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Semiconductors for Alternative Energy Technologies: Opportunities and Markets

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:

  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Fuel Cells
  • Storage
  • Geothermal
  • Nuclear

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Solar Energy

  • 2.1 Solar Infrastructure
    • 2.1.1 Current developments
    • 2.1.2 Worldwide installed photovoltaic totals
    • 2.1.3 Applications of PV
      • 2.1.3.1 PV Power Stations
      • 2.1.3.2 PV in Buildings
      • 2.1.3.3 PV in Transport
      • 2.1.3.4 PV in Standalone Devices
      • 2.1.3.5 Rural Electrification
      • 2.1.3.6 Solar Roadways
    • 2.1.4 Economics of PV
      • 2.1.4.1 Power Costs
      • 2.1.4.2 Grid Parity
      • 2.1.4.3 Financial Incentives
    • 2.1.5 Solar Forecast
  • 2.2 Semiconductor Technology
    • 2.2.1 Inverter/Converter Devices
    • 2.2.2 Key Component Semiconductor Devices
  • 2.3 Forecasts
    • 2.3.1 Inverter Forecast
    • 2.3.2 Semiconductor Forecast

Chapter 3 Wind Energy

  • 3.1 Wind Energy Infrastructure
    • 3.1.1 Electricity Generation
      • 3.1.1.1 Grid Management System
      • 3.1.1.2 Capacity Factor
    • 3.1.2 Turbine Placement
    • 3.1.3 Offshore Wind Farms
    • 3.1.4 Utilization Of Wind Power
    • 3.1.5 Small Scale Wind Power
    • 3.1.6 Economics And Feasibility
      • 3.1.6.1 Growth And Cost Trends
      • 3.1.6.2 Theoretical Potential
      • 3.1.6.3 Direct Costs
      • 3.1.6.4 External Costs
      • 3.1.6.5 Incentives
  • 3.2 Semiconductor Technology
    • 3.2.1 Key Component Semiconductor Devices
    • 3.2.2 Semiconductor Forecast

Chapter 4 Fuel Cells

  • 4.1 Fuel Cell Infrastructure
    • 4.1.1 Fuel Cell Design
    • 4.1.2 History
    • 4.1.3 Types of fuel cells
      • 4.1.3.1 Polymer Electrolyte Membrane
      • 4.1.3.2 Phosphoric Acid
      • 4.1.3.3 Direct Methanol
      • 4.1.3.4 Alkaline
      • 4.1.3.6 Molten Carbonate
      • 4.1.3.7 Solid Oxide
      • 4.1.3.8 Proton Exchange Fuel Cells
      • 4.1.3.9 Regenerative (Reversible) Fuel Cells
    • 4.1.4 Efficiency
      • 4.1.4.1 Fuel cell efficiency
      • 4.1.4.2 In practice
    • 4.1.5 Fuel cell applications
      • 4.1.5.1 Applications
      • 4.1.5.2 Hydrogen Transportation And Refueling
    • 4.1.6 Fuel Cell Manufacturers
  • 4.2 Semiconductor Technology
    • 4.2.1 Key Component Semiconductor Devices
    • 4.2.2 Semiconductor Forecast

Chapter 5 Storage/Electric Vehicle Technology

  • 5.1 Storage/Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
    • 5.1.1 Usage And Applications
    • 5.1.2 Charging And Discharging
    • 5.1.3 Active Components
      • 5.1.3.1 Common Rechargeable Battery Types
      • 5.1.3.2 Less Common Types
    • 5.1.4 Recent Developments
    • 5.1.5 Batteries for Electric Vehicles
      • 5.1.5.1 NiMH Batteries
      • 5.1.5.2 EV Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
      • 5.1.5.3 Start-Stop Batteries
    • 5.1.6 Vehicle Charging
      • 5.1.6.1 Grid Impacts
      • 5.1.6.2 Communication
  • 5.2 Forecasts
    • 5.2.1 HEV/EV Forecast
    • 5.2.2 Charging Station Forecast
    • 5.2.3 Key Component Semiconductor Devices - HEV/EV
    • 5.2.4 Key Component Semiconductor Devices -Charging Stations
    • 5.2.5 Semiconductor Forecast - HEV/EV
    • 5.2.3 Semiconductor Forecast - Charging Station

