Why are Solar Panel costs so high?
In short, Solar Panel costs are high because they are advanced pieces of hardware that require a long and complicated process to manufacture and install. Solar Panels are made with Silicon Minerals, which are made of fine crystalline materials that contain “Solar Cells”, or Photovoltaic Cells (PV Cells). These Silicon minerals behave like a semiconductor that helps create the flow of electricity from the sunlight. And as a matter of fact, this is actually the same material and process that computers use for their chips.
Although Silicon is not an extraordinarily scarce mineral, it is still an expensive element because of its high demand and manufacturing costs. Silicon is used for a variety of different technologies including: phones, computers, cameras, cars, medical equipment, and yes, solar technology. If it has a chip inside, then it has Silicon. In addition, the manufacturing for Silicon is expensive because it requires a specific process to cut, bend, and shape the material to optimally expose the solar cells inside. This, of course, takes a considerable amount of time and energy as well.
Recently, however, Solar power has become astronomically less expensive. Over the last 10 years, full service Solar panel Installation costs have dropped over 90%, and have since become both cheaper and more efficient than coal. This is because as the technology for solar panels continues to advance, prices fall. Not only can these advanced systems be made more durable, but they are also made with more precision and less waste.
So when did this transition happen ? How could this advanced process and high-demand material become more accessible? In the summer of 2004, China began to invest in Solar Technology because there was so much potential for the renewable energy industry. Due to this, China continued to innovate and explore this technology - they discovered methods for manufacturing that allowed the solar cells to be highly-exposed without wasting materials. consequently, this process is now extensively used, and currently allows China to produce over ¾ (76%) of the world's solar panels. China has both an effective manufacturing process and well-orchestrated supply chain that permits them to continue growing in this field.
So if Solar energy is becoming cheaper, why does it still seem so expensive? The truth is that the installation process itself is still a lengthy process. It requires a team of 4-8 professionally trained workers for a typical residential solar system. Securing the roofs, installing the solar equipment, connecting the Solar Inverter and even reroofing can all add substantial costs to the project.
All that to say, the solar industry is only expanding and becoming more widely available for all homeowners, and businesses alike. That means it’s unlikely that Solar energy will be going away anytime soon.
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