Prices on Photovoltaic Panels Continue to Plummet
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Solarbuzz just released a report on solar panel prices for early 2010. The exciting news is that global supply of solar electric (PV) panels continues to exceed demand – meaning a decreased cost per installed watt of solar panels.
In fact, the cost per watt for a grid-tied photovoltaic system has dropped by roughly 30% over the past 18 months, meaning that the time to lock in your energy rate with a renewable solar power system is now.
This is great news for people in northern New England who want to save money and clean up the environment. Most of the electricity generated in Maine and New Hampshire today comes from oil and gas-fired power plants, which emit enormous quantities of harmful byproducts into the atmosphere.
Solar power systems, on the other hand, have zero emissions and only need sunshine for fuel. ReVision Energy has installed more than 1,000 grid-tied solar electric systems, thereby gradually reducing the need for fossil fuel power plants.
One of the biggest struggles many homeowners have when considering solar is the ROI – due to the up-front cost, many people want to know how long it will be before they will start saving money on the system vs. what they would have paid to energy utilities.
Lowered cost of solar panels does a lot to make this technology more affordable.
ReVision Energy customer Ben Tipton pointed out on his blog how important he feels a solar investment is to a house:
Everyone always talks about the return on investment when it comes to solar … This to me is a silly question. No one ever asks when the refrigerator, TV, furnace, car, video game is going to break even. I consider my solar a integral part of the house, something that the house couldn’t be without. I have not found the solar additions to the house any more expensive than say a regular furnace.
Indeed, Tipton’s attitude – that energy efficiency is simply part of house design, not an optional luxury, is growing more common as it becomes increasingly clear that our road to energy independence needs to happen today, and by individuals, rather than by somebody else some day down the road (check out our coverage of Tipton’s house).
If you’d like to learn more, you can always contact us for a free solar site evaluation or attend one of our many events. We’re going to have a free, one hour Solar Sustainability Crash Course in our Portland office on January 23.