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Connection between solar panel production and silver prices

Silver plays major role in solar panel production. This is because silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals.

This means that increased solar panel production requires plenty of silver which in turn leads to spike in silver prices.

The researchers say that silver is used in solar panels at around 20g per one panel which equates to around 6.1% of the total cost of the price of building each unit.

The recent study by the scientists from Kent Business School at the University used data from quarterly silver prices measured from the London Bullion Market, installed solar energy capacity and solar gross electricity production between 1990 and 2016 to map correlations in demand and costs.

The analyzed data showed clear correlation between a rise in silver prices at the same time as increased demand for solar panels. Furthermore, the researchers believe that if prices continue to rise it could lead to much higher solar panel production costs thus making solar power less cost-competitive with other energy sources.

In order to prevent this, the governments would need to intervene with different measures such as tax credits. Some researchers also say that future solar panel production could be forced to use other materials that are cheaper than silver though this could require a major scientific breakthrough because currently available alternatives such as aluminium or copper are far below the quality of silver.

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