Solar Technology & Markets: An Investor's Guide
An independent 1-day guide to solar resources, technologies, economics and market trends
18 June 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
Note: The course can be attended as a stand-alone session but also provides an excellent way to introduce yourself to or refresh your knowledge of Solar power before attending the "Solar South Africa 2012" conference on the following days.
- Understanding the key importance of solar resource on project economics and technology selection
- The silicon vs. thin-film PV debate: weighing up the performance and cost criteria in making a choice
- As PV become cheaper, why invest in CSP?
- Other aspects of solar infrastructure, including storage and the grid, and why these are becoming more important
- What key questions should investors be asking of developers?
- Where might the industry, and the policies which support it, be heading?
Green Power Academy creates its own, fully independent and hype-free training courses, and trains senior executives from across the globe, specialising in explaining fast-moving renewable power technologies in their commercial, financial and economic contexts.
Designed specifically to explain and demystify solar technologies for investors and other commercially-minded attendees, this course navigates a comprehensive and time-effective route through the terminologies, technology solutions, policy and market trends, project success (or failure) factors and economic determinants of the solar industry.
Although describing technological, economic and other principles, this course assumes no prior expertise in either field. While of particular appeal to investors and policymakers, it is also accessible to business people from various job functions and company types:
- Financial & Investment Planning, Policymaking, Senior Corporate Management, Business & Strategy Development, Product Planning, Project Management, Sales & Marketing
- Banks and other Investors, Government, Utilities, Power Generating Companies, Grid Operators, Technology Suppliers, Solar Developers and Equipment Vendors
All Green Power Academy courses run in an informal and extremely interactive manner, encouraging discussion and questions, to ensure that participants get the most value from the day.
Level & Style
We assume no prior financial expertise for this course, which seeks to provide clarity to what can be a complex and interconnected series of economic influences.
The course runs in a friendly, informal manner, encouraging discussions and questions to ensure that participants get the most out of their time. In order to better understand and illustrate the various topics, some simple calculations and other explanatory exercises may be incorporated.
(include lunch plus morning and afternoon refreshment breaks):
09:00 - 17:00
About your trainer
Dr John Massey is Green Power Academy's founder, Training Director, in-house renewables expert and lead trainer.
Combining a strong academic science background with over fifteen years commercial experience of industry research, analysis and training across a variety of “new technology “ industries (including conventional and renewable energy, telecoms and IT), Dr Massey is expert in demystifying the terminology and workings of new technologies, and presenting their commercial and business context.
He delivers training globally, to senior executives from a range of organisations from project development to finance and has also developed educational material for both live and distance learning courses.
He holds a 1st Class Honours degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, a PhD in Earth Sciences and a Diploma in Economics, Innovation and Sustainability.
“Very solid introduction from a very knowledgeable instructor”
“Rich in discussion”
“Good balance between theoretical and interactive”
Solar infrastructure choice
- Jargon-buster: introducing some of the key scientific terminologies and concepts
- A brief revision of PV (and CPV) technology, from cells and modules to balance-of-system components
- The silicon vs. thin-film debate
- Comparing and contrasting CSP with PV: competing or complementary ways to convert solar radiation to electric power?
- Understanding the significant information on module and other supplier brochures
- Theoretical, lab and real-world PV efficiency (cells vs. modules vs. arrays); and comparisons with CSP
Dissecting a solar business case and its key factors
- Quantifying the importance of location on energy generation and technology choice
- Simple, free tools to estimate energy potential in different regions
- Capital and Operational cost factors and examples - and why numbers vary so much
- Influences such as market demand, raw materials supply, manufacturing capacity, cost/learning curves and other factors
- The levelised cost of solar power: what is it, how much does it vary and is it a relevant consideration?
- Policy and grid parity: quantifying how dependent solar still is on subsidies and incentives
Key project implementation considerations
- Key phases and timing, from development through construction to operation
- Optimising installation layouts and determining the value (or otherwise) of tracking solutions
- Technology choice and its influence on other costs such as balance-of-system and land-use
- Specific considerations and differences between ground-mounted and small and large-scale rooftop systems
- "Bankability": what criteria are used to determine it? Are they the right ones?
Market opportunities and challenges
- The competitive contexts of power markets and applications: demand, supply, time-of-delivery and price
- Different types of power plant: with what does solar compete?
- Solar power variability: how much of a problem is it?
- The potential value (and solutions and costs) of energy storage
- The increasing pressure on feed-in-tariffs and other policies: what future for solar infrastructure investment in their absence?