Photovoltaics - entering new dimensions


By Matthias Fawer, Research Sarasin Sustainable Investment, Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd

Over the past two years the solar industry has shown itself to be incredibly resilient to general economic crisis. Supported by cost-cutting and efficiency improvements, the PV industry managed to achieve a growth rate of 120%, or 16.2GW, of newly installed capacity in 2010. Although individual companies are feeling the strong price and margin pressure and intensifying competition, the large, international and vertically-integrated companies are surviving. At least eight new PV markets with a potential annual capacity of 500MW are expected to be added over the next two years. The PV industry will therefore acquire the stability and political autonomy it needs to be able to grow unimpeded and to enter new dimensions. There might also be further tailwind for the PV industry from the catastrophic nuclear crisis in Japan.

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The 12th Edition was published in May 2011. Highlights from this edition include Conergy’s in-depth study of MES in PV facilities; University of Konstanz heralds the return of UMG-Si; RWTH Aachen University details the gettering options available for selective emitters; TU Delft presents an overview of breakage issues for silicon wafers and cells; and the University of Toledo outlines the benefits of RTSE in polarized light metroscopy.

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