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Manufacturing and Capability Advances in Solar Energy

The twenty-first century has seen dramatic changes in the development and manufacturing of solar panels around the world. The number of manufacturers increased significantly since 2000, increasing availability of pv panels in the market and thereby decreasing the cost per unit. Additionally, the competition has spurred the development of much more efficient panels.

In 2000, global production of photovoltaic panels accounted for 238 megawatts of power. In 2019, that number has skyrocketed to 140 GIGAWATTS of power. Fossil fuels and nuclear power have remained relatively flat from 2000 to 2019 with the exception of coal production which has dropped from 22% to 10% during that time. An increase in production of oil and natural gas has helped keep the fossil fuel industry from losing market share. Conversely, renewable energy production has doubled in that same time frame with the largest increases coming from wind and solar power. The speed of renewable energy adoption will only continue to increase in the years to come.

Additionally, there have been increases in manufacturing capabilities and breakthroughs in efficiency that have seen photovoltaic panels see a decrease in costs married to an increase in effectiveness hovering over 260% from the solutions available in 2000. Panels have increased efficiency from 250 watt and 15% capture rates in 2000 to panels nearing 700 watt and achieving an efficiency rating of nearly 50% in the lab and 40% "real world capture". When you pair this with an increase in manufacturing facilities and capabilities worldwide, The cost of the solar solution per watt has dropped 90% since 2010, alone.

The solar industry changes often enough that, even if you weren’t convinced it was a good idea for you and your business just a few years ago, it would be worth the time to determine if today's solutions would offer you an opportunity to reign in electricity costs and help add back to the bottom line.


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