features, possibly not even generating electricity Threat comes from cost (especially if not subsidised), but also from unawareness of financial rewards.
Building Applied Photovoltaics (roof-mounted solar panels) Do nothing
Thermal collectors Cheaper, but more difficult to integrate with plumbing.
Efficiency measures or wind  
Ground-mounted PV farms Other renewable sources May very much depend on location, which may determine the optimal technology.
Technologies that are less capital-intensive. Huge threat, as this fits into the non-distributed business model of energy companies.
Off-grid solarelectricity Batteries, diesel engine, grid connection, stoves, wind turbine. There are many alternatives that may be cheaper depending on location.
CST Integrated Upgrade of conventional capacity No threat to existing energy supply structure. To the contrary, it enhances the features of an existing plant by adding peak- capacity.
CST Free-standing Same as ground-mounted solar  

Conclusion:

The Solar Electricity Industry is under immense threat of being substituted by any number of products, especially vulnerable in regions without financial incentives for solar energy.

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