The cost of solar energy has come a long way since it was first introduced to the market in the 1970s. Back then, the most common solar panels consisted of 16 sheets of glass stuck on top of each other and housed in a weather-proof container. The panels had to be spaced evenly apart, making them difficult to transport and setup on your rooftop. Furthermore, the glass itself was expensive and fragile, which made it prone to breakage.
Today, solar energy costs millions, not thousands. This is largely thanks to manufacturers taking advantage of large-scale solar projects and passing on the savings to consumers through government support and tax incentives.
Cost of Production
The unit cost of solar energy has decreased significantly since its introduction. This is largely thanks to cost-effective and high-efficiency solar panel manufacturing processes and the steady decline in solar panel prices. The cost of production for solar panels is now around $0.60 per watt, which is significantly cheaper than the $0.98 per watt cost in 2012. This means that homeowners can actually make back what they paid for their solar panels within a year of installing them.
Cost of Installation
The cost of installation for solar panels has decreased significantly as well. When solar panels were first introduced, the entire process of installation took around four average workers about a day to complete. But today, with the use of affordable, battery-powered tools like solar inverters, the process only takes around two average workers about an hour to complete. This is largely due to technological advancements and the adoption of solar panel systems by homeowners who want a more convenient and efficient way to generate their own electricity.
Cost of Maintenance
The cost of maintenance for solar panels is relatively low. The only thing you need to do is wipe down the panels with a dry cloth or give them a hose down occasionally. This is in comparison to other energy sources which need daily monitoring and maintenance (e.g., oil and gas). If you’re not equipped to take care of small, routine maintenance tasks like changing the battery on your smoke detector, then you shouldn’t be trying to run your home solely off the electricity generated by solar panels.
Cost of Energy
The cost of energy for solar panels is also relatively low. The average cost for residential customers in 2019 is around $0.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is significantly cheaper than the $0.40 per kWh cost in 2015. This is mainly thanks to declining electricity bill prices and the growth of renewable energy, specifically solar energy. The cost of energy from a solar panel system is fixed and does not rely on the fluctuation of the energy market. This is also one of the reasons why it is a popular choice for power users who want to generate their own electricity. The fact that solar energy is free makes it a no-brainer for consumers.
Considering that we’ve already discussed how much less expensive solar energy costs than it did in the past, it’s evident that the appeal of solar energy is increasing on a daily basis. More and more homeowners are discovering the benefits of having a photovoltaic system installed on their roof, and the benefits are far-reaching. Not only will you have the power to heat and cool your home whenever you want, but you’ll also have the ability to charge up devices whenever the sun shines.