Currently in 2006, 30% of the world's supply of polysilicon is being used for production of renewable electricity solar power panels. Silicon, one of the most common elements on the planet, is the basic component of polysilicon. With investment in polysilicon production plants the future expansion of a cost effective solar electricity supply (the ultimate renewable resource) will be possible.
Major polysilicon manufacturers include Hemlock Semiconductor, Wacker Chemie, REC, Tokuyama, MEMC, Mitsubishi (Japan and America) and Sumitomo-Titanium, as well as several small sites in China and CIS. The first 7 companies cover over 75% of the worldwide production capacity of polysilicon (2006).
Tighter lending is bad news for the solar industry, an industry that has been burning through cash to expand capacity.
There are about 50 polysilicon plants waiting to be constructed worldwide, and they are all competing for financing. The polysilicon shortage will continue to choke the growth of solar unless these plants are constructed as soon as possible.
Watching the polysilicon market is more important than credit numbers, So I would guess that a solar powered laptop running Microsoft Windows is possible, but Mr. Bill Gates, Mr. Warren Buffett, and Mr President of the United States, it will need polysilicon!
For those whom claim there are no green collar jobs, no means to "grow" jobs in the United States, there will be a point where energy costs to produce polysilicon and transportation costs to deliver it, will be more critical than the labor and initial capital to produce it.
The United States should have a national security policy targeting the production of polysilicon as a vital national interest.