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Solar Power Taking Off

Solar power is on the rise! According to the Worldwatch Institute, global production of photovoltaic cells increased 51 percent in 2007 to 3,733 megawatts. Germany leads the charge, producing 1,063 megawatts of solar power cells in 2007. China came in second with 820 megawatts and Spain in third with 425 to 650 megawatts. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., production rose 48 percent from 2006 to 266 megawatts. That’s an admirable percentage rise but a fall from grace; the U.S. once led the world in photovoltaic cell production. There is hope however—U.S. manufacturers are focused on the “next wave” of solar production by accounting for two-thirds of global thin-film production, an advanced technology trend. With the cost of production consistently falling, it is predicted solar electricity will become cost-competitive with conventional power in many parts of the world in the next several years.

Credit: Worldwatch Institute article