Solar Power for the World: What You Wanted to Know about Photovoltaics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Solar Power for the World

What You Wanted to Know about Photovoltaics, 1st Edition

Edited by Wolfgang Palz

Jenny Stanford Publishing

800 pages | 268 Color Illus. | 68 B/W Illus.

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The book describes the industrial revolution associated with the implementation of electric power generation by photovoltaics (PV). The book’s editor and contributing authors are among the leading pioneers in PV from its industrial birth in 1954 all the way up to the stormy developments during the first decade of the new century. The book describes the dramatic events in industry between 2009 and 2013 and puts all this into perspective. It concludes that solar power is yet to strengthen its role in technology and in mainstream of the world’s economy.


"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. The book is the inspiration of its editor, Prof. Wolfgang Palz, himself a true solar pioneer. In the opening chapters, Prof. Walz 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 the many unique applications of PV technologies, the many scientists working to develop and market these technologies, and the key milestones in the history of this technology. This book is must reading for all who are working in the photovoltaic field and for all who are curious about the major role this technology is coming to play in our renewable energy future."

Dave Renne, 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 multi-billion dollar industry it is now and helped develop solar to become a mainstream power source. Without the policy contributions from people like Hermann Scheer and the extension of the technologies to take in transport and storage the vision of towards 100 percent renewables for future power could not even be envisaged. This book is a great reference on 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."

Monica Oliphant, Research Scientist, Specialising in Renewable Energy and Residential End Use Efficiency

