Demand for clean and sustainable smart energy solutions will drive increased investments in solar technology, according to Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who predicts investment in solar technology could double every two years. Wellinghoff's comments come as a consortium of U.S. and Japanese energy companies, including Toshiba subsidiary Landis+Gyr, begin a two-part solar pilot in New Mexico sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. Among other things, the trials are designed to test new pricing programs for solar-grid integration.

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