This is a hard truth to swallow...but despite the high-tech, clean-room facilities needed to create monosilicon solar panels, the panels themselves still only represent about half of the costs of getting home solar power.
The other half of the cost is mounting and wiring the solar panels to your house, and the grid. In short, installation is just as expensive as the panels. But Akeena solar has developed a system that cuts installation costs by half. They call in "Andalay," though I'm really not sure why.
They've already licensed the technology to Kyocera and SunTech. Akeena ships them the racks, they stick their panels into them, and then they ship them back to Akeena for sale. Because the racks (and all that shipping back and forth to Asia) cost some money, the overall costs are only brought down about 10%. To bring down costs further, Akeena is actually allowing SunTech to sell the panels directly...but only to buyers outside the U.S.
Hopefully, the inefficiencies in this system will get worked out soon, and the costs of installation will continue to drop...along with the cost of the panels themselves.
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