Will solar panels get cheaper?
As with most technology, we can absolutely expect to see the price of solar panels continue to drop. That said, when considering economies of scale, we are getting to the point where the highest installation expense for solar panels is not the equipment but the labor. With the increased rate of adoption, rapid acceleration of technology, human awareness of climate impact, and government focus, we’ve really seen this renewable energy resource come in to the mainstream. Prices are dropping as this adoption continues.
Since 2012, the cost of solar panels themselves remain relatively flat. We’ve seen far more cost reduction in the expense of the rest of the system. This includes the inverters, which covert the power generated by the panels to the power required by the electrical grid. It has also gotten less expensive to permit and design residential systems.
So, what should you do?
In asking whether the cost of solar will go down, most people are really asking for advice on timing. Should you absorb the expense now or wait for price reduction? A wise man once said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is today. Solar may continue to get cheaper to install, but that small savings probably won’t offset the immediate beneifts. These benefits include rebates and incentives for solar that can really get the overall investment to work. Combined with historically low interest rates (if financed) and the 30% Federal Tax credit, now may the best time to act. Government incentives have really worked to put renewables within reach for many people. Even if the cost of the technology continues to decline, there are no guarantees that it will retain governmental support. We could see the reduction or disappearance of financial assistance programs on state or federal levels. With that in mind, we feel like there’s no time like the present.
James Mitchell Energy Efficiency, Green Education, News, Renewable Energy, Solar