As massive generation of electricity from sunlight began, discussions focusing on solar electricity prices have never stopped. The essential focus is the electricity generated from sunlight, which was usually more expensive than that supplied by the utility grid. Can the prices become lower? If they can, how can we achieve this target?
Solar panels were once expensive and are inexpensive today. The dropping trend of solar panels is still going on as solar panel mass production, more shipments and high demands continue. More importantly, some regions of the world such as mainland China and Taiwan can supply even cheaper prices to customers in the areas where cheap solar panels are not available. If heavy taxes are concerned, their prices are high. If policies change, prices can continuously drop. Besides this, solar inverters, being souls in generating electricity, can have cheaper prices in the future. Wholesale is one way to lower their prices; and high demands can be another. You see, now people’s realization of using solar power has improved dramatically.
Higher efficiency and innovations of solar power generation devices
Mass production and wholesale can make the devices that generate solar electricity become cheaper, but this cannot guarantee the ultimate solar electricity prices down in the future. At this time improving the efficiency of these products is indispensable. Actually solar panels’ efficiency has improved a lot. Today’s panels have an efficiency of 20% on average, while in the past the figure was much lower than this one. In fact, now the highest efficiency research has already reached up to 40% although this has not been put into practice yet. In the future this percentage will consistently decline for sure. Although at present PV inverters’ highest efficiency has already reached up to 96.5% (micro inverters) and 98.5% (commercial inverters), more efficient inverters are also expected to be made in the years to come. With more efficiency products made, more electricity will come out. When electricity become more, it will become cheaper.
High sunlight demand
Solar electricity comes from sunlight. Thus, it is much better if more solar power plants are built in the areas where sunlight is excessively rich and more families across the globe can choose to go solar and build tiny solar power plants at home. Sunlight rich areas like deserts and the equator should be further explored, and indeed this trend has already begun as many people are asking the reason why we don’t build solar power plants in these areas. Obviously, apart from some human reasons, the topmost reason is technology. No doubt, the future technology will overcome such problems and support our idea of building power stations in these places. In addition, many countries have already started to promote residential solar power generation, which is a great contributor to cheaper prices. Nowadays home power still costs much, for you need to build a system with your own money. This is often thousands of dollars or even more. Subsidies can be one supplement for the high costs, but people willing to build it still have to take debts. The limitation is that only rich sunlight areas can get even cheaper power bills.
No blood and no killings in the solar power battlefield, but there is fiercer competition. Germany had no competitors in the past but face many competitors from around the world today. If suppliers in the country were monopolizers in this industry, power generation prices would be very expensive. Happily, the truth is the opposite, and so solar prices are cheap. In the price competition field, many have fallen down and sacrifice for the better players. With demands of solar electricity growing, people from across the world will enjoy cheaper prices. In this process education, climate change and environmental issues can help people turn to solar power.
Small businesses’ benefits for customers
We always hope to work in a big company because it can provide us with good salaries, bonuses and dividends. When we buy a product, we hope it can be as cheap as we wish. This is a contradiction of humanity. However, we can relatively achieve this by choosing small businesses, for their human labor costs are low. Sometimes their products may not be that good, while can big businesses guarantee their products are 100% excellent? If small companies are chosen, the cost of generating electricity will be lowered somewhat.
These five elements do affect solar electricity prices although they cannot absolutely make sure the prices will dramatically go down. Yet, the truth is nothing is absolutely sure. Truth be told, climate change, worsening living environmental issues, falling solar devices’ prices, more advanced technology and people’s acceptance of solar energy have improved and this will drive massive generation of electricity by taking advantage of solar energy. Cheaper electricity prices at this point can be expected in the years to come.