For 50 years we strived for cheaper solar panels. Then...BANG...over the last few years prices for this key component of a system dropped down below $1/watt. But completely installed systems are still expensive, about $5/watt for a typical residential system in the U.S. Even if solar panels were FREE, you'd still need an inverter and other electrical equipment, installation labor, financing, and all kinds of paperwork. So how much lower can these costs go? Where are the cost reduction opportunities?
Have questions for Barry? Share them in the comments and they may be answered in the next episode.
In this week's show we'll look at the cost reduction opportunities in each of these cost components. How much lower can solar panel prices go over the short term? Can improvements in inverters reduce BOS costs? How have new financing techniques increased or decreased system prices? What are the trends and opportunities in reducing the paperwork that burdens solar installations? Listen to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World for a hands-on rooftop perspective on these cost reduction opportunities.
About The Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock