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Cost of Solar Panels Expected To Plummet

Solar photovoltaics have their challenges, from shortages of silicon to the sheer cost of purchasing and installing solar panels, but a new report from the Prometheus Institute says that both these problems will be addressed over the http://www.animationnation.com/online-ordering-cialis next few years, leading to cheaper solar and an abundance of capacity to produce.

Based on their research, Travis Bradford, president of the Institute, says that prices for traditional silicon-based panels should fall from $3.66 per watt (2007 figures) to $2.14 per watt in 2010, and more impressively, thin-film PV should go to $1.81 per watt from $2.96. When coal, currently the least expensive source of power, is around $2.10 per watt to generate*, the expected drop in price for solar will make it far more competitive.

Any news that solar is becoming more affordable is great as it will encourage more individuals to install them at home, and businesses to do likewise, either to offset their electricity consumption or installing them in a for-profit initiative. The report, however, also highlights an interesting figure - and companies who are currently building silicon-producing facilities that will come online in the next couple of years, should pay attention: The current global production capacity for silicon and thin-film panels is around 3.14 gigawatts, but will hit 12.36 gigawatts in 2010. That's an increase of just under 400%, an enormous amount that is sure to be welcomed by the environmental community.The demand, however, is only expected to be 6.76 gigawatts, up from 2.94 gigawatts in 2007, leaving over 5 gigawatts of unused capacity. Hopefully this will drive prices further down, resulting in greater demand, but this may have already been reflected in the statistics.

The reason for the drop in prices is due to the expected hike in silicon production, a shortage of which is currently being felt. It is expected that silicon availability will quadruple to 125,302 tons by 2012, providing a massive oversupply of the material to the industry. Thin-film manufacturers who use no silicon will not be affected by this overabundance, however they will have to compete with the dropping prices of conventional panels, hence the www.tevaka.com drop in price.

It may also, though this is probably wishful thinking, push governments to start offering more incentives to those who install solar in a bid to use up the remaining capacity and financially support their manufacturers who by this point will be a very large industry, employing tens of thousands of people.

Via Greentech Media.
Photo via planetrelations

*edited for correction

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Comments (54)Add Comment
0
Costs of coal?
written by Jon, June 04, 2008
What is your basis for claiming the cost of coal is $1 per Watt? Is that initial capital costs amortized over the plant's lifetime? Does it include the cost of the coal fuel? Do you have a reference for that?

Thanks!
0
Correction
written by Martin Smith, June 04, 2008
Shouldn't "thin-film PV should go to $1.81 per watt from $2.96" be "thin-film PV should go to $2.96 per watt from $1.81"?

All good news. I have just bought a new place and had a plan to put PVs on the roof, but I might hang back, stick with solar thermals for now, then install the PVs in a few years.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
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Fantastic
written by Brian, June 04, 2008
I'm going to be purchasing a home soon and will be looking to add solar panels to the roof as an offset to my energy consumption. Any price reduction is welcome, but I'm not going to hold off for cheaper prices. Those cheaper prices will simply allow me to add on to the system I install initially when I have some more money to invest in the system.
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Oversupply?
written by Kent Ragen, June 04, 2008
An oversupply of silicon? What a great problem to have!
www.ecounit.com
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Cost vs Output
written by Jason Fremont, June 05, 2008
The giant costs vs. little output has always been an issue with solar power. Wind power has always been much cheaper and 5mg viagra the output MUCH more forthe cost. Will be nice to see solar prices drop and make it feasible.

http://www.FireMe.To/Udi
0
...
written by Confused, June 05, 2008
Wait a minute - My house used 121 Kilowatt Hours (121,000 watt Hrs) of power last month So way wasn't my energy bill $254,100 if it costs $2.10 a watt for coal?
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Questioning the canada cialis figures
written by Nicholas Gledhill, June 05, 2008
This may be a stupid question... perhaps I haven't thought about it for long enough...

But, what do you mean when you quote demand figures, specifically for solar power? Surely there is a demand for power, in general, of which some is supplied by solar. Or perhaps you mean enough panels to produce "6.76 gigawatts" of power... in which case, wouldn't supply outstripping demand by that much lead to short-term collapse in production - simply lead producers to stop producing and find another use for their silicon... Booms (and busts) are never as a good as sustainable growth, even in green technology markets.

