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GE forecasts solar to become billion dollar business

GE forecasts solar to become billion dollar business

Posting in Energy

As the price of solar panels plummet, sales are ascending. GE's CEO predicts that the company will sell over US$1 billion in solar panels annually by 2020.

GE is banking on its CIGS thin film solar module. Image Source: GE

GE's chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt is bullish on the future of solar power. Today, Immelt told an audience at New York's Columbia University that GE's solar panel sales would exceed US$1 billion annually by 2020, according to reports.

"We’re going to invest what it takes," he said, citing GE's recent announcement of its massive $300 million cadmium telluride thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Colorado.

In May, General Electric’s global research director predicted that new technology breakthroughs are making it possible for solar generated electricity to be the most economical choice within the next three to five years over fossil fuels and nuclear power.

The company has also unveiled two research projects that are tied to the U.S. Department of Energy's Sunshot Initiative. The objective is to reduce the cost of commercial and residential installations.

The cost of solar panels is also plummeting. Ernst & Young has predicted that prices of solar panels will fall  to $1.00 per watt. Research published by IHS iSuppli this year came to the same conclusion.

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure