The high price of oil in the past few years has been a catalyst for development in other alternative energy sources. Semiconductor technology surrounding the alternative energy markets includes advanced IGBT design, optoelectronics, advanced power conversion ICs, digital signal processing, MCUs, and advanced mixed signal and analog circuits. This report discussed the potential for these products to be the next killer green application.
The market for semiconductors for solar and wind grew 25.4% in 2012, reaching revenues of $1.4 billion. Revenues from these two alternative energy technologies grew another 26.5% in 2013.
Renewable, alternative energy technologies continue to grab the attention of private industries and world governments. Semiconductors are used in these technologies to convert the energy or power to something functional, such as converting solar energy into electricity.
Semiconductors used in products such as inverters, include MOSFETs, IGBTs, SiC, microcontrollers, DSPs, and discretes. The overall global market for PV inverters more than doubled in 2010, driven by main European markets. While the top 10 inverter suppliers were European, IC manufacturers of these devices have a more global presence.
Alternative energy technologies analyzed in the report are: