Researchers have found that since the 1980’s, the prices of solar panels have continued to decrease at a rate of 10% per year. This progressive fall in price has in fact lead to a historically significant event to occur where from April to September solar outstripped coal in UK electricity generation, as reported by The Guardian.
Researchers at Oxford University have noted that this plummeting price of solar power is a result of the falling cost of actual solar equipment. It’s noted that due to the continuous development of technology and continuous investment, companies are now able to produce more efficient solar panels for a fraction of the price. Meaning that using the sun as a means of generating power has changed from a fantasy to reality. Therefore, a 4kWh system which would have cost around £10,000- £12 000 a few years ago is now worth £6,500 with the price decreasing rapidly as the years go by. This decreasing price is also a result of a drop in the installation costs of actual solar panels, 5% for rooftop residential systems, and 12% for larger utility-scale solar farms. Installation costs have continued to decrease even though the price of the solar panels has remained relatively flat since 2012. Installation prices have continued to decrease because the cost of the inverters that convert the DC power produced by solaPrir panels to AC power for the grid and other “soft” costs such as customer acquisition, system design, installation and permitting have all decreased.
If this is not a big enough incentive to make the switch to solar power, the temptation of FIT (Feed-in Tariff) payments should be more than enough to encourage anyone to use solar power. The FIT scheme is a government funded program which pays tariffs to individuals who use renewable sources as a means of generating power, as long as they meet the requirements. So not only would there be limited expenditure, generators would earn a subsidy for producing renewable energy, Solar PV included. F&S Energy Ltd is a FIT Licensee meaning that we are licensed by Ofgem to authorise FIT payments to individual generators.
If you are considering utilising these low solar PV prices and the FIT scheme it would be wise to do this sooner rather than later considering that as these prices continue to drop, so does the FIT payment. However, despite this the plummeting costs of solar power makes solar PV cost effective in many cases, delivering earnings and savings on average, around £8,080 over a period of 20 years.