Nowadays, it is very common to install off-grid solar systems for personal consumption. We all know that a complete off-grid solar system consists of solar panels, deep cycle lithium batteries (Marine deep cycle batteries or RV deep cycle batteries are most frequently in use), solar charge controllers, solar inverters and other accessories and we would be very concerned about the cost of solar panels. Solar panels are known to become cheaper and cheaper over time. However, it is not necessarily assumed that this will remain the case forever. Where are the expectations going at the moment? Will solar panel prices continue to fall? Or are we now at a point where they are no longer getting cheaper?The most recent developments in 2022, in particular, have caused prices to rise again.
What affects the price of solar panels?
Perhaps the most important factor in the price of solar panels is the cost of the raw materials. The most important raw material for solar cells is crystalline silicon, which accounts for about 70-80% of the total weight of the cells.
The prices for this material have risen sharply in recent months due to a shortage in supply. This directly impacts the prices manufacturers can charge for solar panels.
Another important factor affecting module prices is production costs. These have fallen significantly in recent years thanks to technological advances and greater efficiency in manufacturing processes. However, these gains are beginning to level off, and there is only so much room for further declines.
Then there are other “soft” factors such as market demand, general economic conditions, and government subsidies. These can strongly impact solar module prices in the short term but usually do not last that long.
Huge reduction in the cost of solar panels
If you compare the prices of solar panels over the years, you will immediately notice that the costs have come down enormously. If you looked at the prices in 1980, the difference is enormous.
In less than 50 years, small solar panels have become much cheaper and more efficient.
However, the fall in prices has also continued in the recent past. Between 2010 and 2020, PV module prices have fallen by an average of 90%!
A development that all photovoltaic fans should welcome. But what is the current situation?
Current price development for 2022
Unfortunately, the current price development for solar modules is not so rosy. In 2021, the average price for a PV module was $0.70 per watt. That was already 20% higher than in 2020.
And in the first quarter of 2022, prices rose again by 15%. The main reason for this is the high demand, low availability of modules, and inflation.
Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the situation will normalize somewhat over the year and that prices will fall again. However, it is currently unclear whether they will reach the level of 2020 again in the foreseeable future.
It’s also important to remember that these are just averages.
Experts in solar modules expect that the costs of solar modules will continue to fall by at least 25% in the next few years. This would make them an even more attractive option for the general public.
If you look at the recent past, this expectation seems very realistic. Technical development has been progressing rapidly for around 50 years. Therefore, it can be assumed that this process will continue for a while.
Lasting benefits of solar panels
Solar panels offer significant benefits thanks to significant advances in cost and efficiency. For example, think of:
- Long service life: Logically, long service life is always a welcome advantage. However, today’s solar modules are increasingly reaching a service life of 40 years. This is significant progress compared to the recent past. You can have your own power generation for the next 40 years with just one investment. One can speak of sustainable investment. Nothing beats the security that is currently being discussed. You are not uncommon to receive a 25-year guarantee on these solar modules.
- Strong design: Modern solar modules also impress with their strong design. Not so long ago, solar panels were very clumsy to look at. Little thought was given to how to tweak the look. It’s very different today. Greater attention is paid to how the solar modules on the roof look. So the optics shouldn’t be a problem. At ESTG Solar, you will discover a variety of alternatives with something for everyone. Also, make sure you buy a suitable pure sine wave inverter, for example, from Renogy.
- Environmentally friendly: Climate change is currently a big issue. The changing climate is becoming increasingly difficult for all of us in the US. It is, therefore, high time that we all contribute to a better, healthier climate. This can be done effectively with solar modules. This form of renewable energy production can reduce your ecological footprint. Reducing CO2 emissions is a wonderful contribution to this endeavor.
- Saving money: A financial motive always plays an important role in changes. That’s why it’s so good that generating your energy is cheaper than alternatives. After the purchase and installation of the solar modules, there are hardly any costs. For example, annual maintenance does not have to be expensive. At the same time, you have a free source of energy. Every day the sun shines, you produce electricity. What if you don’t need it right now? Then you return it to the energy grid. Yes, with an even lower electricity bill in return.
Do you believe in a long-term, environmentally friendly future? And would you like to take advantage of the sharp fall in the price of solar modules? This is the ideal time to get started with your energy production if you are one of those people who believe in a long-term, environmentally sustainable future.
Solar panels will soon be installed on almost every roof. It is only a matter of time before practically every roof is equipped with solar panels. Especially in countries where the sun shines often enough, it would be a missed opportunity not to take advantage of this opportunity. Something cheaper and more environmentally friendly automatically creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Solar energy is our best solution
Solar power is our best bet for a variety of reasons. It is no longer a niche technology reserved for wealthy and dedicated environmentalists. Today, the effects of global warming and skyrocketing prices for conventional energy make it necessary to switch to more environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.
Solar energy boom
The shortage of fossil fuels and their enormously damaging effects on the environment gave solar energy the boost it needed.
Suppose you are still undecided whether solar energy is the best solution for us. In that case, you should consider that the researchers from LUT in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) state in the conclusion of their long-term study that the electrification of everything with renewable energy is not only a viable option but also a cheap and efficient one, which they describe as the “only sustainable one.” The study states: “A global transition to 100% renewable energy in all sectors – power, heating, transport, and desalination – before 2050 is feasible.”
The solution to climate change
Climate change is a frightening reality that must be tackled. Obtaining energy from fossil fuels is dangerous for the environment. Switching to an abundant and clean energy source like solar energy helps reduce your carbon footprint and keep harmful greenhouse gas emissions in check. Using solar energy for power supply is an excellent way to combat rising global temperatures.
Puts money back in your pocket
One of the reasons why fossil fuels account for such a large share of the world’s energy production is that they are cheap. However, the adverse effects of generating energy from fossil fuels far outweigh this meager economic benefit.
A decade ago, generating solar energy was anything but cheap – today, it isn’t. Not only do solar energy systems reduce utility bills and provide peace of mind that the environmental footprint is minimized, but they are also economically viable. Solar panels pay for themselves through electricity savings; all you earn afterward is pure profit. In addition, you save more every year because the prices for conventional energy suppliers continue to rise.
Declining production costs, technological advances, and federal and state tax breaks are a few reasons installing solar powered generator systems has become more accessible and feasible. It is also estimated that reducing global carbon emissions can save a whopping sum of money in climate damage.
Promotes health and well-being
Using fossil fuels releases many air pollutants – by-products that are completely avoided when generating energy from solar and renewable energy sources. The reduction of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide has a positive effect on people’s cardiovascular and respiratory health.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, high solar penetration in the country would reduce air pollution and prevent damage to public health and the environment. Not only would this prevent unnecessary healthcare costs, but it would also reduce pollutants that cause asthma in children, heart problems, and respiratory diseases in adults, saving thousands of lives.
The solution to national security problems
Renewable energies, such as solar energy, play an important role in national security. Instead of relying on foreign energy sources and inconsistent supply routes, domestic energy sources are safer and more readily available. Solar energy is a free and inexhaustible source of energy that is also readily available compared to conventional energy sources.