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Silicon vs. CIGS: With solar energy, the issue is material
Written by Gizmo   
Tuesday, 03 October 2006 08:29

Read the full story at CNET:

"The booming solar industry is in the midst of an argument over which material will become dominant in the future for harvesting sunlight and turning it into electricity. Solar panels made from crystalline silicon currently account for more than 90 percent of the solar infrastructure today.

Unfortunately, silicon panels remain relatively expensive to make. Without subsidies, it's still cheaper to get electricity from the grid. A two-year shortage of polysilicon, which may not ease until 2008, has severely limited growth and sales.

Panels that harvest energy with CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) cost far less to make and install, say backers. The material can be sprayed onto foil, plastic or glass or incorporated into cement and other building materials. Conceivably, the entire exterior of a house or building could become a solar generator."

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