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US to break record number of solar panel installations in 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: solar panels, USA, health news

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(NaturalNews) Solar technology has made tremendous advances in recent years, which has in turn prompted significant growth in commercial and residential photovoltaic (PV) panel installations. And for the first time in history, the US solar panel market will exceed one gigawatt (GW) in new PV energy production during a single year, according to recent report by Greentech Media.

In 2010, the US reached 887 megawatts (MW) in new PV panel installations. But that rate is expected to more than double by the end of 2011. Forecasts project that a whopping 1.8 GW in new PV panel installations will have taken place by the start of 2012 -- and by the end of 2012, that amount is expected to more than double again, topping four GW of new PV installations.

"On the whole, the US is currently the PV industry's most attractive and stable growth market," said Shayle Kann, Managing Director of Solar at GTM Research, which publishes the quarterly Solar Market Insight Report that unveiled the new data.

"This is reflected in our report's quarterly market data and in the comments from global suppliers, distributors, and developers, all of who see the US positioned to nearly double its global market share in 2011 and support a greater diversity of installation types than has previously been seen in any leading demand center."

Germany and Italy are currently the world leaders in solar energy production, but the US is quickly shaping up to earn a spot in this top tier of alternative energy-producing countries as well. And with advances being made to reduce overall production and maintenance costs of PV cells, more homeowners than ever will be able to afford them.

Back in 2010, for instance, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) developed a new type of PV solar panel that performs at roughly 90 percent quantum efficiency. And because the technology uses only two percent semiconductors (the most expensive aspect of solar panels) and 98 percent plastic, the new panels are set to cost far less than those currently on the market (https://www.naturalnews.com/028691_solar_cell...).

Also in 2010, scientists from the University of Southern California developed flexible, "organic" solar cells that cost less to produce than traditional solar cells, and that can be used in a wider variety of applications thanks to their pliable design (https://www.naturalnews.com/029347_organic_so...).

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