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Solar demand outstrips silicon supply


If you’re after some get-rich-quick action, it looks like silicon production could be on the money – why, Greenbang hasn’t been so excited since she bought those magic beans! – with the news that the demand for solar panels is pushing silicon prices higher than Amy Winehouse at a Christmas party.

Says The Times:

Green demands for more solar power, which relies on silicon for the manfacture of photovoltaic cells, have pushed up the price for the element by 40 per cent this year to $1,600 (£790) per tonne.

The result is a global shortage of the highly refined crystalline polysilicon, even though it is produced from raw materials as common as sand. This is pushing up prices and forcing the world’s biggest producers to invest heavily in new refining and production capacity.

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