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GE to Manufacture More Efficient and Less Expensive Solar Panels

By Alandsteveaustin Subscribe to RSS | January 23rd 2012 | Views:
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The idea of using the ample solar power to generate electricity is not a novel one. Many individuals, located in places with plenty of sunshine, have tapped this renewable source for providing electricity for running both industrial and consumer products. Taking into consideration the escalating costs of conventional energy, a greater number of homes are turning in the direction of solar energy for their needs. And it also gets better, as continuing research has increased hopes that solar energy may become even less expensive in the next couple of years.

Cheaper solar power in five years

Together with constant research and innovations in the solar industry, solar power can get less expensive as well as accessible to more and more individuals in a period of just 5 years. In accordance with a report from Bloomberg.com, Mark.M.Little, global research director of GE stated that the electricity produced through solar panels would likely turn out to be less costly than energy provided by fossil fuels or nuclear reactors inside of the next five years. This, he said, may be probable with innovations like the efficient thin-film panels that lower the manufacturers’ costs, even without taking into consideration the government subsidies.

GE is also intending to set up a plant, that should be functional in 2013, where the thin-film panels would be manufactured. Simply by producing these thin-film panels and maximizing their effectiveness, the company plans to lower the costs and develop enough panels to produce solar electricity in 80,000 homes. While powering thousands of more homes with solar energy should be achievable over the next few years, a whole transition with a solar smart grid may take quite a while, according to Mark Little.

Statistics show falling solar power costs

Based on current data presented by the Energy Information Administration, the typical cost per kilowatt-hour of solar powered electricity in 2009 ranged between 6.1 cents in Wyoming to 18.1 cents Connecticut. If the average retail rate is 15 cents or less per kilowatt-hour, most people will be able to afford solar electricity, Little said. With the reduction in cost of solar cells, which make up the solar panel, the overall cost of solar power has reportedly dropped by a great extent this year. This cost may well further reduce should the thicker solar cells, which use a rare and expensive metal called indium, are replaced by the thin-film panels made of glass or metals like cadmium telluride or alloys of copper indium diselenide.

A further reduction in costs will increase the use of solar energy and lessen the amount of harmful gases released by burning fossil fuels, which bring about global warming. A number of people, who reside in areas where there is ample sunshine all year long, are turning to this renewable energy source for creating electricity to operate their own household equipment like water heaters, battery chargers, lights, displays, and even ovens. This not only lets them access the free and unlimited solar energy for numerous purposes, reducing their costs over time, but also helps them reduce their carbon footprint for contributing to a greener and cleaner environment.

Alandsteveaustin - About Author:
Aland Steve is a respected journalist reporting on green issues across many industries. He's written for Helios since he started covering cheap solar panels, cheap solar panel manufacturers whom provide eco power sources for people to use as opposed to gas based answers.

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