Anyway, whatever it means specifically - no one can disagree that an oversupply of solar panels (and growing demand) is better than an under-supply - a good thing in the long-run, even if it did produce some oddities in the market in the short-term.
0
...
written by not confused, June 05, 2008
@ confused:
a kilowatt is the amount of energy produced at a given instant, or a power plant's or solar panel capacity to produce power. What you get billed for is an amount of energy delivered over time, hence kilowatt hours.
0
...
written by not confused more, June 05, 2008
@ confused also:

If I buy a solar panel that can produce up to 200w of power and it costs me $700 to buy that panel, my cost is $3.50 per watt.

If you use your computer for an hour and it uses 200w then you used 200w per hour. Where I live it costs me $0.15 per kwh. So 200w for an hour would cost me $0.03.

The problem is that if I collect electricity from that panel for an average of 6 hours a day, everyday, I could only sell that power for $0.18 a day. That's $65.70 a year in a perfect scenario. That would take me 10 1/2 years to pay off that panel, in a perfect scenario. A more realistic time frame would be around 25 years.

We're getting there.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
0
...
written by Un-confused, June 05, 2008
@Confused:

Its important to remember that you are comparing an electric service to an electric generator. They are not the same thing. Solar panels are not fuel that gets used up, and you do NOT need to actually buy 121 KW of panels!!

There are aprox 720 hours in a 30 day month, so at 121 KW/h per month, you average about 168 watts at any point during the month. Thats about $360 worth of solar panel at silicon based prices ($2.14 forecast for 2010).

Of couse, its not that simple. What you really need is enough to cover your PEAK usage, which your monthly usage number does not tell us. Its likely at least 1.5 - 2KW however. This is due to the fact that an AC/fridge/computer/TV/etc... all running at the same time on a summer day would be sucking a ton of juice, yet throughout much of the night, those appliances would be using much less power, not to mention lights off, etc. While you are at work too.

The first step to making solar power worth it is efficiency. You should be able to get by with 2KW of panels easily if you make your home efficient enough. Most people waste massive amounts of electricity unnecessarily. At 2000 watts of panels, you are looking at $4,280. Add to that installation costs and additional equipment (inverter, etc). Wild guess: $6000 - $8000 or so. Maybe as much as $10k depending on your needs and situation, maybe as little as $5k if you are a super do-it-yourselfer and www.slic.de swing a shrewd deal on the panels.

Just some thoughts and numbers to flesh out the conversation a bit.
0
...
written by Un-confused, June 05, 2008
P.S. My above numbers presume a grid-tied system, i.e. no batteries. This is not possible everywhere (depends mostly on your power company). If you were going off grid and needed storage too, there would be more cost and trade-offs.
Simple spelling, the ABCs of journalism, Low-rated comment [Show]
0
mreow, ksss!
written by Tired, June 05, 2008
... and you're blind. It's already been stated above.
0
there will never be an oversupply
written by jeebus, June 05, 2008
Once electric cars are fully established we will need all the power we can get! this is the beginning of a beautiful new era.
0
Still dreaming
written by Paul, June 05, 2008
This is all hot air. For decades we've been hearing the generic levitra mastercard same "breakthrough" and "in a few years", but nothing ever makes it to market.

Get these products on the shelves now, or stop the BS.
0
Confused, don't be
written by Anonymous, June 05, 2008
The $2.10/W cost for coal is the cost of building a new coal power plant. It does not include the costs of fuel or emissions. Solar should break even well above $2/W since its 'fuel' (the sun) is free.
0
...
written by Idrinkyourmilkshake, June 05, 2008
Id like to know how we are prediciting this "oversupply" of silicon, which is where the predictions of falling prices come from.

PV folks are telling me that prices - at least near term are rising.

