Research group sees good news in mass production, global competition.
Solar power is poised to become a large-scale, affordable energy source within three to five years, the president of the Worldwatch Institute said Tuesday.
Chris Flavin, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based environmental research organization, based his comments on a forecast suggesting that surging production of photovoltaic cells —the building blocks of solar panels that turn sunlight into electricity—will drive prices of those cells down by 40 percent over the next three years.
The forecast, by the Prometheus Institute, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based think-tank, suggests that the solar industry is poised to overcome a major impediment to bring sun power to the masses.
“You’re going to see this emerge for the first time as an economical and large-scale energy source,” said Mr. Flavin. “The dramatic growth that’s going on now and the technological evolution is going to break down the costs in the next three to five years.”
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