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Solar panel costs to fall further

Solar electricity schemes could be economically viable without government subsidies within the next decade, a report has said.

The cost of solar panels is falling so quickly that by 2013 they will stand at half the price seen in 2009, according to Ernst & Young.

Industry analysis shows that the average one-off installation cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has decreased from more than $2 (£1.23) per unit of generating capacity in 2009 to £0.92 this year. That figure is expected to continue falling, with prices approaching the £0.62 mark by 2013.

Ernst & Young, who compiled the report on behalf of the Solar Trade Association, said that the price falls could lead to solar electricity playing a key role in meeting UK renewable energy targets.

The study concluded that a combination of falling PV panel prices and increasing fuel costs could soon make large-scale solar installations cost-competitive without Government support.

Readers' comments (3)

  • This is a splendid example of a meaningless piece of public relations speak. What is a "unit" of generating capacity? If it is a 'watt' then the figures are more likely to be in the region £3 to £7 today for domestic installations, depending on size. If it is per 'kWh' (old fashioned 'unit') anticipated as being generated during a whole year then you can currently expect it to cost you £4.50 to £9. Remember, a domestic installation is limited to 4kW potential to receive the best rate of Feed-In Tariff.


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  • Agree wholeheartedly - typical of the imprecise and meaningless information given out by too many non-engineers which doesnt match the headlines given.
    And what is a FIT, other than a subsidy?
    So what will the Total Solar Panel System unsubsidised unit cost per Kwhr generated including fo all supply, cabling, panels, electrical panels and connection to the Grid, including full O&M and replacement costs, for the stated life cycle of the equipment, and what is the guaranteed minimum annual power generated?
    Given that information, the study and this article might make sense and form some basis for discussion!

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  • NCE would be a lot more useful to readers if it routinely included a link to the relevant report - in this story we dont even get told the report title.

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