There has literally never been a better time to go solar! Solar PV has made so many advances in the last thirty years that it is now able to compete with the retail cost of electricity in many jurisdictions. Solar PV, in the last 5 years, has evolved so quickly, that those not directly involved in the industry do not know that solar PV is now a viable, cost effective source of energy.
Let's start in 1974, showing a quick history of the cost reductions in the PV industry.
The above graph shows the cost per kWh ($/kWh) for solar PV vs. traditional utility power.
In 1974, the first factory producing solar PV cells for terrestrial applications opened in the US. The output from this factory was only enough to satisfy the needs of a few homes. At this time, the cost of Solar PV was $3.00 /kWh or $60 / watt. Utility power at this time was $0.03 / Kwh. Far from economical for 99% of terrestrial applications.
By 1990, 200 MW of solar had been deployed world-wide. The majority of this capacity was for off grid applications: Telecom, Oil and Gas and remote cabins. There was enough solar to power around 4,000 homes.
By 2000, the cost of solar had dropped to $0.50 / kWh or $10 per watt. By this year, there was enough installed capacity to meet the needs of 135,000 homes.
Between 2000 and 2010, installed capacity accelerated drastically. By 2010, total global capacity reached 40,000 MW, enough to power 8 million homes. Solar PV had finally reach a tipping point to where it was on track to make a run at mainstream market acceptance.
Solar PV costs are now down to $3 / W or $0.15 / kWh. Solar Electricity is now cost competitive with retail electricity in many jurisdictions. This means that the average home owner can add solar PV system, and SAVE money vs. purchasing from the utility.
Solar PV is now knockign the door on the energy market. Solar PV is here, ready to be installed and save you money.
If you'd like to see how solar energy can meet you need, please contact us for a free evaluation.