Solar industry trends

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Solar Industry Trends

Use of solar energy is rising like the sun.

During this year's World Solar Challenge 46 cars from 25 countries will compete to be the world's fastest solar-powered vehicle. And while the race has been taking place since 1987, improvements in technology over the years have made vehicles, better, stronger and faster.

But cars aren't the only things being revolutionized by technology and solar energy.

SEE MORE: So what can you power with the sun these days?

Take for example, homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there are enough residential solar panels in America to power 4.6 million homes.

Adding convenience to going solar for homeowners.

See photos of a solar powered planes trip around the world:
28 PHOTOS
Solar Impulse 2: Trip around the world
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Solar industry trends
Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered by the sun's rays and piloted by Andre Borschberg, approaches Kalaeloa Airport near Honolulu, Friday, July 3, 2015. His 120-hour voyage from Nagoya, Japan broke the record for the world's longest nonstop solo flight, his team said. (Jean Revillard/Global Newsroom via AP)
Pilot Andre Borschberg flashes a Hawaiian shaka at the crowd after he landed the Solar Impulse 2 at the Kalaeloa Airport, Friday, July 3, 2015, near Honolulu, in Kapolei, Hawaii. Borschberg spent five days flying the plane from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is attempting to fly around the world without fuel. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland, a pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 speaks to journalists prior to board his plane at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. Mission controllers cancelled the planned take-off of the Solar Impulse 2 from Nagoya in central Japan early Wednesday because of weather problems in the Pacific Ocean. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by Jean Revillard, Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered by the sun's rays and piloted by Andre Borschberg, approaches Kalaeloa Airport near Honolulu, Friday, July 3, 2015. His 120-hour voyage from Nagoya, Japan broke the record for the world's longest nonstop solo flight, his team said. (Jean Revillard/SI2 via AP)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland waves while boarding his Solar Impulse 2 prior to his departure for Hawaii at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Pilot Andre Borschberg is seated in the cockpit of Solar Impulse 2 at Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama, near Nagoya, central Japan, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii due to worse than expected weather conditions. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
The Solar Impulse 2 project staff members gather around the aircraft as it lands the Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama, near Nagoya, central Japan, Monday, June 1, 2015. The solar-powered plane attempting to circle the globe without a drop of fuel made an unscheduled landing late Monday in Japan to wait out bad weather. Swiss pilot André Borschberg took off from Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was to be the longest leg of the journey, a six-day, 8,175-kilometer (5,079-mile) flight to Hawaii. (Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY
Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg talks to the media at Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama, near Nagoya, central Japan, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii due to worse than expected weather conditions. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, pilot Andre Borschberg during the final preparation of Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Pilot Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (C, top), sits aboard Solar Impulse 2, as ground crew pushes the solar plane prior to taking off for Hawaii, at Nagoya's airport early June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg, the pilot of a solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 speaks to journalists in Tokyo, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Borschberg says his aircraft is now ready to fly but must wait out unfavorable weather, perhaps for up to two months. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg, right, the pilot of a solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 speaks to journalists in Tokyo, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Borschberg says his aircraft is now ready to fly but must wait out unfavorable weather, perhaps for up to two months. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Yasemin and Andre Borschberg prior to the take off of Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane with pilot Borschberg is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Pilot Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (R, top), sits aboard Solar Impulse 2, as ground crew pushes the solar plane prior to taking off for Hawaii, at Nagoya's airport early June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (4th R) poses next to the Japanese and the Swiss national flags while boarding his Solar Impulse 2 prior to his departure for Hawaii at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft takes off from the Nagoya airport in Aichi prefecture, central Japan on June 29, 2015 for a flight over the Pacific Ocean. Solar Impulse 2 has 17,000 solar cells and on-board rechargeable batteries. Its top speed is 140 kilometres an hour. The journey to Hawaii is 7,900 kilometers and is expected to last at least five days and five nights. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg talks to the media at Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama, near Nagoya, central Japan, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii due to worse than expected weather conditions. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Bertrand Piccard, the initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, points Japan on the map at the Mission Control Center for the Solar Impulse flight in Monaco Monday, June 1, 2015. The solar plane attempting to fly around the world without a drop of fuel plans to make an unscheduled stop Monday night, June 1 in Nagoya, Japan, because of bad weather. Swiss pilot André Borschberg took off from Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was to be the longest leg of the journey, a five-day, 8,175-kilometer (5,079-mile) flight to Hawaii. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Swiss pilot and chairman of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard, left, Prince Albert II of Monaco, center, and Mission Director Raymond Clerc gesture as the solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Nanjing, China en route to Hawaii, at the Mission Control Center in Monaco, Saturday, May 30, 2015. The Solar Impulse aircraft is attempting the first oceanic crossing of its round the world solar flight. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Swiss-made Solar Impulse-2 takes off from Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. The solar powered aircraft is Wednesday headed to the northern Indian city of Varanasi on the third leg of its’ historic round-the-world trip. (AP Photo/Press Trust of India) INDIA OUT
The Solar Impulse 2 prepares to depart from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, early Monday, March 9, 2015. The Swiss solar-powered plane took off from Abu Dhabi early Monday, marking the start of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel. (AP Photo/Aya Batrawy)
Swiss pilots Andre Borschberg (L) and Bertrand Piccard (R) of Solar Impulse 2, the world's only solar-powered aircraft, react upon their arrival at Mandalay international airport on March 19, 2015. Solar Impulse 2 took off from the Indian holy city of Varanasi for Myanmar, its fourth flight after embarking on a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. (Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Monday, March 9, 2015 file photo, a Swiss solar-powered plane takes off at an airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, marking the start of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Myanmar on Thursday night, March 19, the third leg of a round-the-world trip aimed at highlighting clean energy. (AP Photo/Aya Batrawy, File)
Map shows the route around the globe of the Solar Impulse plane; 3c x 3 inches; 146 mm x 76 mm;
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And the options are growing as well check out these solar windows. A tech company claims their new cell can produce 50 times the energy of traditional panels.

Solar has also gone sporty. In recent years several stadiums across the world have invested in sustainability.

The Indianapolis speedway, home to the indy 500, has the largest solar farm in the world, enough to power a thousand homes.

SEE MORE: Out-of-this-world photos from Australia's World Solar Challenge

Just this year Cochin International Airport in India became the very first in the world to be completely solar powered.

That's 45 acres cranking out a ton of power and cutting back on pollution.

So as always, as costs come down, usage goes up. And in this case, that's good for everyone.

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