What happens when the Chinese and Indians suddenly want to buy PV cells. That "oversupply" of silicon might still be "not enough"

Storage not efficiency is the big drawback of solar PV systems. Once the sun goes down you are dead in the water without a massive battery system. Grid-tied systems are great so long as the rest of the population doesnt catch on. A 2KW system should be adequate for most single family dwellings, but youll need to store at least 10kWhrs of juice to make it through a typical winter evening (without significantly changing your liefstyle). Thats 833 amp hours from a 12v battery, or between 15 and 20 car batterys going from full to empty every day.

Its easy to see that you probably wont be using a tumble dryer, the electric oven, a dishwasher, electric hot water heater and still have energy to run the fridge/freezer, lights, TV and parasitics.

PV technology is very promising, but in almost every case of new, renewable energy technology - conservation and lifestyle changes will play an equally significant role.
0
...
written by Will, June 05, 2008
I read a few days ago that silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust.
0
Wind vs Solar & Peak Use
written by Dave, June 05, 2008
Wind and www.marthawashingtoninn.com solar are complementary tools. Wind is higher during cloudy weather and solar obviously during sunny weather, often associated with less wind. The cost of solar is higher and only partially offset by reduced transport costs--those electric lines are not free.
As to installing for peak use, that is great if your goal is go off grid totally. That is impractical for most and primarily for those who hate the link for you levitra from india current distribution system providers. Supplementing the existing system with offline and renewables in small steps will allow you to add on as the costs go down. You are not helping the world so much if you max out your credit cards to go solar and you also lead to the above noted boom bust cycles that have slowed development so much.
0
...
written by Jeff, June 05, 2008
They've been saying this for 20 freekin' years!!! Put up or shut up. Until you can post a link where I can buy it cheap, stop the hype!

It's not real until we can buy it!!!

Surely I'm not the only one who's tired of these grossly premature stories!
0
Let's hope the price really drops
written by Cubicle Dropout, June 06, 2008
I'm in the process of building my home over the next couple years, and I would love the final product to be off-grid. Price is my only limiting factor.
0
...
written by dariusf, June 06, 2008
Lucky you regarding the building the house and price being the www.aumm.nl limiting factor. The subdivision we build in two years ago has insane rules as to where one can place solar panels and windmills are not allowed. Just happens that the house orientation would not allow for the panel placement :( From what I understand many areas have stupid strict limits on this. Land of the free....
0
Solar Panels
written by Gary McLeod, June 09, 2008
Presently we use about 40kW per day. At 6 hours of useful sunlight. That's about a 7kW per hour solar energy rate needed. System Quotes are coming in at $55K, rebates and usefull link generic viagra in canada credits are $21K utility, $4K Government for out of pocket $30K. Ideally this would save $1600 per year, so that payback is 19 years (assuming same rate from Utility Compnay). However, if you consider Utility Rates going up at 8% per year. Payback occurs in about 14.5 years. The bigger reason for us to consider this is we want to do what we can to reduce energy consumption using fossil fuels and we do plan to covert over to an electric car for short haul driving.
0
...
written by Eddy, June 11, 2008
Local Govts forbid erection of solar panels. ;D
Boy Oh Boy, you Yanks never cease to amaze me. Of course these are the same Local Govts that also forbid you, from hanging out your washing to dry, thus reducing the demand on fossil fuel consumption ? ;) AND at the same time, bleat about reducing the carbon emmissions. And who elects these minor local officials in the first place, allowing them to implement such crap ? Excuse me Folks, but have I got something wrong here with my understanding of these issues ?
One poster gave us a pretty good run up on the power draw he has with his home, appliances that he's definately going to have to re-assess in the very near future.
If all Americans, are so enamoured of their home appliances as he is, Folks your looking serious problems in the face, maybe it's well past the time where you all become a little more sustainable and ditch many of those appliances ?
After all, do you really need that auto capacino maker ?
0
Incremental applications
written by Sterling, June 14, 2008
One of the things people rarely seem to talk about is the potential to use solar to reduce the number of electricity-using additions to existing homes. For example, landscape lighting or outbuilding lights are projects would have involved hookups to an existing meter ten years ago, but now people are able to do this with small solar products. So yes, it's good that large solar panel emplacements on roofs are becoming more practical, but with a lot of smaller, fixed devices around the yard being individually powered, we're also seeing a drop-off in power consumption on a per-household basis.
0
...
written by Founder, June 26, 2008
http://www.nanosolar.com/index.html

Lets get this band wagon going
0
Progress has been made
written by Ciceroji, July 05, 2008
I keep on hearing the put up or shut up argument regarding whether this is actually real. However, when you look at solar power it has made ENORMOUS progress. Cost has steadily fallen since the cialis order first solar panel came out. So this is just a question of time. You look at the historical trend and you can find break even assuming the current rate of progress.

