A turning point for silicon?
The U.K.’s Times Online has an interesting story marking a milestone in the solar industry. For the first time the solar industry’s demand for silicon has outstripped demand from the semiconductor industry. Citing Solar Buzz, the story said refined silicon for solar applications reached 23,102 metric tonnes this year, up 12 per cent from the previous year. “It is the first time that annual volumes have exceeded those for manufacturers of semiconductors used in computers and other electronic equipment, which are expected to reach about 22,882 tonnes this year, up slightly from 22,086 last year,” according to Times Online.
Meanwhile, a new survey from the U.S. National Venture Capital Association found that investment dollars directed toward clean technologies, such as solar, are expected to grow in 2008. But funding for semiconductor-related ventures is expected to decline. This, and the silicon milestone, only supports the suggestion that the clean technology market is going nowhere but up.