July 21, 2024

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‘We’re seeing prices come down pretty much across the board’

‘We’re seeing prices come down pretty much across the board’

Our energy systems are changing for the better. With clean energy totaling over 30% of the world’s electricity supply, and a 30% tax credit provided by the United States Inflation Reduction Act for qualifying clean energy equipment, the demand for renewable energy continues to grow. 

Inside Climate News reported that the price for solar panels has consistently decreased, despite the short-term increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for solar has benefitted many — some more than others.

While developers and consumers have enjoyed the lowered cost of solar panels, manufacturers have been challenged with excess inventory when costs were higher, according to ICN.

Solar panels have risen in popularity for homeowners looking to save money on energy bills and reduce their environmental impact. When sunlight hits a solar panel, it knocks electrons free, creating a flow of electrons that generates electricity through a process called the “photovoltaic effect.”

Due to the increase in supply and manufacturing efficiency, costs to purchase solar energy have decreased significantly in the United States and around the world. However, the price per watt has varied, according to data from BloombergNEF, as relayed by Inside Climate News. In the United States, the price is 31 cents per watt for photovoltaic panels, while the price is 11 cents globally. 

“P.V. module prices are much higher in the U.S. because, since 2012, the U.S. has essentially barred cheap, best-in-class modules from China from entering the U.S. market with prohibitively high tariffs,” said solar analyst Pol Lezcano, who works at BloombergNEF. 

The Biden administration has set tariffs on countries such as China to counter their extensive manufacturing of solar panels. Additionally, the United States has focused on domestic renewable energy, growing solar panel manufacturing capacity from 7 to 125 gigawatts per year. Solar energy groups were concerned that additional tariffs would cause instability for solar companies, per ICN. 

Nevertheless, solar energy has exploded as equipment and installers outnumber demand, pushing competition to lower prices all around.

🗣️ If you don’t have solar panels on your home, which of these factors is the biggest barrier to installing them?

🔘 Upfront costs 💰

🔘 Trouble with my HOA 🚩

🔘 Too much maintenance 🔧

🔘 An incompatible roof 🏠

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Unlike dirty energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas, which release harmful air pollution that causes sickness within communities, clean energy sources can be used repeatedly without depleting resources or adding more pollution to our atmosphere. This makes them a much more sustainable option for powering our homes and communities. 

“We’re seeing prices come down pretty much across the board,” said Spencer Fields, who is the director of insights for EnergySage, an online marketplace for energy storage and rooftop solar. 

Now, solar energy is more accessible than before. 

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