A truism: all industries have been hit by the economic downturn. Coupling global recession with the steep drop in oil prices, the nascent solar industry recoiled as well. As I wrote about here
, the alternative energy industries are a new growth opportunity for the semiconductor industry, represent ing sector growth for various components and new end products (not to mention materials, equipment, and knowledge from the semi industry).
While the solar industry writ large was suffering pre-2009 US Stimulus Bill, during 4Q08, polysilicon manufacturers for both solar and chips experienced "a 7 percent growth from the previous quarter."
What does this tell us? Well, most importantly it is another positive signal that shipments are trending up and that solar IS going to be the important driver that we thought it would be.