Chapter 6 Geothermal Energy

  • 6.1 Geothermal Energy Technology Infrastructure
    • 6.1.1 Geothermal Technologies
    • 6.1.2 Advantages
    • 6.1.3 Disadvantages
    • 6.1.4 History Of Development
    • 6.1.5 Developments Around The World
    • 6.1.6 Geothermal Forecast
  • 6.2 Semiconductor Technology
    • 6.2.1 Key Component Semiconductor Devices
    • 6.2.2 Semiconductor Forecast

Chapter 7 Nuclear Power

  • 7.1 Nuclear Power Infrastructure
    • 7.1.1 History
      • 7.1.1.1 Origins
      • 7.1.1.2 Early Years
      • 7.1.1.3 Development
    • 7.1.2 Future Of The Industry
      • 7.1.2.1 Micro Reactors
      • 7.1.2.2 Small-Medium Reactors
    • 7.1.3 Nuclear Reactor Forecast
  • 7.2 Semiconductor Technology
    • 7.2.1 Key Component Semiconductor Devices
    • 7.2.2 Semiconductor Forecast

Chapter 8 Energy Harvesting

  • 8.1 Harvesting Energy
    • 8.1.1 Vibration Energy
    • 8.1.2 Thermoelectric Energy
    • 8.1.3 Electromagnetic Energy
    • 8.1.4 Piezoelectric Energy
    • 8.1.5 Electrostatic (Capacitive) Energy
    • 8.1.6 Light Energy
  • 8.2 Storing Energy

Chapter 9 Hydroelectricity

  • 9.1 Introduction
  • 9.2 Generating Methods
    • 9.2.1 Conventional (Dams)
    • 9.2.2 Pumped-Storage
    • 9.2.3 Run Of The River
    • 9.2.4 Tidal Power
      • 9.2.4.1 Tidal Stream Generator
      • 9.2.4.2 Tidal Barrage
      • 9.2.4.3 Dynamic Tidal Power
      • 9.2.4.4 Tidal Lagoon
  • 9.3 Sizes, Types And Capacities Of Hydroelectric Facilities
    • 9.3.1 Large Facilities
    • 9.3.2 Small Facilities
    • 9.3.3 Micro Facilities
    • 9.3.4 Pico Facilities
    • 9.3.5 Underground Facilities
  • 9.4 Forecasts
    • 9.4.1 World Hydroelectric Forecast
      • 9.4.1.1 Large Hydro Power Plants
      • 9.4.1.2 Small And Micro Hydro Power Plants
    • 9.4.2 Semiconductor Forecast

List Of Tables

  • 2.1 Total Photovoltaic Peak Power Capacity By Country
  • 2.2 World's Largest Photovoltaic Power Plants
  • 2.3 Required PV PCS System Functions
  • 2.4 PV Inverter Market Distribution
  • 2.5 Forecast Of On-Grid Inverters By Type
  • 2.6 Forecast Of Semiconductors For Solar Applications
  • 3.1 Operational Offshore Wind Farms
  • 3.2 Offshore Wind Farms Under Construction
  • 3.3 Installed Windpower Capacity (MW)
  • 3.4 Annual Wind Power Generation (TWh)
  • 3.5 U.S. Installed Capacity (Megawatts)
  • 4.1 Fuel Cell Comparisons
  • 4.2 Fuel Cell Details
  • 4.3 Worldwide Fuel Cell Shipments By Application
  • 4.4 Worldwide Fuel Cell Shipments By Region
  • 4.5 Worldwide Fuel Cell Shipments By Type
  • 5.1 Rechargeable Battery Technologies
  • 5.2 10-Year Costs For Electric Vehicle Batteries
  • 5.3 Breakeven Costs For EV Batteries - 40 Mile Range
  • 5.4 Breakeven Costs For EV Batteries - 100 Mile Range
  • 5.5 Types Of Charging Stations
  • 5.6 Typical Charging Times By Power Level And Electric Vehicle
  • 5.7 Forecast Of Charging Stations Shipments By Region
  • 5.8 Forecast Of Semiconductors For HEV/EV Automobiles
  • 5.9 Costs For Various HEV/EV Chargers
  • 7.1 Worldwide Nuclear Reactors By Region
  • 7.2 Small-Medium Reactors
  • 7-3 Number Of Reactors In Operation Worldwide
  • 7-4 Number Of Reactors Under Construction Worldwide
  • 7-5 Nuclear Share In Electricity Generation (%)
  • 8.1 Comparison Between Different Ambient Energy Sources
  • 9.1 Conventional Hydroelectric Power Stations In Service
  • 9.2 Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Power Stations
  • 9.3 Run Of The River Power Stations
  • 9.4 Tidal Power Stations
  • 9.5 Forecast Of Small And Mini Power Plants In Europe

