Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Solar Cell Technologies Duke It Out

Dueling solar cell technologies duke it out on cost

November 16, 2010 - Near the beginning of the decade, several solar start-ups set out to disrupt the solar power industry by producing a new generation of thin-film solar cells that were vastly cheaper to make than the incumbent silicon cell technology.

Now, many of those thin-film solar companies are in a race for their survival, according to a report published today.

Lux Research did an analysis of the competing solar cell technologies and found that polycrystalline silicon, the material used for about 80 percent of solar cells, continues to have staying power as prices decline and efficiencies improve.

Meanwhile, solar panels made from cadmium-telluride, a thin-film material used by First Solar and General Electric, are less efficient than polycrystalline silicon but are the cheapest to produce of all solar technologies. This means that the cadmium-telluride technology will continue to be profitable, according to Lux Research analyst Ted Sullivan. {read rest}

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