Solar Panel Prices Set to Drop

RENEWABLE energy experts predict the cost of solar panels will drop a quarter by 2017.

A key component of solar PV panels is crystalline-silicon and the Chinese manufactured product is likely to drop from 50 cents per watt in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 36 cents per watt by the end of 2017, according to a new report from GTM Research.

Manufacturers who use this Chinese crystalline-silicon include Jinko Solar, Renesola, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy and so all their products are likely to be affected.

A spokesperson from the said: “Obviously there has been a lot of news coverage surrounding Chinese manufactured solar panels at the moment, but this mustn't distract from the fact that new technology cutting the price of solar panels is fantastic news.

“If the price of solar panels continues to drop this is great news for the environment, the homeowner and the industry.”
The cost of crystalline-silicon will come from technology advances including new cutting methods using diamond wire sawing and using machines instead of manual labour.

Over the last two years, the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically, meaning that even though the feed-in-tariff is not as generous as it once was, the return-on-investment on panels is still incredibly lucrative.

A solar panel installation that will provide roughly all the electricity for the average home currently costs about £6,000 (a 3 Kw) but the savings and earnings are about £23,300.

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