From Clean Tech, Applied (the Applied Materials blog):
My unofficial 2010 Solar Predictions. Before we start, an author’s safe harbor statement: these predictions are necessarily forward-looking statements and, since the future can be temperamental, any prediction that does not exactly match can and will be graciously excused. With this out of the way, let’s take a look at some 2010 predictions for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar: End Market, Materials, Technology, Scale and Factory Automation.
Predict the big end market movers for 2010 to include Japan, China and the U.S. The recent Japan legislation targeted for zero-energy homes may triple solar installations from 2009. Given the inherent constraints in Japan’s market, it is expected that approximately 90% will be c-Si based solar. China’s continued domestic market emergence (with both rooftop and utility-scale incentives) and the recent U.S. EPA position on green-house gases has set the stage for quantum growth increases in these regions. China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest market for automobiles, the first time any other country has bought more vehicles than the U.S. (~13M vs. 10M). Just a few years ago, the predictions called for China to pass the U.S. in the year 2025, …surprise. Expect China to accelerate solar adoption and move more quickly than anticipated to offset this additional environmental load.
In general the large changes in these end markets are driven by legislation, though it should be pointed out that this is also due to our proximity to solar energy’s tipping point for grid parity. As a matter of fact, grid parity has already been achieved for peak power. With peak power exceeding 40c/kwh in some areas, the non-subsidized balanced cost of electricity (BCOE) has been reported to already be solidly below 20c/kwh. Recent prediction by Yingli has stated China will break the 1RMB/Kwh in 2010 (~13c/Kwh)....MORE