Thieves are turning their attentions to renewable technologies as energy costs soars across the world.

As reported in the Guardian, there has been an increase in the number of reported thefts of solar panels in California, which is leading the photovoltaic drive in the US with 33,000 installations across the state.

One night in late August saw 26 solar panels, with a value of $20,000 stolen from California’s first certified organic farm, Star Route Farms in Bolinas, originally purchased from Sunlight Electric in 2006.

Sunlight Electric President, Rob Erlichman, said: “It’s probably easier to steal a $20,000 car. To steal that many panels you need a truck and you need guys.”

Another instance saw 58 panels, valued at $75,000, stolen from an office building in Santa Rosa.

To counter this wave of photovoltaic crime, many companies are now selling secure fastenings for their solar panels while police departments urge owners to inscribe their driving licence number on their panels.