Solar panels to keep getting cheaper

November 23, 2012

There is good news for homeowners considering installing solar panels – the size of the systems is getting larger and cost is getting smaller. People are getting more solar for their money and this is a trend that is likely to continue.

The average household with a photovoltaic array is saving even more money than last year and has seen savings and income increase from £540 to £635 per year.

Speaking about this statistic, Ian Cuthbert, renewables expert from the Energy Savings Trust, said: "The average size of solar PV installations has increased from 3kWp to 3.5kWP, which basically means households are generating more electricity and therefore more savings and Feed in Tariff income.

"It is clear that UK households are increasingly looking to get the maximum yield for their roof to maximise the benefits of the solar installation."

And this increase in savings is set to continue as solar energy continues to increase in popularity and the technology behind it gets cheaper.

According to BusinessWeek there has been an impressive 75 per cent reduction in the price of solar panels since 2007.

One of the main components in the manufacturing of photovoltaic panels is silicon and the IHS Solar Polysilicon Price Index shows that the global price of silicon has fallen in October.

The price is one of the cheapest to be seen so far this year. IHS have predicted a levelling out or slight rise in the cost of silicon between December 2012 and January 2013 but commented that, due to excessive stocks of solar PV materials worldwide, it is very likely that the cost of silicon will remain low.

Silicon must be of a certain grade if it is to be utilised in the manufacture of solar panels. Whilst 9N is one of the purest grades of silicon, the lowest grade acceptable is 6N to 8N. During the month of October the cost of this grade of silicon declined by seven per cent.

The cheaper solar panels become, the wider the uptake will be, which is good news all round. 
 

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