David Kirkpatrick

August 27, 2009

Solar power costs coming down

Filed under: Business, Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:45 am

This NYT story isn’t news for anyone who’s been following solar power and the technical breakthroughs and real-world suppliers (many in China as the article points out) the industry has seen the last few years. 

It is an interesting read and lays out a lot considerations for going solar — particularly for residential structures.

From the first link:

But the cost of solar panels has plunged lately, changing the economics for many homeowners. Mr. Hare ended up paying $77,000 for a large solar setup that he figures might have cost him $100,000 a year ago.

“I just thought, ‘Wow, this is an opportunity to do the most for the least,’ ” Mr. Hare said.

For solar shoppers these days, the price is right. Panel prices have fallen about 40 percent since the middle of last year, driven down partly by an increase in the supply of a crucial ingredient for panels, according to analysts at the investment bank Piper Jaffray.

The price drops — coupled with recently expanded federal incentives — could shrink the time it takes solar panels to pay for themselves to 16 years, from 22 years, in places with high electricity costs, according to Glenn Harris, chief executive of SunCentric, a solar consulting group. That calculation does not include state rebates, which can sometimes improve the economics considerably.

American consumers have the rest of the world to thank for the big solar price break.

Until recently, panel makers had been constrained by limited production of polysilicon, which goes into most types of panels. But more factories making the material have opened, as have more plants churning out the panels themselves — especially in China.

2 Comments »

  1. […] This post was Twitted by solarmaandpa […]

    Pingback by Twitted by solarmaandpa — August 27, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  2. I actually work for a oil and gas company and we try to be environmentally friendly as much as possible, but like anything dealing with fossil fuels we are contributing to the problem. I have recently decided to talk out about it and am in the process of converting my home into using solar power. Even if i only cut my useage in half i am helping and am working with others in my area to do the same. It’s time we showed everyone that changes only takes one person to start it and then for them to help the next person to start and on and on……

    Just my 2 cents.

    David
    http://www.homesolarpowerkits.net

    Comment by David Watson — August 30, 2009 @ 5:07 pm


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