Photovoltaic industry 2009: a journey into uncertainty


By Paula Mints, Associate Director, Navigant Consulting, Inc.

Despite over 30 years of unprofitability, being viewed as too expensive and in many cases, unattractive, the PV industry has also enjoyed over 30 years of strong growth. Though granted, in the past, this growth was often from a much smaller base than the gigawatt levels experienced today, it is still an impressive achievement. Table 1 provides a history of PV industry growth from 1978 to the present. The data in Table 1 is based on what was sold into the global market to the first point of sale, eliminating double shipment (sales) of technology.

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The fourth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in May 2009. It features an exclusive interview with First Solar’s Bruce Sohn on manufacturing and the future. SunPower also outlines the economic benefits of LCOE drivers in Power Generation and Fraunhofer IPA gives an overview of automation in the photovoltaic industry.

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