Solar Power Cost Trends

The combination of tax breaks, government incentives, and breakthroughs in photovoltaic cells is making solar power cost trends more attractive.

Converting to solar power is a great way to help save the planet and save on utility bills in the future.  But most people’s good intentions are nipped at the bud when they discover the cost of converting their home to solar power.  At the present writing in September of 2007, there is a grand total of one home in America that runs entirely on solar and hydro power.  But are we doomed with high costs and a coughing planet?  Actually, looking at solar power cost trends, the future looks bright for homeowners who want to go green.

Going Down?

Solar power cost trends have gone down since the 1970’s and continue to go down every year as more and more companies are determined to lead the way in the relatively new-old field of solar power.  The standard to determine solar power cost trends is called the cost per watt.  In 1982, the cost per watt was $27.  In 2003, this has dropped to $4.  This is expected to drop even further.

Solar power cost trends for the initial installation are also going down.  Most states now give tax breaks or tax refunds to any homeowner converting to solar energy.  Many states have other green incentives, especially in sunshine-heavy California.  But even the temperate New York also has tempting green incentives.  Because of the ever-fluctuating world of tax and banking laws, be sure to check with your Department of Energy and your local tax accountant to see what you can get back.

If You Can’t Go All The Way

Making the huge commitment to converting your entire home to renewable energy is a huge leap that you may not be able to soundly make.  But there are still other ways where you can choose green energy over non-renewable energy sources.  Solar power cost trends have gone down for common small items such as watches, calculators and cell phone chargers.  You can even get the air pump or water heater for your pool off of the utility grid and hooked up to solar power for only a couple of hundred dollars (US).

The main reason major companies have not embraced solar power is its comparative inefficiency with non-renewable energy sources.  You need a lot of room for solar power panels to generate a significant amount of solar power energy.

However, not only the cost of photovoltaic cells have gone down, so has their size.  In many ways, solar power cost trends are mimicking the personal computer cost trends.  You think you want a revolution?

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