The electric power industry is one of the world’s largest industrial segments, with annual revenue of approximately US $1.06 trillion in 2004. Global electricity demand has grown consistently at a rate of 2 to 5% annually for the past decade. Worldwide demand for electricity is expected to increase from 14.3 trillion kilowatt hours in 2003 to 26.0 trillion kilowatt hours by 2025. Investments in generation, transmission, and distribution to meet growth in electricity demand, excluding investments in fuel supply, are expected to be roughly US $10 trillion by 2030.
The electric power industry is one of the world’s Largest industrial segments, with annual revenue of approximately US $1.06 trillion in 2004. Global electricity demand has grown consistently at a rate of 2 to 5% annually for the past decade. Worldwide demand for electricity is expected to increase from 14.3 trillion kilowatt hours in 2003 to 26.0 trillion kilowatt hours by 2025. Investments in generation, transmission, and distribution to meet growth in electricity demand, excluding investments in fuel supply, are expected to be roughly US $10 trillion by 2030.
Solar power technology isn’t new – it’s been used to generate electricity in space program applications for several decades and it’s been used in commercial applications for over 30 years. Since 1985, the market for solar power, as defined by worldwide shipments of solar power systems, has grown at a compound annual growth rate of over 20%. The global solar power market had an estimated US $6.5 billion in revenue in 2004 and is expected to grow to US $18.5 billion by 2010.
Solar power systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. These systems are used for residential, commercial, and industrial applications and for customers who either have access to or are remote from the electric utility grid. The market for on-grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customers electricity purchased from the utility network, represents the Largest and fastest growing segment of the market. Worldwide installations of solar power systems are expected to grow at an annual rate of 23% from 927 megawatts in 2004 to 3.2 gigawatts by 2010, led by on-grid shipments.
Off-grid markets, where access to utility networks is not economical or physically feasible, differ from consumer markets, although both offer additional opportunities for solar technology. Off-grid industrial applications include road signs, highway call boxes, and communications support along remote pipelines and telecommunications equipment, as well as rural residential applications. Consumer applications include garden lights, other outdoor Lighting, and handheld devices such as calculators.
There are two basic concepts for tapping the sun’s energy – collect its heat or convert its light. The solar-thermal approach uses mirrors to reflect the heat energy from a large area onto a small space, such as a pipe filled with a fluid Like molten salt. Once the fluid’s temperature has been raised to hundreds of degrees, it can be used to boil water and produce steam for a conventional generator. With the other approach, called photovoltaics, a semiconductor (typically silicon) absorbs the photons streaming from the sun and reacts by giving off a flow of electrons, or electricity.
There are a number of players in this field, however with more than 250,000 installations in 110 countries, Carmanah is a leading integrator of renewable and energy-efficient technologies. Worldwide, the company is proving that there are socially-responsible and economically-viable alternatives available for its customers.
Carmanah `CMH: TSX` through a growing portfolio of proprietary technologies, as well as partnerships with many of the world’s leading component suppliers, Carmanah Technologies Corporation is a leading integrator of renewable and energy-efficient technology solutions. The company is currently focused on three technology groups; solar-powered LED Lighting, solar power systems (off grid and grid tie), and LED illuminated signage.
The company headquarters and primary manufacturing facilities are in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It also operates an additional manufacturing facility in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as well as regional sales and customer support offices in Canada, the United States, and England. Since 1998, Carmanah has maintained an average annual growth rate of 69% and has also maintained an annual gross margin of 50% or more.
Carmanah’s Solar LED Lighting Group produces unique Lighting products and can operate almost anywhere in the world. They also meet or exceed reliability and maintenance criteria developed for traditional lights connected to an electrical power grid. The solar-powered LED lights are suitable for a variety of applications including marine, aviation, roadway, transit, and industrial worksites. Some of the customer benefits are simple installation, lower capital costs, zero energy costs, and no maintenance or servicing.
The solar-powered LED lighting and illumination products incorporate the company’s patented MICROSOURCE™ Energy Management System (EMS), which has been developed and refined over more than a decade. The MICROSOURCE™ EMS products differ from those of the competitors’ as the company offers high output performance and extreme reliability in a compact form.
Carmanah’s Solar Power Systems Group offers a full range of renewable energy equipment and systems for any size of project. Created through the acquisition of Soltek Powersource Ltd. in 2005, the power systems group has more than 20 years experience in remote solar power systems design and technical expertise. It currently supplies approximately 60% of all solar power systems in Canada and is experiencing substantial growth throughout North America.
Through the increasing interest in environmentally-friendly power and the growing number of government support and rebate programs, grid-tie solar is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors within the solar industry.
Carmanah’s LED Sign Group was created through the acquisition of AVVA Light Corporation in 2003. Since 1993, this group has been creating energy-efficient LED illuminated signs for corporate identity point-of-purchase sales, architectural, and gaming applications. The signs offer superior illumination characteristics over neon or fluorescent lighting alternatives, as well as long life, zero maintenance, and up to 90% less energy consumption. Each sign is created using state-of-the-art manufacturing and production procedures, as well as proprietary techniques developed through the company’s experience in the industry. The LED Sign Group currently has more than 50,000 signs installed throughout North America and abroad. The company’s client list includes many of the most progressive and successful global corporations and brands in a variety of market segments.
The company’s products have been engineered to be extremely durable and reliable while installed nearly anywhere on Earth. They will survive extended exposure to the environment, extreme swings in ambient temperature from -40°F to 176°F (-40°C to +80°C), shock, heavy vibration, and UV degradation. Carmanah’s products feature a number of technical innovations and competitive advantages that distinguish them from another solar-powered lighting products, making the company one of the fastest growing renewable and energy-efficient technology manufacturers in the world.