The right has had a field day, or several, lambasting the Obama administration over the bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, but this was just one event in a decade of mostly good news for the industry. The rising costs of fossil fuels, both in monetary and environmental terms, have driven global demand for solar power, and falling silicon prices have made the production of solar panels much more economically viable. As IBIS notes, “Without assistance, solar power generation firms would have little chance against entrenched, traditional fuel sources,” but government support in many parts of the world remains strong. And backers of solar power are in it for the long haul, in the hope that this renewable and environmentally-friendly source of energy will play an increasingly large role in powering the world economy.
Average annual growth 2002-2012: 32.3%
Projected annual growth 2012-2017: 8.2%