Company works to reduce solar module manufacturing costsA solar manufacturing company that has contributed significantly to reducing solar energy manufacturing costs has announced that it has raised $20 million in a second round of financing.

The firm, called 1366 Technologies, developed a technique for producing crystalline silicon wafers that can drastically lower the cost of producing solar modules, making the energy-saving panels more affordable for more businesses. The company's Direct Wafer process can reduce the cost of manufacturing silicon wafers - a major component of solar modules - by as much as 80 percent, according to Greentech Media.

"During the past two years, we have kept our cash position strong and focused on solving the key manufacturing challenges in silicon photovoltaics," said 1366 Technologies CEO Frank van Mierlo. "We've managed expectations and steadily built our credibility. Now, with this investment, we're moving towards manufacturing. Our goal is to bring our transformative Direct Wafer technology into production and deliver the manufacturing innovations that will make solar electricity cheaper than coal."

Reducing the cost of technologies such as solar energy is crucial to widespread adoption of these energy-efficient, eco-friendly systems. However, the green technology industry is under siege, especially in California, where it has traditionally been a major force. A proposal on the state's ballot would suspend the Global Warming Act of 2006 and severely impact green tech companies.
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