Less atmosphere between solar panels and the sun equals more power converted into electricity, says a new map of global solar irradiance. That means high-altitude communities — like every mountain chain from the Andes to Patagonia — could be the next frontier in producing solar power.

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In addition, the cool temperatures at altitude make panels more efficient, whereas traditionally sunny climes can worsen their performance because sunshine and heat usually go hand in hand.

Photo: Mahatma4711

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