Evaluating the potential of solar technologies

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Solar power is gaining ground as a viable, low-carbon alternative to traditional energy sources. A number of technologies are competing to be the lowest-cost and the most efficient choice: photovoltaics (including silicon-wafer based and thin film) and concentrated solar thermal (CST) power both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the application; other technologies are still in the nascent stages of development. The economics of the solar-power market will likely improve, McKinsey analysis shows, benefiting from ongoing innovations and cost reductions.

The future course of the solar market will depend greatly on which technologies take center stage. This interactive offers a look at the different players and an assessment of their prospects.