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As America strives to achieve greater energy independence, more individuals, businesses and government groups are investing in solar energy.

In fact, the U.S. solar industry grew 67 percent from 2009 to 2010, making it the fastest-growing energy sector and one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Total market value increased from $3.6 billion to $6 billion in 2010, largely driven by tax incentives and lower technology costs. Sales of photovoltaic panels (PV), in particular, experienced extraordinary growth.

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