The global photovoltaic market could hit the $10-billion mark by 2010, according to a new report by Allied Business Intelligence, Oyster Bay, N.Y.

ABI states that the industry has gotten the prices down far enough and the production quantities high enough so price is no longer a problem for manufacturers. Now, production capacity is the major issue. Worldwide production is expected to be 300MW per year in 2000 and 800MW by 2005. Demand, however, may exceed 900MW by 2005 and approach 5GW per year by 2010.

The research firm also found that two technologies, organic dye stabilized titanium dioxide and polymer photovoltaics, might drop solar electricity to levels that are directly competitive with grid power.

"We are now seeing the benefits of industrialization of the photovoltaic manufacturing processes," said Michael Kujawa, director of energy research at ABI. "The markets were always there. It has only been recently that they could be developed."