The book

About the book

Well before the end of this century, solar will be the world’s dominant energy source. This book, published by Wiley-IEEE, looks at the pioneering years of terrestrial PV from its inception following the 'oil shock' of 1973 to the end of the last millennium.

It shows how the PV business grew - often in the face of overwhelming scepticism or apathy. It isn't  a textbook; there's more about Berman than Becquerel, Ovshinsky than Czochralski! It is complementary to, but distinctive from, excellent books by John Perlin, Wolfgang Palz, Peter Varadi and others. This book focuses less on the chronology; more on the people, achievements, events and organisations - and the excitement of being part of something new and important. The contents page is shown here, and the full index is here.

Who will read it? The book will initially be of most interest to the hundreds of thousands of people active in the sector, and those who support, equip and finance them. But when PV really is the leading energy source, other enquiring minds may also want to know where it all came from.

Also by Philip Wolfe:

Solar Photovoltaic Projects in the Mainstream Power Market

Published by Routledge


When I fell acidentally into the PV industry in the early 1970's, only a few dozen people were involved. Some, sadly, are no longer with us.

Some of the hundreds of thousands now engaged in the sector may want to know how, why and where it all started ....