Remember back when you were young and you had your first magnifying glass experiment? Who would have thought that sunlight would be able to burn something? Surely that would have given a lot of people some ideas. And it has, to be able to burn something requires a lot of energy, and thus, as children, we have already witnessed the sun’s immense energy. All of that comes for free.
For this reason, solar power, or the energy which can be drawn from the sun and used for electricity, has become the most affordable energy source right now. As such, the cost for solar panels have also been decreasing in trend ever since solar panels were employed nearly three decades ago.
This progression of solar panels has huge implications for mankind. The most important of which, is the removal of our reliance on fossil fuels. Then there is also the fact that electricity, one of the most basic needs for urban life is getting more affordable.
How low have solar panel prices plunged?
Of course, the prices of solar panel did not become the way they are right now overnight. Rome was not built in a day, after all. There were a lot of other factors involved in making the prices and cost of solar panels lower, but the most important of them all was technology.
Back then, the technology for manufacturing and engineering solar panels into efficient electricity generators were not as advanced as they are today. As time went by and engineering for the rather young industry flourished, newer technology became available and gradually made production a lot easier and the panels more efficient.
Now, statistically, solar panel prices have become lower in cost by as much as 30 percent of its price tags ever since 2010. In fact, most of the price drops happened in the past few years and not several decades. Because of this, it is quite a manageable expectation to assume that solar panel prices will even be a lot lower in the next few years compared to right now.
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More plans to make it even more affordable
All this progress for solar panel, one would think that they are fine the way they are since improvements are always inevitable. However, there is often no consequences for trying to make them even more affordable, simply because they produce no pollution and usually only rely on the sun.
The good news for residents who have solar power or are planning the switch is that the Department of Energy (DOE) wants to make solar panels more affordable and accessible. This is the case right now in the U.S., and depending on the state, of course.
The DOE has even set a goal by 2030 for residential solar panels which might cost as low as 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. DOE plans to do this by eliminating some of the production and marketing costs of solar panels. These factors include:
- Supply chain costs,
- Labor costs, and
- Sales and marketing costs
It is worth noting that all of those are not related to the physical production of solar cells at a factory. So basically, the cost-cutting factors of solar panels cannot only be done through research and development but also when it comes to post-production. Rest assured, there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to solar power.