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Photovoltaic industry 2009: a journey into uncertainty

Published: May 1, 2009

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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