List Of Figures

  • 2.1 Flat Plate Solar Collector
  • 2.2 Parabolic Trough Solar Collector
  • 2.3 Solar Dish/Engine Collector
  • 2.4 Solar Power Tower Collector
  • 2.5 Forecast Of Solar Power
  • 2.6 Centralized Inverter Structure
  • 2.7 String Inverter Structure
  • 2.8 Micro-Inverter Structure
  • 2.9 Micro-Converter Structure
  • 2.10 Block Diagram Of Solar Inverter System
  • 2.11 Full Bridge IGBT Topology
  • 2.12 Solar Installations By Country By Type
  • 3.1 Evolution Of U.S. Commercial Wind Technology
  • 3.2 U.S. Installed Capacity (Megawatts)
  • 3.3 Worldwide Wind Turbine Shipments
  • 3.4 Wind Power As Percent Of Electricity
  • 3.5 Semiconductor Revenues From Wind Energy Systems
  • 4.1 Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell
  • 4.2 Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) Fuel Cell
  • 4.3 Alkaline (AFC) Fuel Cell
  • 4.4 Molten Carbonate (MCFC) Fuel Cell
  • 4.5 Solid Oxide (SOFC) Fuel Cell
  • 4.6 Proton Exchange Fuel Cell
  • 4.7 Transition To A Hydrogen Economy
  • 4.8 Hydrogen Reformer Fueling Station
  • 4.9 Diversified Fuel Cell Development
  • 4.10 Fuel Cell Inverter In Car
  • 4.11 Block Diagram Of Fuel Cell Inverter
  • 4.12 Semiconductor Revenues From Fuel Cell Systems
  • 5.1 Mass And Volume Energy Densities Of Secondary Cells
  • 5.2 Battery Capacity For An Electric Vehicle
  • 5.3 Battery Price With Increased Production
  • 5.4 Cathode Material Cost
  • 5.5 Target For Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
  • 5.6 Diverse Range Of Candidates For Cathodes
  • 5.7 Improving Cathode Materials
  • 5.8 Battery Loads - Conventional Versus Stop-Start System
  • 5.9 Shipments Of Start-Stop, HEV, PHEV, AND EV
  • 5.10 Start-Stop Market Forecast
  • 5.11 EV Communications Control System Overview
  • 5.12 Forecast of Global Sales of HEVs and EVs
  • 5.13 Forecast Of Charging Stations Shipments By Type
  • 5.14 A Simple Diagram Of A HEV Traction Drive System
  • 5.15 A More Complex Diagram Of PEEM In A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
  • 5.16 Schematic Of Charging Stations
  • 5.17 Circuit Diagram For Level 1 & 2 Charger
  • 5.18 Circuit Diagram For Level 3 Charger
  • 5.19 Revenue Forecast For Semiconductors For HEV/EV Chargers
  • 6.1 Geothermal With Well to Magma
  • 6.2 Conventional Geothermal Well
  • 6.3 Geothermal Heat Pump
  • 6.4 Forecast of Geothermal Installed Capacity
  • 6.5 Forecast of Semiconductors for Geothermal
  • 7.1 Hyperion Nuclear Reactor
  • 7.2 Heat Transfer For Different Primary Coolants
  • 7.3 Historical And Projected World Energy Use By Energy Source, 1980-2030
  • 8.1 Technologies for Harvesting Energy
  • 8.2 Electromagnetic Vibration Energy Harvester
  • 8.3 Thermoelectric Energy Converter And Photovoltaic Cell
  • 8.4 The Four Main Blocks Of A Typical Energy-Scavenging System
  • 8.5 The LTC3108 Converter/Power Manager
  • 8.6 Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Beam and MEMS Varactors
  • 8.7 Constant-Current/Constant-Voltage Battery Charging Model
  • 9.1 Cross Section Of A Conventional Hydroelectric Dam
  • 9.2 Cross Section Of A Pumped Storage Hydro System
  • 9.3 Forecast For Hydroelectric Power Generation
  • 9.4 A Six Pulse Diode Bridge ELC With IAG System Configuration
  • 9.5 Cost Breakdown Of A 500 Mw Hydropower Plant
  • 9.6 Cost Breakdown For Small Hydro Projects
  • 9.7 Global Small And Micro Hydro Power New Capacity Forecast
  • 9.8 Global Semiconductor Revenues For Small And Micro Hydro Power Forecast
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