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Solar Power's Decade of Falling Costs Is Thrown Into Reverse

  • Rising panel costs may impact new projects in India, U.S.
  • Price for key material polysilicon has quadrupled in past year
Yamaha Looks To Green Power To Cut Manufacturing Costs In India

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Boomberg

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A key selling point that made solar energy the fastest-growing power source in the world—rapidly decreasing costs—has hit a speed bump.

Solar module prices have risen 18% since the start of the year after falling by 90% over the previous decade. The reversal, fueled by a quadrupling in the cost of the key raw material polysilicon, threatens to delay projects and slow uptake of solar power just as several major governments are finally throwing their weight behind it in an effort to slow climate change.