Solar power is already a realistic option for renewable power in the UK with the ready availability of good value solar panel kits.
But new research shows that the cost of solar panels is falling so dramatically that they will cost half of what they did in 2009 by 2013. It’s further evidence to show what an important role solar power will play in the UK’s future energy mix.
The cost of photovoltaic solar panels has already dropped from around $2 per Watt of capacity in 2009 to $1.50 in 2011. According to the report by analysts Ernst & Young, this is expected to drop to around $1 by 2013.
Because of this and the rise in the price of fossil fuels it’s thought that soon government incentives like the Feed In Tariff scheme will no longer be necessary to make solar power attractive to more homeowners as more and more people will be able to afford full home solar panel set-ups without subsidies.
The report says that by around 2019 even large companies needing lots of power will find it cheaper to install unsubsidised solar power than to buy electricity through the national grid.
One of the reasons for the price reductions is that the price of high-grade silicon, an essential component of the majority of photovoltaic solar panels, is dropping dramatically.
The report said that while subsidies won’t be needed in the future, at the moment they are essential to help boost the renewable energy market.
And while solar power is going from strength to strength in the UK, new research in the US could make solar power even cheaper and more efficient in the future, with the development of the revolutionary ‘nantenna’ solar technology.
Whatever happens over the next few years, solar power is already here. Marine solar panels have been used effectively for several years and photovoltaic panels are so flexible there are even plenty of practical camping solar panels to take on holiday.