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Hymn to the Sun

Introduction to Solar Power for theWorld



1 The Rising Sun in a Developing World

Wolfgang Palz

1.1 Electric Power, a Pillar of Modern Society

1.1.1 Electricity in Today’s Life

1.1.2 The ConventionalWorld of Electricity

1.1.3 Solar PV: A Part of the New Semiconductor


1.2 Looking Back to Light the Future

1.2.1 The Emergence of Electricity

1.2.2 From the "Voltaic Pile" to the Photovoltaic Cell

1.2.3 Photovoltaic Power: The First Steps

1.3 Solar Power for Space Satellites

1.4 First Ideas about Lighting with Solar Power

1.4.1 Mutations of the Societies in the US and Europe

1.4.2 A New Awareness for Solar Power

1.4.3 The Oil-Price Shocks and the Nuclear Disaster

of 1986

1.5 After the Vision: A Mountain of Challenges

1.5.1 PV in the Starting Blocks in 1973

1.5.2 The Cost Problem: Technological Challenges

1.5.3 The Chicken and Egg Problem: Mass


1.5.4 Entrenched Energy Strategies and Politics

1.5.5 Against Dominant Allocations of State Budgets

1.5.6 Administrations

1.5.7 Energy Pay-Back Time and Module Lifetime

1.5.8 Intermittency of Supply

1.5.9 Environmental Challenges

1.6 Leadership

1.6.1 The Pioneering Role of the US

1.6.2 France: A European Solar Pioneer

1.6.3 PV Start-Up in Germany

1.6.4 PV Ups and Downs in Japan

1.6.5 UNESCO

1.6.6 The European Union

1.6.7 The G8

1.6.8 The Energy Empire Fights Back

2 Solar Power for the World

Wolfgang Palz

2.1 Basics for a New Solar Age

2.1.1 The Ethical Imperative of Photovoltaics

2.1.2 Cost and Social Acceptance: Ingredients for a

Viable Energy Strategy

2.1.3 PV as Part of a Holistic Approach towards

Renewable Energy Implementation and Energy


2.1.4 What about the Power Plants on the Road? Car drivers and their power plants Mobilising PV for transport

2.2 Driving Forces

2.2.1 Aspirations of the People

2.2.2 Preserving Nature and Alleviating Climate


2.2.3 Peak Oil

2.2.4 Energy Security of Supply

2.3 The Role of Stakeholders in Society

2.3.1 Governments and Administrations

2.3.2 Industry and Finance

2.3.3 PV Costs and Benefits for Society: A Special

Role for the Grid Operators

2.4 A New Energy Paradigm

2.4.1 Centralised or Decentralised PV

2.4.2 What Role Can Conventional Power Utilities


2.4.3 Communities and Regions Mastering Their

Own Energy Supply

2.4.4 The Autonomous Energy House: Solar

Architecture and the Building Industry

2.5 Power for the People

2.5.1 Starting a Global Strategy: 10Watts per Head

2.5.2 PV for the People in the IndustrialisedWorld

2.5.3 PV for the People in the Solar Belt

2.6 Power for the Poor

2.6.1 Getting Involved

2.6.2 PV Power for the Poor in the Developing


2.6.3 Power for the Poor in the Industrialised


2.7 Power for Peace

3 PV Today and Forever

Wolfgang Palz

3.1 Solar Power 2009–10: AWealth of Achievements

3.1.1 The Global PV Markets 2009–10

3.1.2 Political, Financial, and Industrial Environment

3.1.3 The Technology Boom Goes On

3.2 Outlook

3.2.1 On the Threshold of Commercial Viability

3.2.2 Outlook towards 2020

3.2.3 PV as Part of a 100 Percent Renewable Energy


3.3 Conclusions


4 EarlyWork on Photovoltaic Devices at the Bell Telephone


Morton B. Prince

5 Terrestrial Photovoltaic Industry: The Beginning

Peter F. Varadi

6 Bringing the Oil Industry into the Picture

Karl Wolfgang B¨oer

7 The Story of SunPower

Richard M. Swanson

7.1 Introduction

7.2 The Beginnings of Terrestrial PV

7.3 My Early Years

7.4 Formation of SunPower

7.5 Concentrators

7.6 Race Cars

7.7 Optical Detectors

7.8 The PV Business Takes Off

7.9 Airplanes

7.10 Project Mercury

7.11 A New Plan

7.12 Cypress

7.13 Goodbye Concentrators

7.14 Becoming a Manufacturer

7.15 Polarization

7.16 IPO

7.17 PowerLight

7.18 Epilog

8 History of Technologies, Development for Solar Silicon Cost


Frederick Schmid

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Development of HEM and FAST for Reducing the

Cost of SiliconWafers

8.3 FAST Development

8.4 Development of Technology for Reducing Silicon


8.5 Summary

9 Solar Cell Development Work at COMSAT Laboratories


Denis J. Curtin

10 The IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference

Americo F. (Moe) Forestieri

10.1 Brief History of the US IEEE PVSC and the William

R. Cherry Committee

10.2 8th PVSC: The 1970 PVSC in Seattle,Washington,

by Joseph Loferski

10.3 12th PVSC: 1976 Baton Rouge, Louisiana,

by Americo Forestieri


11 Initiating a Solar Revolution in Germany

Hermann Scheer

12 My Solar Age Started with Tchernobyl

Franz Alt

12.1 Solar Policy Is Social Policy

13 Will This Work? Is It Realistic? Thoughts and Acts of a

Political Practitioner with a Solar Vision

Hans-Josef Fell

13.1 MyWay of Solar Thinking

13.2 Being Called a Solar Do-Gooder and Unrealistic


13.3 Some Important Steps of My Life Illustrate the

Persistence of My SolarWay

13.4 And How Is It Today?

14 The Role of Research Institutes for the Promotion of PV:

The Case of Fraunhofer ISE (Institute of Solar Energy


Adolf Goetzberger

15 PV in Berlin—How it All Began: The Story of Solon, Q-Cells.

PV in Brazil

Stefan Krauter

16 The Kick-Off PV Programme in Germany: The One

Thousand PV Roofs Programme

Walter Sandtner

17 The Story of Developing Solar Glass Fac¸ades

Joachim Benemann

18 PV in Europe, from 1974 to 2009: A Personal Experience

Helmut Kiess

18.1 Insight Period: 1974–1988

18.2 Innovation Period during the Decade 1988–1998

18.2.1 State of the Art in 1988: Some Details

18.2.2 The Decade between 1988 and 1998

18.2.3 State of the Art in 1998: Some Details

18.3 Innovation and Industrial Production during the

Decade between 1998 and 2008

18.3.1 State of the Art in 2008: Some Details

18.4 Epilogue

19 France Did NotWant to Look for the Sun

Alain Li´ebard and Yves-Bruno Civel

20 More Electricity for Less CO2

Yves Bamberger

20.1 Electric Eco-Efficient End-Uses

20.2 Achieving an Ever Lower-Carbon Electricity Mix

with Nuclear and Renewables

20.3 Networks: A Tool for Pooling Production and

Integrating Renewable Energies

20.4 Carbon-Free Electric Mix as an Opportunity to

Develop New Industrial Facilities

21 The History of Renewable Energies in the Canary Islands,

Especially in Tenerife

Ricardo Melchior and Manuel Cendagorta

22 WhyWas Switzerland Front-Runner for PV in the 90s but

Lost the Leadership after 2000?

