Imagine you were seriously into semiconductors long before the first PCs started rolling off the line. What an exciting time to be alive! To be in the thick of things! (Tracy Kidder’s 1981 classic account of this era, The Soul Of A New Machine, gives a taste of what it was like.)
Flash forward 30 years.
The once technological high wire act, where only a few visionaries working out of their garages (“Steven! It’s time for dinner!” “But, Mom, I’ve almost got the parallel inverter segmentation flow down to .0003 microflips!”) imagined the Brave New World they were about to unleash, has become a $120 billion dollar industry in the US alone.
Research and development are done on campuses, not garages. And Mom is more likely to be found working inside the system than calling others out of it for dinner.
Alas, the bloom is off the rose. (Which apparently caused the humiliated rose to seek immortality inside a mouse.)
In a corner of this same garden, the solar industry is just beginning to blossom. Renewable energy sources of all kinds generate the same excitement once found in semiconductors.
Consider: Global production of photovoltaic (PV) cells grew 85% in 2008 (source: Photon International).
Then consider: That’s without any serious and large-scale movement to solar in the US in 2008, a nation which holds the world’s largest market potential for solar energy.
A final piece of evidence proving that the excitement and potential growth of the solar industry is only now beginning to take off:
Game, set, match.
Interview, part 2
In part 2 of Fireitup’s interview, Advent Solar CEO Peter Green talks about the similarities between the early days of semiconductors and the solar industry today, and picks up the thread from Part 1 about the “perishable opportunity” facing states wanting to attract solar jobs.
Stay tuned for Part 3.
Then it’s back to The Big Decision; I’ll report on where things stand in selecting a solar panel installer.