Friday, September 23, 2005

Solar Heat vs. Solar Cells

Give solar heat another point in its battle vs. solar cells. Apparently, there's a growing shortage of polysilicon, the stuff that solar panels are made of. Solar dish and solar trough systems (both of which concentrate solar energy to heat something to produce energy) don't have photovoltaic cells, so they're not affected by increases in the cost of polysilicon. In fact, if anything such a shortage helps those technologies because people/companies/utilities interested in solar power may be increasingly likely to go with non-photovoltaic technologies. The more business that flows towards solar dishes and solar troughs, the cheaper and better those technologies get.