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Within the next 10 years, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have the potential to be the most economical form of generating electricity, even compared to traditional fossil fuels, say solar energy experts from IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association. To achieve this cost parity, the global industry must continue to improve the efficiency of solar PV cell technologies and create economies of scale to further decrease manufacturing costs. IEEE has several initiatives to encourage these advancements. Solar energy is the earth's most abundant energy resource.

The rate of energy from sunlight hitting the earth is of the order of 100 petawatts. Just a fraction is needed to meet the power needs of the entire globe, as it takes approximately 15 terawatts to power the earth (1 petawatt = 1,000 terawatts). According to the International Energy Association (IEA), global solar PV capacity has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of more than 40 percent since 2000. By 2050, it is expected that solar PV will provide 11 percent of global electricity production, corresponding to 3,000 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity.

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