Thomas Nordmann

23 Solar Power in Geneva, Switzerland

Philippe Verburgh

23.1 A First-Class Solar Potential

23.2 The "5 MW Solar" Project and the "SIG Vitale


23.3 A Sunny Future for Geneva

24 The PV World Conference in Vienna

Wolfgang Hein

25 Abandoning Nuclear in Favor of Renewable Energies: The

Life Story of Giuliano Grassi—Florence, Italy

Giuliano Grassi

25.1 First Period: Beginning of My Professional Activity

as Engineer

25.2 Second Period: Transition from Electro-Mechanical

to Nuclear Activity

25.3 Third Period: Renewable Energies

25.4 Concluding Remarks


26 PV in Japan: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 417

Osamui Ikki and Izumi Kaizuka

26.1 History

26.2 Current Status of PV in Japan

26.3 New Support Framework for PV

26.4 Conclusion

27 Leaders of the Early Days of the Chinese Solar Industry

Qin Haiyan

27.1 Turning a Dream into a Reality: The Story of

Huang Ming

27.2 The Richest Man in China: The Story of Shi


27.3 Internationalization and a Traditional Chinese Soul:

The Story of Miao Liansheng

27.4 Development Led by Technology: The Story of

Gao Jifan

28 Review of China’s Solar PV Industry in 2009

Gao Hu

29 Lighting theWorld: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Biswajit Ghosh

29.1 Light and Energy

29.2 Path toward Initiatives on PV Research

29.3 PV in India and International Scientific


29.4 Lighting the Remote

29.5 Views of the Author


30 Photovoltaics in the World Bank Group Portfolio

Anil Cabraal

30.1 World Bank Group Photovoltaics Projects

30.2 Business Models for Off-Grid Service

30.3 Key Lessons of Experience

30.4 Guidelines for Designing Sustainable Off-Grid


30.5 Future Support for Photovoltaics

31 Illiterate Rural Grandmothers Solar-Electrifying Their Own


Bunker Roy

31.1 Ground-Breaking Innovation in the Field of


31.2 Sustainable Development: Now and in the Future

31.3 Innovation and Its Practical Application

31.4 Demystifying of 21st Century Technology in

19th Century Conditions—Management, Control

and Ownership in the Hands of the Rural Poor

around theWorld

31.5 Present and Future Impact of Innovation: Number

of People Affected

31.5.1 Renewable Energy

31.5.2 Continent of Africa

31.5.3 Global Providing an answer to a major

challenge-tackling global climate

change from the community level

32 Early PV Markets and Solar Solutions in South Asia

Neville Williams

33 Photovoltaic Power Systems for Lifting Women Out of

Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

Dominique Campana

33.1 Solar Energy against the "Energy Poverty" Trap

33.2 In Conclusion

34 Promoting PV in Developing Countries

Bernard McNelis

34.1 Looking at Solar

34.2 Into PV

34.3 Into All Things Solar

34.4 Into Intermediate Technology

34.5 Into Africa

34.6 Global Solar Pumping Programme

34.7 IT Power

34.8 Mali

34.9 Dominican Republic

34.10 China

34.11 Robert Hill

34.12 EPIA

34.13 World Bank,Washington, Corruption

34.14 Other Countries, People, Institutions

34.15 Where DoWe Go from Here?


35 On the International Call for Photovoltaics of 2008

Daniel Lincot

36 AWorld Network for Solar R&D: ISES

Monica Oliphant

37 Three Steps to a Solar System: From 1% to 40% and 100%

Harry Lehmann

37.1 Equal Treatment

37.2 A Further Step: Coming Out of the Niche

37.3 Full Solar Supply or the "Great Transformation"

37.4 Scenarios: A Look into the Present and the


37.5 To Sum Up I Can Say: 100% Solar System Is


38 SolarBank

Michael T. Eckhart

38.1 Landmark Solar PV Study in 1978

38.2 Away from PV for 15 Years

38.3 Return to Solar PV in 1995

38.4 World Bank 1996–1998

38.5 India 1996–2001

38.6 South Africa 1997–2002

38.7 Europe 1997–2004

38.8 ACORE 2001–Present

38.9 Bonn 2004, WIREC 2008, and IRENA

38.10 SolarBank Looking Forward

39 Solar Power in Practice

Stefan Behling

40 AWorld in Blue

Bernd Melchior

40.1 From Butterflies to aWorld in "Blue": How Did This


40.2 New Treatment for Porous Materials to Conserve

Monuments Like the Dome of Cologne

40.3 Process Steps for a Treatment with the


40.4 Translucent Insulation Material

40.5 My Start into Photovoltaic

40.6 Changing DC Current into AC Current

40.7 Diffuse Light Concentrator

40.8 Tracking and Concentration Systems

40.9 The ADS Concept: Autonomous, Decentralized,


40.10 The Blue Mountain

40.11 ADS Robinson Club on Fuerteventura

40.12 First Bungalow in theWorld Realized in ADS:

"Casa Solar", Almunecar, Spain

40.13 Solar Powered Container: 3000 km Trip to 7th EU

Photovoltaic Solar Conference and Exhibition in

Seville, Spain, October 1986

40.14 A Solar Powered OrthopedicWorkshop Container

for a Hospital in Tanzania

40.15 Integration of Photovoltaic into Roofs: "Sunflate"

40.16 SUNCLAY + SUNERGY: A Two-Component

Photovoltaic System for the Harmonic, Aesthetic

and Flexible Integration into the Architecture of


40.17 Next Generation Photovoltaic

40.18 New Generation of Solar Clay Tiles

40.19 The Combination of Solar and Wind BSWT

41 Factory for Sale, or the Long and StonyWay to Cheap Solar

Energy: The Story of the Thin-Film CdTe Solar Cells; First

Solar and Others—A Semi-Autobiography

Dieter Bonnet

42 High Efficiency Photovoltaics for a SustainableWorld

Antonio Luque

42.1 Introduction

42.2 The 2008 Spanish Boom

42.3 A Market Forecast Model

42.4 The FULLSPECTRUM Project and the ISFOC

42.5 Summary

43 Nonconventional Sensitized Mesoscopic (Gr¨atzel) Solar


Michael Gr¨atzel

44 Solar Bicycles, Mercedes, Handcuffs—PlusEnergy Buildings

Gallus Cadonau

44.1 AWorldwide Unique Solar Decision: Tour de Sol

44.1.1 CO2-free Hotel Ucliva in the Swiss Alps:

1st Solarcar Race of theWorld

44.1.2 Tour de Sol 1985: Solar Bicycles and

Mercedes Benz

44.1.3 First Solarcar Driving Past an Atomic

Power Plant

44.1.4 Geneva—Final Stage of the 1st Tour de Sol

1985: The Power of the Sun

44.1.5 Tour de Sol 2 in 1986: Massachusetts

Institute of Technology in the Roadside


44.1.6 Welding and Sweating Instead of


44.1.7 Strong Solar Teams from Germany and the

Swiss School of Engineering Biel

44.1.8 Solar Cells for "Independency" or

Terrestrial PV Utilisation?

44.1.9 Tour 3 in 1987: Huge Interest and


44.1.10 Huge International Media Coverage

44.1.11 Tour Organisation and Its Regulations

44.1.12 Tour de Sol Protests and Appeals in Court?

44.1.13 Solar Mountain Race: Through 360 Curves

to Arosa/GR

44.2 World’s First Energy Feed-in System in


44.2.1 Tour de Sol in France: Solar Energy Instead

of Air Pollution

44.2.2 World’s First Energy Feed-in System in

Burgdorf/BE: "Grid Interconnection"

44.2.3 The Principles of Solar Energy Use: Best

Technology or Self-Sufficiency?

44.2.4 Tour de Sol 4 in 1988: PV Innovation and

Financing Are Getting Broader

44.2.5 PV on Land and onWater

44.2.6 Solar Energy Is Getting Increasingly

Popular Also for Groups and Managers

44.2.7 Safety, Recuperation and Road Capability in


44.2.8 Solar Power: A Friendly Alternative

44.2.9 Tour de Sol: "A Hotbed for Solar-Electric


44.2.10 Car Makers, What Have You Done in the


44.2.11 Tour de Sol and the International Solarcar

Federation (ISF)

44.2.12 Rail 2000 and Solarcars in Double-Deck


44.2.13 The Ideal SOLARCAR 2000: Emission-Free

Traffic Circulation in the 21st Century

44.3 The Solar Alternative in Road Traffic:World Solar


44.3.1 The Solar Alternative in Road Traffic Two hundred years after the

French Revolution: The Solar

Revolution (1989) California’s Clean Air Act,

Zero-Emission Vehicles, PV

Program for 1000 kW Roofs First alpine crossing with

solarcars: The Sun conquers the

Gotthard Pass in 1989 Solarcar: A danger for 150 pigs? Alpine tests at the 1st European

Championship of Alpine

Solarcars (ASEM) in 1989 Bea Vetterli’s solarcar in the

mountains: downhill with more

than 100 km/h St. Moritz: 1st ASEM finish and

1st electric light in Switzerland The British and St. Moritz:

Inventors of winter tourism Clean Energy St. Moritz: The

overall energy concept Last Tour de Sol in 1991 Solarcar world record: 148 km/h

at the ASEM 1995

44.3.2 World Solar Challenge in Australia and

the US FirstWorld Solar Challenge in

1987: 3005 km across Australia Japan’sWaterloo at the 1st WSC:

Detlef Schmitz Missed the Start The SecondWorld Solar

Challenge and its dangers in the

Australian desert The "GREATEST RACE on EARTH,

Creating a SOLUTION not

POLLUTION" International Solar High-Tech

Competition across Australia What technology and strategy

was responsible for the victory? "Spirit of Biel": 1.8 dl (Solar) fuel

for 100 km—55 times more

efficient Great suspense and an odd cup in

McLarens on the lake Detlef Schmitz: the friendly

"Suitcase Man" Detlef: veteran and

misadventurer at each WSC

1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999 World Solar Challenge 1993:

Japan invests millions in

solarcars Honda changes its strategy for

the WSC 1993 WSC and Sunrayce in the US and

other solar races in 1996

44.4 Solar Prize, Handcuffs and PlusEnergy Buildings

44.4.1 Swiss Solar Prize and Handcuffs Solar utilisation: from traffic to

building sector "Solar 91: for an energyindependent

Switzerland" First Solar Prize 1991 for world’s

biggest solar surface per

inhabitant Federal Councillor Adolf Ogi:

initiative, courage and solar

installations Handcuffs, excavators and solar

electricity Ren´e B¨ artschi: "most successful

Swiss governing councillor" Four times too much solar energy

and a winter bathe European Commission, US

Department of Energy and

Japanese Industry Best integrated solar

installations: without

overbuilding cultural land The solar mission of the Federal

Minister of Energy

44.4.2 Solar Energy on the Rise European PV Conference in

and popular initiative for solar

energy European Parliament: Swiss

Solar Prize—model for European

Solar Prize Bonn-Cologne-Brussels-

Amsterdam: more solar

electricity than in Australia Federal Chancellor Vranitzky

awards 1st European Solar Prize

in Vienna Chancellor Vranitzky: "Central

Europe free of nuclear power

plants" First European Solar Prize goes

to successful opponent of EDF City/Charter: implementation of

the goals of Rio on municipality

level Breakthrough in Parliament in

1997: one CHF billion for solar

energy Ucliva Agreement: first European

Shell Solar factory in Switzerland

44.4.3 Mephisto & Co against Solar Energy The wisdom of Arthur

Schopenhauer and solar energy J.W. Goethe and "a very good

dinner"—instead of solar energy Combat against renewable

energies Millions for deception of citizens Economic war against innovative

businesses Swiss economical functionaries:

best work for the Chinese

Communist Party Do authorities harass citizens

that are loyal to the constitution? Solar energy instead of

unconstitutional bureaucracy Constitutional right for solar

building permit: new law within

three months

44.4.4 Market-Based Compensation for

Renewable Energies Market-based compensation for

billions of fossil-nuclear

subsidies Prof. Dr. Ren´e Rhinow: best usage

of revenues for measures European Court of Justice 2001:

grid feed-in is not tax Democratic decision of the

electricity consumer on energy


44.4.5 Best Innovative Entrepreneurs for

Sustainable Economy Small- and medium-sized

entrepreneurs are the most

innovative Biogas—compo-gas: 1 kg of

banana peel = 1 km of car drive Solar house on the Federation

Square: built in 22 hours Swiss Solar Prize for first

PlusEnergy Building Shell’s solar factory in

Gelsenkirchen: "we want to earn

money" Lord Norman Foster on the 15th

Swiss Solar Prize 2005 PlusEnergy Buildings for Alpine

resort: 175% Self-Supply Energy-intensive industrial

PlusEnergy Building: 125%

self-supply Installed PV performance: world

leader in 1992—last in 2008 Sustainable economy: amateur

becomes world champion China could outrun all—

economically and ecologically

44.5 PEB Cover 75% ofWorld’s Energy Demand

44.5.1 From Solar Collectors to PlusEnergy

Buildings Conclusion of Tour de Sol, WSC as

well as Swiss and European Solar

Prize Energy efficiency: "Sine qua non"

of PlusEnergy Buildings PlusEnergy Buildings (PEB) with

a self-supply between 100% and

200% PV and refurbishment of a

6-family house: energy needs

reduced by 90% PV on PlusEnergy Buildings: the

level of building technology of

2010 PV and refurbishment of a

12-family house: energy needs

reduced by 93% Energy-intensive business

buildings as PlusEnergy


44.5.2 PV-PEB Cover 75% ofWorld’s Energy


44.5.3 Stanford: "Clearly, Enough Renewable

Energy Exists"

44.5.4 First European Award for PlusEnergy

Buildings of CHF(≈$) 100000


About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General