October 31, 2011


Solar Energy: Is It Becoming the New Normal? (Joseph Orovic, October 31, 2011, IB Times)

When Bell Labs developed the first functioning solar cell in the 1950s, the equipment was rather cumbersome, primitive and inefficient. It remained so for the better part of several decades. Innovations such as thin-film, a smaller, cheaper and quicker-to-produce technology, have changed the game. Big players who once stood on the sidelines have jumped in.

"The traditional solar electric technologies seem to be tapped out and most of the focus now is more towards commercializing and bringing the high efficiency cells to the commercial outlets," said Solar Market Analyst MJ Shiao of GTM Research, an alternative energy analysis firm.

The cost of producing electricity via solar technologies has fallen 60 to 70 percent over the last few years, according to Danielle Merfeld, a Solar Business Leader for General Electric (GE) Energy's Renewable Business. It has averaged an 18 percent drop in price for every doubling in capacity, she added.

The evolution to affordability has led to a boon in public and private investment. Last year, $211 billion worldwide was invested into renewable energies, according to the United Nations Environment Programme Global Trends Renewable Energy Investment 2011 report.

Posted by at October 31, 2011 7:09 AM

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