Sun above the Horizon

sun above the horizonSUN ABOVE THE HORIZON - Meteoric Rise of the Solar Industry

"The meteoric rise of the photovoltaic (PV) industry is an incredible story. In 2013, Google’s investments in PV systems totaled about half a billion dollars, and Warren Buffet, one of the famous investors, invested US$ 2.5 billion in the world’s largest PV system in California. These gigantic investments by major financial players were made only 40 years after the first two terrestrial PV companies, Solarex and Solar Power Corporation, were formed in the USA. Back in 1973, the two companies employed 20 people and produced only 500 w of PV power. Now, just 40 years later, over a million people work in the PV industry. The worldwide capacity of operating PV electric generators equals the capacity of about 25 nuclear power plants. The PV industry is growing at an annual rate of 30%, equivalent to about five new nuclear power plants per year. Today, solar electricity is a significant supplier of electricity needs, to the extent that PV is forcing the restructuring of 100-year-old electric power utilities. This book describes how this happened and what lies ahead for PV power generation."

  • Presents what is missing from other books on solar energy, i.e., the 40-year history of the terrestrial during which an expensive technical curiosity without any market at that time was converted into a mass-manufactured product
  • An interesting narrative of the history and development of solar energy, which became a significant supplier of the World’s electricity needs, to the extent that it has forced the restructuring of 100-year-old electric power utilities
  • Describes how 40 years ago the terrestrial PV industry was started and how it developed the needed technology and market to be able to compete today with conventional electricity-generating systems
  • Written for the newbie as well as the expert in the field


About the Author

Peter F. Varadi, after a scientific carrier, was appointed head of Communication Satellite Corporation’s chemistry department in the USA in 1968. In 1973, he co-founded Solarex Corporation, USA, to develop the utilization of solar cells for terrestrial applications. By 1983, Solarex had become the largest solar cell manufacturer in the world, with factories in four continents, when it was sold to Amoco. Dr. Varadi continued consulting for Solarex for 10 years and then for the European Commission, World Bank, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and other organizations. In recognition of his lifelong service to the global PV industry, he received in 2004 the European Photovoltaic Industry Association’s John Bonda prize.

by Peter F. Varadi
Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 2014
Print ISBN: 9789814463805
eBook ISBN: 9789814463812

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