The solar energy renewables segment includes photovoltaic panels, solar energy generation plants, solar water heating and cooling plants and thin film solar cell installations. Growth in the solar industry has been dominated by growth in the photovoltaic segment. The significant growth in photovoltaic installations over the past decades is mainly attributable to the decreases in cost of photovoltaic panels and favorable offtake structures (power purchase agreements, feed-in-tariffs and similar offtake arrangements), tax and emission credits, "green certificates" and many other similar incentive and subsidy regimes provided in many energy markets.
Photovoltaic (PV) panel installations are a relatively flexible solar generation technology. PV panels can be installed in arrays, both on-shore and off-shore (as floating units) in any many diverse climate regions. PV panels installations can occur on many different land-use types. The smallest-scale PV solar installations can occur on residential rooftops. Large-scale PV installations can occur on commercial and industrial rooftops, above parking lots, on open lands and and in roadway and railway corridors and on airport and port properties. There are many medium-scale applications of PV panels in between.
Solar energy generation plants make use of concentrated solar energy to generate steam and run an electrical turbine (much the same way a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant functions). There are several different sole power plant designs. There are various solar power plant designs available. One design involves the installation of parabolic-shaped arrays of mirrors or a large dish-shaped mirror, which can be adjusted to reflect the sun rays on a receiver pipe containing oil or a receiver tower containing molten salt. On sunny days, the oil in the receiver pipe or the molten salt tower will reach high temperatures sufficient to boil water, generate steam and run the electrical turbine. One advantage of molten salt tower design is that the molten salt, once heated has favorable heat retention properties. Therefore, solar heat can be stored for a number of days and even on subsequent overcast days, the hot molten salt can still be used to generate steam and therefore electricity. Therefore, molten salt towers offer a proven, utility scale application of energy storage (the other feasible energy storage technology being pumped storage hydroelectrical plants). However, solar energy generation plants have the disadvantages that they require both large contiguous large tracts and very sunny climates (such as a desert climate) in order to be commercially viable. Therefore, solar power plants are most applicable in desert environments. Most of the world's major energy markets are not situated in or near desert environments.
Solar water heating and cooling plants can be installed at many different scales and in many different climates and environments. At the smallest scale, rooftop water heaters (panels, pipes or tanks) can be installed on residential rooftops used for home water heating and soon, through applying residential scale absorption chiller technologies, could be used for home cooling (air conditioning). Solar water heating can be scaled to commercial and residential building applications, for industrial processes and used as a primary or supplemental energy source for district heating and/or district cooling plants.
Thin film solar cell technology is an emerging solar technology, which make use of layers of ultra-thin solar semiconductor material (only a few micrometers thick). This new technology can be applied to building materials, such as roofing tiles and shingles, building exterior panels and painted surfaces and potentially on exterior walkway and road surfaces. While there are several companies promoting commercial applications of thin film solar, it has yet to emerge as a proven and commercially viable technology.
Our advisory services can help our clients align the capabilities of the counterparty's capital and "know-how", efficiencies, life-cycle operational and maintenance discipline, and management resources with the public sector objectives of most efficiently providing and ensuring safe, reliable, and efficient electricity generation to citizens and business users at affordable prices (energy tariffs, fees and taxes). We can also assist our clients in identifying and procuring suitable vendors, technology and service providers in the solar renewable energy segment. Our experts have significant experience and competence in delivering solar assets under various development, financing, operating and ownership models, including Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC), Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM), Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO), Design-Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (DBOOT), and similar variations. We also have significant experience advising on Public-Private Partnership (P3), privatization and M&A transactions within the energy and utilities sector. Our broad and global experience includes all forms of P3 models, under regulated or deregulated tariff regimes, offtake agreements (such as various forms of PPAs and CfDs and similar contractual agreements), availability payment, as well as stock/share, trade and asset sales/acquisitions and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) with respect to energy and utilities companies and assets.
Within the solar energy segment, DCS experts maintain relationships with related project consultants and participants including: both international and local legal advisors; technical, engineering and environmental/social advisors, economic/market consultants; contractors, vendors and technology providers; strategic and financial equity sponsors; lenders (including commercial lenders, international/development financial institutions (IFIs/DFIs), Export Credit Agencies and Export-Import Banks (ECA/Ex-IMs), institutional lenders, bond funds and investment banks) and credit rating agencies (if necessary). We are always prepared and highly experienced in taking on a lead transaction advisory or project/program management role where we coordinate and manage (in some cases, procure and retain via subcontract) various technical, legal and other consultants required for the project. On behalf of our clients we are prepared and accustomed to leading and concluding negotiations with governmental/public sector or equity sponsors, contractors and venders, lenders, rating agencies and regulators, on behalf of our clients, as may be relevant for a given client project.
In many client cases, there may also be a significant nexus between generation projects, assets and businesses and other sectors that we specialize in, such as infrastructure (roadway, railway, transmission corridors, airports, ports and parking lots); energy & utilities (complimentary wave & tidal and wind energies and transmission, distribution, sales and supply and trading); real estate (urban and rural/agricultural solar installations); and, industrials (E&C, heavy industries). We are prepared to bring our complementary expertise in these other relevant sectors to our generation sector clients, as their specific client project may benefit.
Please click on the below links to learn more about the specific services related to the solar renewable energy segment that DCS experts can offer:
DCS focuses on providing the above services in the solar renewable segment to the following categories of clients: