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Solar Energy

Included in the Report:

  1. Executive summary and forecast of solar PV market conditions
  2. A review of the PV industry’s context and landscape
  3. Assessment of current and potential technology challenges to mainstream wafer-based solar cells
  4. How different technologies fit into different solar market segments
  5. Marketshare forecast: thin-film PV vs. wafer-based cells
  6. A look at the changing role of government incentive programs in driving demand for solar PV systems
  7. Country-by-country end demand forecast for top markets
  8. Ranking of the top solar PV device suppliers
  9. Summaries of top PV suppliers’ technology, strategy, and growth plans
  10. Changing priorities: PV industry’s push to thinner wafers and other silivon-saving strategies re-evaluated as the price of silicon plunges
  11. Capital spending forecast for solar cell industry
  12. Assessment and consequences of the critical change in conditions taking place in the polysilicon market
  13. Semiconductor content of typical solar PV systems
  14. Market forecast for semiconductors used in solar-energy systems – a small but rapidly growing segment


It’s only been a blink of an eye since the solar PV industry was living off the chip industry’s table scraps repurposing left-over wafers and melting down the cut-off ends of silicon ingots to make solar cells. Now the solar industry consumes more high-purity polysilicon than the semiconductor industry and is rapidly pulling away as it grows by leaps and bounds. Solar cells are in fact oversized photodiodes, often included with other semiconductor devices in technology classification trees.

But the solar PV industry is different, primarily because it is from the outset an upstart challenger in one of the world’s largest commodity markets, the market for electrical power production. It is a potential energy game-changer, switching the emphasis from building big power plants to building big plants that manufacture the elements of distributed power generation. The technology and manufacturing innovations used in solar are related to those of the IC industry—but they are also profoundly different—in ways that chip-industry veterans need to understand clearly as they contemplate the possibilities, opportunities, and potential pitfalls of the burgeoning solar industry.

In its new Solar Energy: Growth Opportunities for the Semiconductor Industry report, IC Insights explores and analyzes this important growth market for the first time with an eye to the interests of participants of the semiconductor industry in gaining a clear understanding of solar technologies and markets and finding ways to exploit existing and upcoming opportunities.