Solar Power Costs Falling

Solar Power Costs 50% Lower than Last Year : CleanTechnica

Thin-film solar is leading the way down to greater affordability. Higher finance costs have hurt recently, but those are expected to ease, while the equipment is likely to get cheaper.

Solar is the only real game in town to decisively solve the world’s energy problems– addressing renewability, pollution and climate change.

Almost everyone could now be heating their water with solar, but unfortunately in most states there is no retail infrastructure for providing it, and no tax abatement. Here in Michigan I called around, finally found someone, and was told there would be a two-year wait for installation and I’d get my money back typically over 6-8 years but that the state would not help out in any way. It shouldn’t be so hard.

I know, I know, things are different in California. Most of us do not live in California (or Washington State, which is also responsible).

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10 Responses

  1. It's good to hear this. It seems like every week there is a new story about some fancy new solar panel that will make everything cheap, but the market price hasn't seemed to reflect this.

    I do live in California, and I still found the costs prohibitive the last time I checked. Maybe it will be time to check again soon.

  2. Check out G24i – maker of dye sensitized photovoltaic film – led by the former Speaker of the California Assembly.

  3. With all due respect Juan, aren’t you undermining the impact of your courageous efforts, by catering technical misconception to those who are trying to reap benefit from sowing environmental confusion?

    If the miraculous wonder were to be true, how many free square feet would an average person have above his head, without standing in the shadow of more predatory others?

  4. Here in Australia the government is providing (a) free home assessments for green living, (b) rebates on installation of solar panels, roof installation and rainwater tanks (sometimes making these things virtually free by the time you gt your money back) and (c) interest-free loans up to $10,000 for green additions to your home.

    The take-up is strong: people want to make these changes, it's only govt and business standing in the way.

  5. From a human time perspective there are ONLY four "permanent" sources of energy:

    – The thermonuclear fusion of the Sun. Wind, hydroelectric, etc. are all just derivatives of solar energy. Even the trees that are cut and burned are just stored solar energy.

    – The internal heart of the earth.

    – Gravitational reactions between the Earth, Sun and the Moon (there are many others but they are minuscule)

    – Fusion reactor – Still only theoretical. Humans have been able to achieve fusion but not on a continuous basis. Unlike fission reactor which use fuel (uranium), fusion basically creates its own fuel.

    All other forms of energy are "short term." that is petroleum, uranium, etc. are all finite and will be used up by humans in a relatively short time frame. Note that hydrogen is not a primary energy source per say, but a means to store energy for a period of time in a transportable form.

  6. As a fellow Michigander I too have been looking to see when the solar industry would evolve here in Michigan. Unfortunately for all, most of the solar equipment made in the world today comes from China. I wish it was made here in Michigan. Wind energy is also being utilized more. Windmills are another thing I wish were made here in Michigan. There are several islands in the Great Lakes that windmills and solar panels could be placed on to generate electricity. With a combination of wind and solar with a power storage unit it would be possible to never be on the grid again and to sell the excess capacity back. With all our rivers I am surprised that there is not more hydro-electrical facilities around too. We have some of the best colleges in the Country with the brains to develop some of the best equipment and manufacturing practices for the conversion to a non-carbon based power grid. We have a manufacturing work force ready to go back to work too.

    Marc Custer
    Battle Creek, MI

  7. I also live in California and paid $50,000 for a solar power system for new construction (residential) in Nov. 2007. No subsidies available. Why? The house is off the grid. The power system works beautifully, provides 100 percent of our power in all but the worst winter weather when we boost for a few hours with a generator, but it would have been cheaper to have PG and E (local utility) bring in a line. We went for the more expensive solar since fortunately we could afford it and also based on principle and our desire to be energy independent in the future. The solar technology is here now, it works well, is not difficult to install, and it is crazy that it is so difficult for homeowners, let alone businesses, to take advantage of it.

  8. Actually, solar hot water is possible in New England, where I once had it. It won't get you 120 degree water, but it will get you to use less gas in heating it by a wide margin.

  9. The price of oil will continue to increase. The price for solar power will get cheaper and cheaper. I figure that in the end the oil companies will get Congress to either subsidizes oil and gas or tax solar power.

  10. I am a Research Scientist. I have a degree in Chemistry and a degree in Chemical Engineering. I was involved in a NASA sponsored research project at JPL/CalTech developing Cadmium Sulfide solar cells from 1979-1987. We had the technical capability to produce solar cell arrays that could have been economically competitive with petroleum produced electricity.

    I am now retired but I still have my research notes, project reports, task reviews, published papers (American Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology; april-june 1984) etc., etc.

    I have been telling people for years about the work we did and our results…no one gives a damn.

    The large oil companies and other big money and political (Republican) interests shut our Research project down in 1987…that is a fact.

    Nothing is new. Same old BS. People are unbelievably stupid.

    That is a fact, too.


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