Grid parity — or the point at which photovoltaic solar power costs are the same or lower than the costs of traditional energy — is the goal of every solar power system owner. This goal is entirely reachable now. In fact, recent research suggests that solar power is now the cheapest form of energy.
Dramatic Price Reductions in Solar Energy
New technological innovations over the last several decades have caused the price of PV or photovoltaic solar panels to drop dramatically.
When first introduced back in the 1970s, PV panels carried an oppressively high cost, especially for individual residential users. By the 1990s, however, prices had dropped by almost 85 percent. By 2008, the approximate cost for residential installations was at about $9 per watt. Now, most customers can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $3 per watt.
The cost of installing a system today is more than 100 times lower than it was 30 years ago, and it’s a third of the cost from only seven years ago. If it’s been years since you last got a quote for installing a PV system, you will be astounded at how low today’s costs are.
Danger of Waiting
Experts warn that this trend of falling prices may be coming to a rapid halt. Energy economists believe that the price of raw materials and manufacturing for PV panels has dropped as low as it’s going to go, and that waiting for further price reductions is a bad idea.
Holding out for lower prices may mean missing out on today’s lucrative financial incentives. The generous federal tax credit currently in effect is scheduled to drop significantly and then expire in the next year. Any state or local incentives are likely to follow suit.
Waiting in anticipation of a small and uncertain drop in system costs is no comparison to the 30 percent federal income tax credit available now.
Invest Now for the Cheapest Energy Solution
If you planned to hold off a little longer before installing your solar power system, it’s time to reconsider.
Some media outlets and political organizations insist that solar costs remain artificially inflated and oppressively expensive. In most cases, these are opinions based on outdated information. In other cases, however, financial ties with public utilities can hinder the flow of accurate information.
Either way, isn’t it time to do your own research and form your own opinions about the financial advantages of alternative energy?
In Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho, Intermountain Wind & Solar specializes in helping homeowners and organizations save real money on energy costs while developing true energy independence. Contact us today to get the facts for yourself about the real cost of photovoltaic solar power.