13 Dec '11, 3pm

A Bad Year for Solar Energy

Some industry observers feel that municipal-scale solar panel based energy generation requires a major technological breakthrough in conversion efficiency before it can truly compete in the open energy market. This in turn will involve significant research into ways to improve panels — research that will likely require substantial resources and funding, especially if the new technology entails a radical overhaul to the existing manufacturing infrastructure to mass-produce panels. Without public funding, it’s hard to imagine many solar panel companies being able to absorb such costs for as long as it may take to develop and commercialize these improved technologies, especially when competing with cheap products produced in China. Yet thanks at least in part to the Solyndra episode, supporting this research at the taxpayer’s expense may be a politically unpopular proposition...

Full article: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/12/13/a-bad-year-...

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