Published in full color, this book describes the industrial revolution associated with the implementation of electric power generation by photovoltaics (PV), the conversion of the Sun’s radiation. It also describes the dramatic events in the industry that happened between 2009 and 2013: hundreds of PV companies in difficulty and the trade war between the EU and China mobilising state leaders on both sides to avoid a serious conflict. The contributing authors are protagonists all over the world who brought PV from its industrial birth in 1954 all the way up to the stormy developments during the first decade of the new century.
Virtually non-existent at the beginning of this century, solar installations worldwide have reached over 100 GW in late 2012. Eventually, in 2012, PV became cheap enough to provide decentralised power to all. In one single year, more solar power capacity was installed globally than nuclear and other types of conventional power. Investments reached hundreds of billions of US dollars, i.e. a multiple of the cost of “Apollo”, which was used to send men on the moon. Over half a million new PV jobs were created despite the financial crisis in the Western economies.
About the Editor:
Wolfgang Palz has been continuously involved in the development of global photovoltaics (PV) as a scientist and manager for more than 50 years. He is currently the promoter of auto-consumption of PV for providing worldwide access of cheap electricity to all. He has been the leader of PV development in France since the 1960s, when the country was the European leader in the field. As an official of the European Commission in Brussels, he was the manager of PV development in Europe for 20 years. He inspired and supported German initiatives to kick off PV markets, which led to a global explosion of PV investments since 2004. Besides his key role in the development of PV in Europe, Dr Palz is much connected to the United States, where he worked with NASA and is currently member of the leadership council of ACORE in Washington, DC. He is equally active in China, where he recently organised the Great-Wall Forum on Renewable Energies.
"Solar energy is the energy of the 21st century, and PV is the predominant conversion form of this gigantic resource. During the last century, PV has made it possible to supply electricity services to hundreds of millions of people who had no access to energy networks, providing health, water, education and economic development to developing countries’ rural populations. Today, PV’s dramatic progress in terms of cost and efficiency has allowed it to conquer the largest electric systems. The dream has become a reality in many countries owing to the tenacity of a visionary scientific community that has been working even before the first oil shock, joined some years later by innovative private industrial companies willing to anticipate the future. These companies, coming from developed and emerging countries, are now engaged in an extraordinary industrial competition. I am convinced that the winners of this competition will be the electricity consumers all over the world. PV electricity price drop will be reinforced while fossil and nuclear electricity is on the way to an irreversible inflation.
This book presents a comprehensive and exciting view of the history and future of one of the most fundamental scientific and industrial adventures that aims to provide electricity to billions of people, without the greenhouse gas effect and with a guarantee of economic prosperity."~Jean-Louis Bal, President, Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables, France
“The title says it. No less than 41 of the world’s top personalities, including Franz Alt, Karl W. Böer, Michael Eckart, Hans-Josef Fell, Adolf Goetzberger, Stefan Krauter and Hermann Scheer, to name just a few, contributed to this 774-page lavishly illustrated book. Well, the book is actually about the PV revolution: its visionaries, pioneers, early business adopters, detractors, opponents, success stories and worldwide lessons learnt. Wolfgang Palz’s introduction stresses the phenomenal technical, social and legislative changes that have taken place in the last few years, showing the linkages between the semiconductor world, LED, PV, communication, and democratisation of power generation. The life stories of the great global pioneers, written by themselves, make fascinating reading. In summary, a fascinating book, brimming with a wealth of material and presented in an entertaining way.”~Prof. Dieter Holm
“This book brings together a collection of lively, easy-to-read articles written by notable global leaders involved in the research and development of photovoltaic (PV) systems. It is the inspiration of its editor, Dr. Wolfgang Palz, himself a true solar pioneer. In the opening chapters, Dr. Palz provides the historical context and a future vision of the world of solar power. This is followed by a compilation of contributions from numerous experts who provide entertaining and thought-provoking perspectives on PV’s history and development, including the early days of research and the gradual and, more recent, explosive growth of the technology as a global clean energy source. There are abundant stories and anecdotes about many unique applications of PV technologies, many scientists working to develop and market these technologies, and the key milestones in the history of this technology. This book is a must-read for those who are working in the field of PV and are curious about the major role this technology plays in our renewable energy future.”~Dr. Dave Renné, President, International Solar Energy Society
“Solar Power for the World is quite a remarkable book as it details from many of the original pioneers the development of solar, and in particular PV, from its early beginnings to the current time. Initially photovoltaics was thought to be, by those outside of academic circles, just an interesting phenomenon of low efficiency and expensive and suitable only for use by space vehicles. However, the early visionaries laid the foundations for the multibillion-dollar industry it is now and helped develop solar to become a mainstream power source. Without the policy contributions from people such as Hermann Scheer and the extension of the technologies to take in transport and storage, the vision of moving toward 100% renewables for future power could not have been envisaged. This book is a great account of the transition of thought from research to widespread public use of solar and all the different insights necessary to make the shift to low-carbon energy. It is a very useful reference.”~Dr. Monica Oliphant, Former President, International Solar Energy Society