Solar Panel Prices
The past two years have seen a continued drop in solar panel prices, making this energy-efficient technology more attractive than ever to the DIY consumer. The largest factor in better pricing is the increase in demand across the globe for solar panels and solar products. This steady increase in use represents the activities of governments, businesses and individuals. The greatest result of this lower pricing is that individuals and businesses may soon be able to employ solar technology more readily without the incentives and benefits offered by some governments. In a sense, the price of solar panels is now in reach to the average consumer striving to make their home or business more efficient and less reliant on the larger and more volatile power grid.
Another factor in the competitiveness of solar panel prices is the increase in costs of the extraction and distribution of the commonly used fossil fuels. While oil has not currently been approaching the spikes and peaks of pricing seen in recent years, the cost at the pump to the average consumer has and this increased cost is also reflected in home heating bills. In addition to an over-all increase in cost, the environmental impacts involved with the extraction of fossil fuels from the earth and their often unexpected and devastating results has grown more apparent and evident to the average world citizen. Even fuels like natural gas, which have been traditionally seen by many to be one of the cleaner ways to provide energy, have come under the scrutiny of the public eye. The process known as fracking, where fractures are placed within rock layers in the earth in order to process natural gas, is suspected in an increase in earthquake activity in areas which it has been used. These and other natural disasters have resulted in a rapid increase in the attractiveness of alternative energy, which in turn, has been reflected by a drop in the price of solar panels.
While an increase in interest and purchase of a material will often be expressed by a steady rise in price and lack of availability, the opposite has been true in the case of this green technology. Increased efficiency in the both the areas of manufacture and the resulting product have enabled businesses involved in this technology to keep pace with increased demand. From the thin-film solar method being perfected by those in the US to the latest fractional cell crystals being explored by the Chinese, the excitement and innovation of the industry has helped to keep pricing at a level found comfortable by the average consumer. Panels that are more efficient have resulted in products of smaller size and these lighter panels have led to an explosion in DIY installation practices. The ability to leave the grid and install solar panels on the roof is simpler than it has ever been before in history. The ease of installation, in addition to subsidies offered by many governments have also helped to account for the drop of solar panel prices.