However in the past there was little interest in solar power, no subsidies and very little venture money. Therefore the speed at which costs are lowered will accelerate it is simple, kinda like Moores law. The people who have been hearing solar panels will become cost effective for a while must have been lied to for a while and were just too lazy to check and find out what that would take. They would have realized from historical trends that is unlikely. However we are getting very close to the point where conservatively based on historical trends it is increasigly likely.

An interesting article with that point can be found here:
http://entropyproduction.blogspot.com/2007/05/glittering-future-of-solar-power.html
0
Texas Solar Power
written by Rex, July 16, 2008
www.txspc.com

We do turn-key installations all across the nation.
Texas Solar Power Company, Since 1995.

www.txspc.com
0
Wind Power
written by jim, July 20, 2008
I'm going to add a wind machine in my backyard to power my house. Cost is 34K. But, I can run everything 24/7 and still sell power back to the local utility, making a projected 12K a year. Sounds good to me.
0
Cost savings
written by Pomaikai, August 01, 2008
I read an article on how a $23k installed system reduced the electric bill from $150 a month to $30 a month so the system should be paid of in 16 years. They foret to add in interest if a loan was taken out(or lost interest/dividends since the money could be invested if it was cash). They also mention that he had to drastically change his lifestyle to use less electricity. This could be done with solar panels and if he knocked 20% from just using less electricity it will increase to 21 years. Now tack on interest and eatingdisorderrecovery.com were talking 25 year pay off. vs just cutting back electricity. Sure hope there are no maintenance costs within those 25 years. From a financial view it is just plain dumb.
0
Info on solar building cost
written by Luis Cruz, October 03, 2008
i'm writing to you to ask what the estimated cost for building a 18 - 20 cell solar panel in order to charge a 9 - 10 volt battery
0
Do you supply Solar Panel system for Hou
written by Kamran, October 11, 2008
I would like to know do you supply solar panel in Paksitan i want to buy what ll be price for 3 kv panel?
0
WHAT SHOULD THE HIGHER AUTHORITIES BE CO
written by GRADE EIGHT PUPIL..., October 26, 2008
WOW,THE AMMOUNT THAT IS BEING SPENT ON BUILDING NEW POWER PLANTS IS UTTERLY ALARMING.hERE WE ARE WONDERING ABOUT THE AMMOUNT OF MONEY THAT IS SPENT ON PANALS,BUT IN REALITY BILLIONS AER BEING SPENT ON COAL PRODUCTION!basically,we are building new factories,digging up the eaeths soil ,destroying the viagra pills canadian ozone layer and killing everything on our plannet...and being willing to spend a lot more on that than to atually spend it on soething that could fix it.on to of that,majority of the country actually has no lighting in their houses...therefore the young people have less time to do reserch or study.less of an opportunity to be educated,and here i thought we were trying to improve intelligence.I guess i cant even expect that from the human race-I guess i just thought that if they didnt care about all the animals and plants that they were killing, they would at least not be as savage as to not help their own kind.. :- i can see that i am going to have a lot of work cut out for me when i leave school,because humanity is not yet in the least an intelligent species
0
AVA solar
written by Jon, October 26, 2008
Check out this company they just started production of solar panels.

AVA is among a dozen or so companies chasing a market for cheap solar energy, driving product costs down to the $1-per-watt measure, making it nearly competitive with traditional, fossil-fuel-based energy sources.

The process involves depositing a chemical compound called cadmium telluride on ordinary sheet glass, rather than using expensive crystalline silicon like the material used in computer chips.

