Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wait a Year before buying Solar Cells


It may Be prudent
to hold-off buying
Solar Cells for a Year or so!

The costs of installations in solar electricity are poised for major and rapid reductions in costs that will place it as a mainstream power option in the next few years. This statement was made by the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Prometheus Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Production of solar photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight directly into carbon free electricity, has risen sixfold since 2000 and grew by over 40% in 2006.

Power grid-connected solar installations produce less than 1% of the world's electricity. Solar electricity capacity increased nearly 50% in 2006, to 5,000 megawatts, carried mainly by markets in Germany and Japan. Spain is likely to join the race in 2007, and the United States soon after.

The photovoltaic cell market growth, while impressive, was held back by shortages in manufacturing capacity for purified polysilicon. The same material that goes into semiconductor chips. But the situation will see massive changes in the next two years as more than a dozen companies in Europe, China, Japan, and the United States bring on unprecedented levels of production capacity.

In 2006, for the first time, more than half the world's polysilicon was used to produce solar PV cells.

Advances in design along with a vastly increased polysilicon supply will bring costs down rapidly and by more than 40% in the next three years, according to Prometheus estimates.


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