By Mark Thirsk, Managing Partner, Linx Consulting LLC
With growth in 2009 suffering from recession and an ongoing credit crunch, this paper presents a review of the key trends in cell and module manufacture for the crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV module market. The c-Si segment remains the largest segment, and is competing effectively with less mature thin-film technologies. PV is still a largely uneconomic way to generate power, and requires subsidy to maintain sales volume and growth. While subsidies exist, the industry treads the narrow path of growing at a healthy clip, developing robust technology and business models, and mapping paths to profitable business without subsidies once PV installations become economically viable.