New Opportunities for Atkore Products With Growth of Alternative Energy Industry

According to a report recently issued by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), alternative energy is poised for significant growth.  That’s good news for Atkore, since we have several products that are used in this continuously-evolving industry, including conduits, fittings, metal framing, Liquid Tight Flexible Conduit, MC Cable, cable tray and Gatorshield® mechanical tubing

The IRENA report Letting in the Light: How Solar Photovoltaics Will Revolutionize the Electricity System was released at InterSolar Europe. It finds that the solar industry is poised for massive expansion, driven primarily by cost reductions of as much as fifty nine percent in the next ten years. The report states that “the share of global electricity generated by solar photovoltaics (PV) could increase from 2 percent today to as much as 13 percent by 2030”.   It estimates that solar PV capacity could reach between 1,760 and 2,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from 227 GW today.

According to IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, “World electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2030, mostly in developing and emerging economies.  To meet this demand while also realizing global development and sustainability goals, governments must implement policies that enable solar to achieve its full potential.”

The Atkore family of products can also be used in other alternative energy sources such as wind power.

The development of renewable energy product standards and installation codes well underway.  UL is actively involved in standards development and the National Electrical Code® (NEC), under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is working on new articles to the NEC.  For example, we recently obtained UL approvals for our metal framing products and Gatorshield® mechanical tubing which are now recognized as Classified Components per UL standard 2703 Mounting Systems for Solar Voltaic Modules and Panels. 

Four new articles related to the generation, distribution and utilization of electrical energy have been added to the 2017 NEC, which will be published later this year:  Article 691 Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Supply Systems, Article 706 Energy Storage Systems, Article 710 Stand-Alone Systems and Article 712 Direct-Current Microgrids.  The NEC already includes articles on Solar Photovoltaic Systems, Fuel Cells and Wind Electric.

As the industry grows, we expect to see expanded use of our products to provide conductors and systems with protection from physical damage and support for PV array, wind generation and alternative energy storage.  The Atkore product portfolio fits perfectly into the projected growth path for this sector of Electrical Generation and Distribution.