This groundbreaking new book features holistic coverage of technological breakthroughs, financing trends, workforce development issues, and comparative regional case studies in solar energy. It provides a global bird's-eye view of the industry for scientists, engineers, business leaders, and policymakers — anyone seriously engaged in the rapidly evolving field of solar energy. The expert author's analysis includes primary data from the first comprehensive solar industry survey conducted in the United States, insights from key thought leaders in the energy sector, and case studies from international leaders in solar development. Solar Energy Markets examines six key drivers of the solar industry: 1) a new culture of environmentalism; 2) policy and markets; 3) financing and venture capital; 4) economics and cost-competitiveness; 5) innovation; and 6) labor. In a field too often marked by divisive over-specialization, this resource provides invaluable context, demonstrating how the solar field’s innovative triumphs and inherent challenges play out in the real global marketplace.

Key Features

  • Analyzes key drivers of the solar industry at international, national and local levels
  • Synthesizes the first comprehensive surveys of the U.S. solar industry
  • Uniquely ties together technological innovation with market implications for engineers, business leaders and policymakers alike
  • Examines the evolving role of China in global solar markets


Primary: Energy and Power Engineers; Scientists, Researchers working w. Renewables
Secondary: Students in Engineering and Physics programs; Technicians and Investors working in energy-related disciplines

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: An Overview of the Solar Industry

2. The Mechanics of Solar Power

Installed Capacity

The Manufacturing Process

Thin Film

Concentrated Solar Energy

Parabolic Trough

Power Tower

Fresnel Reflectors

3. The New Culture of Environmentalism

Global Trends

United States



4. Finance and Venture Capital

Research, Development, and Deployment

Private Investment Trends

Global Investments

Public Sector Spending

5. Global Solar Policy

Energy Policy

EU Policy Framework


6. Federal and State Energy Policies

Federal Policies

State Policies


7. The Solar Labor Market—Efficiencies and Productivity

United States



Sales and Distribution

Project Developers




8. Global Markets

Global Energy Demand

9. The Economics of Solar Power

10. Afterward



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© 2014
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:
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About the author

Philip Jordan

Philip Jordan, Vice President of BW Research Partnership and Executive Director of the Economic Advancement Research Institute, provides labor and market intelligence to the public workforce system, universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Further, he consults on various green workforce projects and programs across the US and conducts qualitative analysis of workforce to drive public policy. The former Director of the Cuyamaca College Center of Excellence and Director of Innovation Parnerships at Mass Insight Corporation, Jordan has served as a liaison with industry and government, conducted analysis for economic indicators focused on development strategy and determined occupational growth in various industry sectors.


"...a unique, global perspective of the US solar industry, exploring the differences between the solar industry today and previous growth spurts such as the 1970s brief solar boom."--Energie Vision,Volume 3,2014

"In a field too often marked by divisive overspecialization, this resource provides invaluable context, demonstrating how the solar field’s innovative triumphs and inherent challenges play out in the real global marketplace…By comparing policies, solar industry and statistics Jordan offers a good overview which is beneficial for every reader."--VGB Power Tech, March 2014