Driving down the cost of solar is difficult. Any new technology requires years of validation. And inventing and installing manufacturing equipment to make it at a large scale (the industry makes millions of panels a year) is a slow and expensive process, requiring investments on the order of a billion dollars. Technology that can be retrofitted into existing lines can greatly speed up the process. Suntech Power has started to implement just such technology–a method for making extremely high quality silicon wafers (the heart of a solar cell) for the cost of cheap ones. Suntech’s CTO Stuart Wenham explains the advance in this video. For more, check out TR’s story here.
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