While the technology is not unique, AVA Solar's production methods are, and those are the patents that the company relies on to ensure its market position. Company president and CEO Pascal Noronha and his staff are pursuing a system where multiple, high-speed, automated production lines can mass-produce the solar panels at a rate that surpasses what competitors can deliver.
0
...
written by Falstaff, December 02, 2008
The panel costs per watt cited from the Prometheus Institute in the article are incorrect for 2007, and optimistic for the future. Panel prices are now ~$4.7/W installed and decreasing in real terms at about 10% per five years. When compared to coal, the solar figures from the article are highly misleading, as the PV cost/watt figures are for peak wattage, do not account for solar variations by climate requiring more panels, whereas a coal plant is rated at average output power, 24/7. This is reflected in the current average energy price for residential solar PV installations of $0.38/kWh in sunny climates, and reaching $0.83/kWh in cloudy climates. Coal energy rates are $0.06 to $0.10/kWh including delivery costs, or four to fourteen times less than solar.
http://www.solarbuzz.com/SolarIndices.htm
0
Re falstaff
written by Giovanni, December 30, 2008
In my region, the average installation price per watt is $7.25/watt. What are do you say is $4.70/watt?
0
...
written by Wondering, January 21, 2009
What is the realistic cost of a system with batteries, wires, regulators, etc. per Watt?

I am not sure if I am doing my math right. if I buy a 2000 Watt system, I theoretically get 2kWh right? assuming 8 hours of sunlight that is 16kWh per day or 5840 kWh a year. If my electricity costs $.11 per kWh I have theoretically created $16000 worth of electricity in 25 years (5840x.11x25) right? Realistically I have only created $10000 worth of electricity. Is this right? and is it worth it?
0
Backwards
written by Realistic, February 10, 2009
Let's do the math backwards for a minute. My electricity bill averages around $300 per month. If I amortized a system over 25 years to cover all my needs it would have to cost less than $90,000 to break even, excluding interest. For $90k I can now buy a 4.5kw system (installed) or approximately a 10kw system that I'd have to do ALL the work myself.
You get a lousy rate for selling back to the utility company, so I'd use up any excess energy in water heating and aeration for a couple of glass-house tilapia ponds. I could feed myself into the bargain!
0
M.D
written by cyrus, February 27, 2009
I seems fine and www.worcestercountybar.org convincing but in africa it could be of much sense in remote areas.
Cyrus
0
Pakistan, energy starved
written by Khan, March 29, 2009
There countries like Pakistan where due to lack of electricity people are in the dark about 50 percent of the time during night hours besides there sleep hours. I think any alternate sources of electric power that doesn't depend on water dams , coal , oil etc will benefit those countries/ regions the tramadol fed ex no memberships most but off course it has universal values no matter where u live. I hope these new sources of enrgy recah the developing countries where the corrupt leaders can't solve these probles but idividual initiatives can lead to improvemnt in peoples lives and can at the same time create a business, best of both worlds. I am interested in this discussion for both humane and business perspective.
0
Need to take Insolation into Account
written by altorm, April 04, 2009
We should realize that solar panels are rated under the industry standard condition of 1000 watts/square meter insolation. If you look at this NASA site http://www.gaisma.com/en/locat...izona.html
that gives weather around the world, in most locations the insolation is rarely more than 6KWhr/sm/day and typically is around 3 to 4 even in the sunniest climes. In Berlin it drops to 0.48 KWhr/sm/day for example in December. Even in Scottsdale Arizona the low is 2.55KWHr/sm/day in December and 7.65 KWHr/sm/day in July.

