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Solar Cell Production Climbs to Another Record in 2009

“Solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturers produced a record 10,700 megawatts of PV cells globally in 2009—an impressive 51-percent increase from the year before,” says J. Matthew Roney, Staff Researcher of the Earth Policy Institute, in a up to date free up, “Solar Cell Production Climbs to Another Record in 2009.”

“While growth in 2009 slowed from the remarkable 89-percent expansion in 2008, it continued the rapid rise of an industry that first reached 1,000 megawatts of production in 2004. By the end of 2009, nearly 23,000 megawatts of PV had been installed worldwide, enough to power 4.6 million U.S. homes. Solar PV, the world’s fastest-growing power technology, now generates electricity in more than 100 countries.”

Made of semiconductor fabrics, PV cells convert sun radiation without delay into electrical energy. Rectangular panels consisting of a lot of PV cells will also be connected into arrays of more than a few sizes and tool output functions—from rooftop techniques of 1 to a number of kilowatts to ground-mounted arrays of masses and even hundreds of megawatts. (One megawatt equals 1,000 kilowatts.)

There are two large classes of PV: crystalline silicon and thin-film. Crystalline silicon cells account for greater than 80 p.c of the yearly PV marketplace. But thin-film PV, a reasonably new generation this is much less environment friendly but additionally more economical to make and doubtlessly adaptable to extra packages, is gaining floor. In reality, First Solar, a thin-film corporate headquartered in Arizona however with maximum of its manufacturing capability in Malaysia, used to be the highest PV production company in 2009, contributing more or less 10 p.c of worldwide PV manufacturing.

China produced three,800 megawatts of PV in 2009, main all nations for the second one directly yr. Together China and 3rd position Taiwan accounted for 49 p.c of all PV production, a percentage that are meant to stay mountain climbing as firms there develop higher and extra temporarily than competition based totally in nations the place running prices are upper. Rounding out the highest 5 manufacturers in 2009 had been Japan in 2d position, Germany in fourth, and the United States in 5th. (See information.) These conventional trade leaders have misplaced vital marketplace percentage with the hot ascent of China and Taiwan. Indeed, Japan, which ruled the worldwide marketplace in 2004, controls simply 14 p.c nowadays.

(ENN – Environmental News Network)

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