WE WATCH EVERY MONTH SUCK AWAY more money for fuel and energy so now we're also watching the relative movement of the sun overhead and think we can cut costs by tacking some Q-Cells on our roof. Germany's Q-Cells should boost its output of solar cells by more than 60% within two years. That's just about the time we'll have saved the money required to snap a few onto the roof area above our kitchen. With the price of crude oil up 64% from a year ago, it's about time that consumers start thinking about powering their own homes, perhaps by converting sunlight directly into electricity. I would also like to sell back excess power to the national grid but in Ireland, that's currently more difficult than in Germany or France. Those two countries are helping to expand the demand for solar thermal technology, an industry that reports a 30% rise in residential demand for solar panels.
China-based Suntech Power Holdings, the world's biggest maker of photovoltaic panels by revenue, told the Wall Street Journal that it plans to double its solar panel production in 2009 from 2008. Germany's Q-Cells told the Journal that it plans to increase production of solar cells by more than 60% by 2010.