Solar energy encompasses a number of technology areas, which together constitute a large and rapidly growing market with the potential to become one of the world’s largest industries.

Like many growth areas, solar energy has had a long starting distance and then exponentially developed. Much indicates that this point is now being passed. While electricity from solar energy constitutes a relatively small portion of total electricity production, it is the investments that are made for the future supply that determines the importance of the market. The rapid growth, attractive marginals, the presence of significant scale of economics, but also low entry barriers have exploded capacity expansion. The situation today is characterized by an overcapacity, which will mean falling prices, falling revenues for the manufacturers and probably consolidation and some exclusion. On the other hand, it can benefit the end market as the installations become cheaper, also for the companies operating downstream in the value chain.

The emerging market for solar energy, together with other renewable energy sources, will affect the management of the electricity market overall. Solar energy allows new actors to enter the electricity market and that new alternatives exist for both consumers and companies to become self-sufficient when it comes to electricity to a greater extent than before. Interest from the traditional power companies is pending and new actors are leading the development of the market.

Swedish companies have a future role in the growth area of solar energy, but the importance and positioning opportunities are uncertain. In Sweden, there are investments in research and thereby a good technology base. But even though the Swedish strategy has favored research, the results have not led to an industrial residence. However, Swedish companies have significant roles as suppliers of components, systems and services in solar energy. To the extent that they can maintain and develop their positions, they benefit from growth, and it is possible for some to integrate into solar cell manufacturing.

The report deals directly with the use of the sun’s energy for renewable production of heat and electricity. The study has a global market perspective and describes the market that exists and is developing, rather than basing it on technology, electricity supply potential or climate political considerations. The report highlights the driving forces, market scope, market potential and actors who are creating the market. It is part of several studies that analyze renewable energy sources as a growth area, and the role of Swedish companies therein.