The same brute force economics of the conventional semiconductor industry, which have made silicon the dominant material, have taken over the solar industry as crystalline silicon (x-Si) device manufacturers iron out fractions of a cent in cost. This has endangered manufacturers of pioneering thin-film technologies – including thin-film silicon (TF-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). The success or failure of broad technology classes, as well as their developers, will depend critically upon achieving significant cost reductions and critical installation volumes in the coming months.
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