Low-Carbon Technologies: Solar Power

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Solar power involves harnessing sunlight for energy production.  The technology is a popular alternative to fossil fuel-powered energysupplies because of its significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  Various solar cells currently in research and development include silicon-based, dye-sensitized, and organic solar cells.  The technology is most frequently used in rooftop solar cells, photovoltaic fuel cells, and hybrid vehicles with fuel cell and battery power sources. 

 

A major obstacle to widespread employment of solar power is the expense to consumers.  The technology is not as commercially competitive as necessary to ensure a marked difference in greenhouse gas reductions.  It has been suggested that improvements in solar technology materials and systems will enhance the desirability of employing solar power.  New generations of solar technology are anticipated to be more efficient and to utilize less expensive materials; however, more through research and development on these proposed concepts is needed.