"Solar power should become a mainstream energy choice in three or four years as companies raise output of a key ingredient used in solar panels and as China emerges as a producer of them, according to a report by an environmental research group.
"We are now seeing two major trends that will accelerate the growth of photovoltaics: the development of advanced technologies, and the emergence of China as a low-cost producer," Janet Sawin, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute and an author of report, said in a statement.
Investors have flocked to solar and other renewable energy sources amid worries about the high costs of oil and natural gas and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar is the fastest growing energy source, but still provides less than 1% of the world's electricity, in part because its power can cost homeowners twice as much as power from the grid.
But costs could fall 40% in the next few years as polysilicon becomes more available, Sawin said.
Last year, China passed the United States to become the world's third largest producer of solar panels, trailing only Germany and Japan.
"To say that Chinese PV producers plan to expand production rapidly in the year ahead would be an understatement," Travis Bradford, president of the Prometheus Institute, a Massachusetts-based group that promotes renewables, said in a release.
"They have raised billions from international IPOs to build capacity and increase scale with the goal of driving down costs," said Bradford, who helped write the report." more
One of these Chinese companies is Suntech
Suntech Starts Construction Thin Film
R&D and Manufacturing Plant
Xinhua-PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network
May 23, 2007
One of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, recently announced that it has begun construction on a thin film R&D and manufacturing facility in Caohejing Hi-tech Park in Shanghai, China. The first phase of the new plant is expected to begin operation in 2008 reaching 50MW of thin film solar cell production capacity in 2009.
Suntech's thin film module production will be based on technology that deposits amorphous and micro-crystalline silicon thin film on glass substrate. The product will use less than 2% of the silicon required to manufacture equivalent crystalline silicon PV products.
Suntech currently projects that the thin film modules will have a solar conversion efficiency of 6% to 9% and an initial production cost of approximately $1.20 per watt (based on 6% solar conversion efficiency), which is forecasted to continue to decline as both production scale and conversion efficiencies increase.
The thin film modules will be nearly 6 square meters in size, which would make the balance of system installation costs of Suntech's thin film solution significantly lower than other PV solutions. " more
Let me repeat, China passed the United States last year to become the world’s third largest producer of the cells—trailing only Germany and Japan.
The CEO of Suntech, Dr. Zhengrong Shi is active in Global Climate Change negotiations and is now one of the richest men in China as he brings solar energy into the mainstream of energy.
Meanwhile, the US continues to place their young ones
in front of bullets,
so the old ones can control the oil,
and reap the profits.
They will reap the Whirlwind instead.
Labels: advanced tech