derekmead (2466858) writes "Last year was by all accounts a very good year for solar power, with the US market growing 76 percentaccording to the latest stats from the Solar Energy Industries Association, and global capacity doubling since 2010. Theres now roughly 282 gigawatts of solar power, in both its photovoltaic and concentrating forms, installed around the world. Thats a lot of theoretically carbon-free electricity.
But according to new research from Stanford University, published in Environmental Science & Technology, only now is the amount of energy produced by solar power around the world probably surpassing the energy required to make more solar power modules. Thats a big threshold to cross. Just five years ago, the solar power industry consumed 75 percent more energy than it produced.
Heres an even better thing: At the rate installations are going, the energy and carbon debt incurred in making all the solar photovoltaics made to date could be paid off as soon as 2015, and certainly by 2020."
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