A bright solar future

Solar energy is an industry that has evolved, and will continue to evolve, like no other.  At it’s heart are two basic concepts: the essential need of energy, and human curiosity.

It’s clear that we all need energy, and therefore all and any steps to reduce the cost of energy using solar power will benefit the whole world, a double win that reduces air pollution and improves living standards. At the same time, for many people it improves energy independence (for island nations for example), delivers access to clean water (solar pumping for arid lands in Australia and Africa) and reduces maintenance costs on pipelines delivering essential supplies (cathodic protection).

Human curiosity drives innovation. Scientists and engineers get a buzz out of making free energy from the sun. It’s a buzz you can’t get developing the latest washing detergent or belt buckle. Thousands of people across Australia, Germany, China, Japan, Norway, Malaysia, Philippines and Canada get up everyday and go to work with one goal in mind: to make a more efficient solar panel at lower cost. The brute force of this massive effort will move mountains.

Why the future is bright for solar energy

In 2009, just 5 years ago, it wasn’t ever in consideration that a 60-cell multi c-Si based module would be approaching 275W in size. Now Jinko Solar has introduced the Eagle Plus 275W, with mass production by the end of 2014 – an increase of nearly 20% for the energy produced per unit area in just five years. At the same time, the cost per watt was put through the shredder, falling something approaching 45%. Just as nobody expected efficiency to improve out of sight, no serious commentator was suggesting the best-in-class Chinese factories would be producing such modules with standard crystalline silicon (cSi) and for those modules to have costs –  silicon and non-silicon costs combine – south of 50 US cents per watt.

The naysayers thought solar was just another fad – but they were wrong.  The critics are now saying the low hanging fruit has been picked, but that’s no problem for the solar movement – we’ve got a cherry picker and it’s powered by ingenuity & a noble cause.



468 ad