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Is Solar Without Subsidies Now Viable?

There is something big happening in solar. This fact is becoming more evident every day. Regardless of one’s view on renewable energy overall and whether mankind will ever truly be able to stop using fossil fuels, it’s indisputable that solar power has made enormous strides in every important aspect as a viable source of power in the last decade. Solar producers today are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were on cost economies, power production efficiencies, and total installation costs. As a result, total solar power generation has grown dramatically over time.

Another milestone in solar’s progress was made recently when installation giant SolarCity announced that it had developed and would begin producing the world’s most efficient solar panel (most efficient as of the announcement date – more on this in a moment). SCTY’s panel had a module efficiency rating of 22.04 percent according to third party verification group the Renewable Energy Test Center. This result is an important step towards making solar power viable without any tax incentives or subsidies. That day is not here yet, but it is getting closer.

What makes SolarCity’s announcement so important in this case is that the firm is following the lead of Sunpower in...


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