Nanosolar starts sales of cheaper solar panels

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nanosolar, a privately held solar energy company whose backers include Google Inc's GOOG.O co-founders, on Tuesday said it has started to sell what it calls "the world's lowest cost solar panel."

“We have begun shipping panels for freefield deployment in Eastern Germany,” said Chief Executive Martin Roscheisen in a statement on Nanosolar’s Web site. “The first megawatt of our panels will go into a power plant installation there,”

The company, which got early stage financing from Google Inc co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, uses a thin-film technology that requires only a fraction of the amount of silicon needed in conventional solar cells.

Nanosolar’s technique allows it to make panels profitably for less than $1 per watt, it says.

Solar power and other renewable energies such as wind, biomass, and geothermal comprise one of the fastest-growing energy sectors.

Reporting by Franklin Paul; Editing by Derek Caney