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The Associated Press November 18, 2011, 3:30PM ET

At GE plant, Chu says US needs to stay in solar

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the global market for solar energy remains huge and it's important that the United States stay in the game.

Chu's comments at a Colorado solar facility Friday come a day after hostile questioning by congressional Republicans over a federal loan to failing solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. Chu told a House committee that unexpected market changes, including cheap imports from China and the collapse of the European market for solar panels, led prices for Solyndra's product to fall.

Chu toured the PrimeStar solar manufacturing facility in suburban Denver that General Electric Co. bought this year.

Afterward, Chu said the highest level of innovation in the industry is happening in the U.S. He also said price parity and energy storage are key to solar's success.

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