100GW of commodity PV

Published: December 1, 2011

By Alfonso Velosa, Research Director, Gartner, Tucson

The PV industry stands on the verge of an enormous achievement – an installed base of PV plants with 100GW of energy generation capability. This milestone has come about because of the contributions of a fully global industry that has blossomed in the past decade. Yet even though the PV industry traces its heritage to before the space programme, as with any dynamically growing industry most industry members have joined in the past five years. And each generation often makes the same mistakes that a previous generation made. Sometimes the same people move from one industry to another and repeat the same mistakes there. The PV industry is rediscovering ultra-competitive market dynamics that have previously been seen in other high-technology commodity markets. This paper begins with a discussion of one such market – the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) industry – and then looks at the current PV market and the industry outlook.

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