If solar power is so inexhaustible and readily-available, why aren’t more people using it to power their homes? This is the question that runs in the minds of people who are still skeptical about using solar panels for themselves. Many people are put off by the idea of using solar panels because they think that the solar panels cost are far beyond their reach.
If you think that getting solar panels is not cost-effective at all, then you should continue reading, you might just change your mind after reading this.
How much do standard solar panels cost?
Of course the price of solar will vary depending on where on earth you live. You are likely to get the cheapest prices in super sunny areas where the demand for panels naturally is higher. This is why Australia and the sunny parts of America have a really low solar panel cost.
This chart shows you the average cost of solar panels, including peripheral equipment
The Caveman solar system
Average Joe solar system
High baler solar system
|Small Cottage||Normal Villa||Air conditioned / Electricity Heated villa|
|1kw solar system including:||5kw solar system including:||30kw solar system including:|
|Solar panel cost: 3000$||Solar panel cost: 10 000$||Solar panel cost: 50 000$|
I have also calculated the yearly savings in electricity you can make, depending on the size of the system and each countries electricity price and how much sun that country gets.
|Total yearly electricity savings US 0,12$/kwh 6 sun hours daily:250$||Total yearly electricity savings US 0,12$/kwh 6 sun hours daily:1300$||Total yearly electricity savings US 0,12$/kwh 6 sun hours daily:7500$|
|Total yearly electricity savings UK 0,20$/kwh 3 sun hours daily:200$||Total yearly electricity savings UK 0,20$/kwh 3 sun hours daily:1100$||Total yearly electricity savings UK 0,20$/kwh 3 sun hours daily:6000$|
|Total yearly electricity savings Australia 0,29$/kwh 7,5 sun hours daily:800$||Total yearly electricity savings Australia 0,29$/kwh 7,5 sun hours daily:4000$||Total yearly electricity savings Australia 0,29$/kwh 7,5 sun hours daily:24 000$|
You can get a fully functional 1 kw solar system with all the necessary wiring, fuses, arrestors and inverters accompanying your four solar panels starting at 3000$. In this price we will even throw in some underpaid foreign workers putting up the panels for you. Of course the calculation assumes that your to be PV system is grid tied otherwise this amount will easily almost triple because of the huge cost of the solar batteries. If you don’t believe me check out this calculation over here>>.
Now those 4 solar panels totaling up to 1kw likely wont get you far since the average household almost anywhere in the western world will consume five times that amount
As you can see in the second table, the initial solar panel price does pay itself back fairly quickly. Depending on size and location the shortest payback time is a little more than 2 years and the longest time is 15 years. After that it will only bee free electricity for you and your family.
Factors affecting solar panel cost
There are several factors that affect the cost of solar panels, you need to understand these factors in order to find out whether the panels are worth your money or not.
Materials used - One of the factors affecting the solar panels cost is the type of materials used in making them. Unbeknownst to many, there are actually several different materials used in making photovoltaic panels; and every one of them have their own pros and cons. For instance, the most popular solar panels are the ones made from monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells; these types of solar panels are much more efficient in converting the energy of the sun into usable electricity, but they are much more expensive to make, thus costing more. On the other hand, there are solar panels that are made using thin-film cells; these cells are light and flexible, and are made using cheaper materials; the downside to using thin-film solar panels is that they are not as efficient in producing electricity.
Installation and maintenance - Another contributing factor to the solar panels cost is the difficulty of their maintenance and installation. Take the monocrystalline panels again as an example; these panels are the most efficient when it comes to producing electricity, so you need a whole lot less of them to provide your home with substantial power, this means faster installation. Thin film solar panels, even though they are lightweight and flexible, are not as efficient in producing usable electricity; you will need roughly twice the amount of real estate that monocrystalline panels occupy to produce the same amount of electricity that they do.
Brand name - Just like when buying other types of products, brand names often dictate the solar panels cost. Take two different kinds of solar panels; one from a well-known and respected manufacturer; and another from a new player in the industry. Even if both types of solar panels have almost identical specs and performance, you can expect to pay a premium price for the panels that came from a famous brand.
Supply/demand - The prices of any kind of product is dictated by the law of supply and demand, and since a lot more people are now interested in helping to preserve the environment thus raising the demand, the solar panels cost should be rising with significant amounts. Fortunately, modern manufacturing processes has made it easier to produce enough solar panels to keep up with the growing demand making the solar panel prices sail lower instead if higher.
Are Solar Panels Really Worth the Money?
You may be thinking that since solar panels are quite expensive, it is still better for you to continue using your local electricity grid. But, surprisingly enough, using solar panels turns out to be much cheaper than most people think. Here are some of the benefits that will make you not mind the rather high initial solar panels cost that much:
Very significant savings in your monthly electric bill - If you use solar panels as an additional source of power for your entire household, you can expect your monthly electricity bills to become significantly smaller as time passes. You can actually produce and store a good amount of electricity using solar panels, especially if you live in a sunny part of the country. Sometimes you can produce so much that you do not have to rely on your local power grid anymore. There are even some people who were able to take their homes off-the-grid and become completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity.
Tax rebates and government incentives - The federal government is actually offering tax exemptions and rebates in order to boost the people’s interest to use renewable energy. So not only will you be saving money on your utilities, you are also saving money on taxes when you use solar panels, they practically pay for themselves.
Raises your awareness regarding environmental issues - The benefits that you can get by using solar panels are not just financial, you can actually get enlightened using solar energy (pun not intended). When you start producing your own electricity, you are suddenly made aware of just how much electricity your household consumes on a regular basis. Thanks to you finally using solar power, you an your family are now on a mission to learn as many ways possible to cut back on electricity use and do your share in saving the environment.
How/Where to Find Cheaper Solar Panels
If the benefits of using solar power were still not able to make a believer out of you, maybe you would still be interested if there were some ways you could get the panels for cheap.
Rent/Lease Solar Panels - Did you know that you can actually rent solar panels for your home? There are plenty of companies nowadays who know that not everyone can afford the solar panels cost, so they allow people to rent their panels instead of buying them outright. Take note thought that renting/leasing solar panels do not make you eligible for tax credits and other incentives.
Used solar panels - If you cannot afford to buy brand new PV panels for your home, then you can just settle for secondhand ones. Although most of the used solar panels for sale nowadays are a couple of years old and probably not as efficient as brand new ones, they can still make a dent in your monthly electric bill so they are worth trying out at least.
Last but not least do not be put off by the solar panels cost; the benefits alone of using them far outweigh their prices.