The declining costs of solar energy come in two forms, increases in the efficiency of solar and decreases in the cost of producing solar panels. Both of these factors make it less expensive for you to take on a solar installation project for your home while also providing more power. This allows you to fully power your home through your own solar panels at a lower cost than ever before.
Increases in the Efficiency of Solar
Ever since the first solar cell was built in 1839 the efficiency of the solar cells continued to grow with each revision. The first model only allowed an efficiency of about 1% which was not efficient enough to be used as a real energy source. However, it still showed the potential of solar energy with a basis for better designs to be built off of. The first useful solar cell was not created until 1954 when Bell Laboratories created a cell that allowed for a 6% efficiency.
Nowadays, some research solar cells can reach efficiencies nearing 50% like the one created by researchers at NREL, EPFL, and CSEM. While residential solar panels cannot reach anywhere close to 50% efficiencies, they still outperform the original Bell Laboratories cells by far. Most residential solar panels reach efficiencies of just over 20%. These newer panels with efficiencies of around 20% still produce about 25% more energy than the panels that dominated the market five to ten years ago.
These increases in the efficiency of solar panels mean you receive more power with less space. This opens up the ability for solar panels to perform in smaller areas which is perfect for small-sized roofs or limited outdoor space. It also makes them more capable of powering an entire home even in areas with limited sunlight.
Reduced Costs of Solar Panels
The other, more obvious, way the costs of solar panels have decreased over the years is in their actual price tag. In just ten years between 2009 and 2019, the cost of solar per watt generated reduced by more than 65% going down from $8.50 per watt to $2.96 per watt.
While these numbers seem small in a per watt basis, once you start looking at it in terms of the amount of power you need for your entire house these savings become clear. A standard house requires a 6 kW solar energy system to power the entire house throughout the year. For this system in 2009, the average cost was about $51,000. In 2019, this cost fell to just under $18,000. Once you include the Federal Solar Tax Credit you receive with your solar installation, along with Connecticut’s Residential Solar Investment Program Credit that $18,000 price tag falls to just over $10,000! Through increased efficiencies and reduced costs, solar continues to grow increasingly accessible to anyone in Connecticut. With modern advancements to the production of solar panels and the efficiency of the cells themselves, there’s never been a better time to add solar to your home.