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MIT says solar power fields with trillions of watts of capacity are on the way

Lucas Mearian | May 8, 2015
But U.S. government policies need to be more supportive of the industry

Crystalline silicon dominates today's PV landscape and will continue to be the leading deployed PV technology for at least the next decade, according to MIT. Crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells are divided into two categories: single-crystalline (sc-Si) and ulticrystalline (mc-Si). The higher crystal quality in sc-Si cells improves charge extraction and power conversion, but requires wafers that are 20% to 30% more expensive.

Some new thin-film technologies, made by depositing one or more thin layers, or thin films of photovoltaic material on a substrate, such as glass, plastic or metal, could save money on installation and PV module costs.

"Massive expansion of solar generation worldwide by mid-century is likely a necessary component of any serious strategy to mitigate climate change," the study concluded. "Fortunately, the solar resource dwarfs current and projected future electricity demand. In recent years, solar costs have fallen substantially and installed capacity has grown very rapidly."

 

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