Thus forgetting other losses such as cloud cover a 1 sm panel rated at 150Watt only delivers on average 255/1,000 x 150 watts = 38.25 watts. Thus in a December day of 10 hours the panel delivers 0.38KWhr NOT 1.5KWHr. In July it would deliver 1.6KWHr in a 14 hour day, not the rated 2.1KWHr/day. Over the year the www.strattonpublishing.com panel would generate approx. 40% of its nominal rating.
0
website
written by Bob, April 11, 2009
after waiting almost 15 mins for your website to open and it has not finished loading yet.
Is it not best practice to design your website for the slowest speed ie those who have only dial up? or have a button for text only, and not all the adds from adsever etc etc
Regards Bob
0
Go Green
written by DjAdidas, May 11, 2009
you people are all thinking about money all the time, what about the fact that using solar helps reduce the emitions into the earth which means cleaner air for me and you to breath, longer life spans for you to make more money hahaha Not to mention if the power goes out you will have power and no one else will.
0
carbon
written by Dan VK, June 08, 2009
Carbon should be taxed as it is removed from sequestration - at the coal mines, at the drilling rigs, etc. Innovation and pill decription of propecia scale in solar manufacturing will pull us into a new era of plentiful power and clean air.
0
KUDOS
written by Arvind, June 24, 2009
There are comments coming more than a year after the article was posted. I think, lot of real information is still hidden and we, collectively, have very little clue of the macro demand/supply and cost situation of individual components building the solar gadgets.
0
Alternative energy
written by Stephen, July 19, 2009
Is there anyone looking into harnessing the energy unleashed in a natural disaster. take a hurricane for example is there a way to harness this raw natural power?
0
Harnessing the power of natural disasters.
written by J.C. Ebbing, November 14, 2009
Stephen -

I saw a blurb on one of the Discovery channels awhile back. A researcher out in Nevada had found a way to harness the juice from a lightning strike - using a huge lightning rod and a massive power inverter. When you consider that a typical lightning strike is well over a million volts... the implication is staggering... I don't know what an installation like that would cost, and you'd have to have a way to store the online levitra tablet energy, but I bet it'd be way cheaper than solar.
0
...
written by Uncle B, January 02, 2010
The price of Solar cells will fit in better after the "Great American Downsizing" a fate about to befall all Americans as the Mighty V-8's disappear from the roads, the poorly built badly insulated houses go foreclosed, then abandoned and the new sane, sustainable sized eco-smart shelters are built! Once the battery cars are interconnecting homes and commerce with the inter-city electric bullet trains and the oil hungry jet planes fly no more, Solar cells on a personal "survival shelter" styled home, ready for the next normal, predictable, down-cycle of the corporatist economy, will make immense good sense. Super-insulation will defray the rising costs of running a private home as we share more and levitra tadalafil more of the finite world's resources with a hungry and growing Asia. Our weak U.S. dollar no longer commands the 80% of world's finite resources, required to maintain our current "Status Quo", against a very strong "Yuan" a trusted, stable currency that soon may become the new currency of international trade. Oil shortages in the world will be the Achilles heel of an American Military that cannot even fly a plane without it, and currently has none at home to speak of. America will not be able to "Bully" oil from other nations very soon. Events like the 1978 oil embargo clearly illustrated to America their weakest point - foreign oil dependency, and Solar cells, Solar Thermal installations, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, and Geothermal Power installations relieve some of this dependency, as can nuclear advances, but no efforts on a scale that makes rational sense are being attempted by a government embroiled in financial fiasco. The very best the American individual can do to assure his personal survival through the next inevitable economic downturn is to prepare an independent means of survival, separate and aside from the "System" and Solar cells on the roof, with super-insulation beneath can guarantee warmth/cool and light for the dark days ahead! P.S. Make room for composting and a greenhouse/garden area to off-set high food costs too!
0
$1.81?
written by Aryeh, March 24, 2010
Hey guys wake up this is real now! I bought 1500w of solar panels for... $1460. Cheap silicon thin film is now super cheap on this overstock of silicon.

Even crystalline is $1.81 at www.sunelec.com...
With my $0.98c solar panels, I put in solar panels for $4 a watt total, off grid, and with all of my costs and after the federal and state rebates, a 10 year payback will occur, combined with a 20 year valuation I should be able to sell my home at a profit...
0
solar energy
written by raheel, July 05, 2010
we need solar system, our total load is5kV.
0
...
written by Sun Electronics, April 05, 2011
Prices listed in the research are about right, I've seen lower and higher prices about everywhere in the internet and viagra on line sales locally. At www.sunelec.com we have panels as low as 0.98/w which is very affordable for an above average consumer.
0
builders
written by builders , May 04, 2011
Our business model is simple and effective. An example would be when you buy one can of soft drink you pay a premium, buy a carton and you save money. It is basic bulk buying power and we make it available to our clients when they are building a home! You just LEVERAGE your one home purchase and use our volume buying power.
===============
peter

builders

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