What kinds of chemicals go into making solar panels?

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    With the increased awareness and concern of environmental issues, such as global warming, research into renewable forms of energy is becoming increasingly important. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), solar energy technologies produce only a fraction of a percent of the energy consumed in United States each year. However, solar energy has been slowly gaining popularity. The two main forms of solar energy technologies are solar thermal energy (STE) and photovoltaic (PV) energy. PV energy, in particular, turns solar energy directly into electric energy, via some form of semiconductor material. As of 2010, most PV solar panels use one of only a handful of chemicals as semiconductor material.

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