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Rays Of Hope For Solar Power

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

The recession cast some shadows over the solar energy industry, but the clouds are opening for solar power in D.C.

Anya Schoolman is president of the Mount Pleasant Solar Coop, it's a group of homeowners in D.C. who've banded together to help each other get solar energy installed. She noticed something pretty remarkable over the past year.

"We've seen prices on average drop about $2,000 per kilowatt installed," says Schoolman.

She says more of her members can now afford solar and they're installing bigger systems. There are several reasons for the drop in price. Jamie Resor is the Chief Operating Officer of solar installer and distributor. GroSolar

"A, the industry is getting bigger," says Resor.

It means more efficiency and more competition. Also, the price of silicon has crashed.

"Partly because of the recession, the demand from the computer industry was less," she says.

A lot of solar manufacturers had to cancel or renegotiate contracts with silicon producers too, which brought the price of panels down 40 percent.

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