Solar Power: What is The Economic Incentive?
For our last research project we are focusing on alternative energy. Today while I was researching we were looking at why solar panels are so expensive? Everybody says that there isn’t an economic incentive for solar energy so why would everyone switch to solar energy? I know saving the environment isn’t on the top of everyone’s list, but we should all be able to do the little things that count.
Here is a link to a diagram explaining how solar panels work
What I found when we were researching was the following:
Costs increase because solar panels aren’t 100% efficient – in fact, they’re significantly less! (at the time of writing, the highest efficiency achieved is 42.8%) This means you need more solar panels to power your home than you would if the efficiency were greater… plus, the more power you need, the more panels you need.
If your panels are going to be located in an area where efficiency is further compromised by shade, wind, and other factors, then even more panels may be required to provide the energy you need. The cost can easily continue to add up.
On the contrary, we also found that:
While it is still rather expensive, it is important to know that prices have dropped over the past few years. In addition, you have to take into consideration the amount of money you will be saving on your electrical bill.
While most people believe that there isn’t an economic incentive I learned that if your solar power panels produced more energy than your house or building need, then the power meter will spin backwards and pay you back for the surplus. People need to think of the long term instead of the short term because the solar power panels pay for themselves.
In the long run the solar panels pay for themselves because it makes such a difference on your electricity bill. You have to look at the long term instead of short term.