What is the cost of solar energy?

The cost of solar energy continues to go down. Although there are many variables to factor in, we can give you a good idea of the cost of solar energy.
The two common solar-powered systems are for domestic hot water and electric production (or "photovoltaic" products).

A typical solar hot water heater will run between $2,000 and $4,000 USD.

A small photovoltaic (or PV) system will run between $8,000 and $10,000 installed.

A full house PV system will cost between $13,000 and $26,000. (This does not take into consideration rebates and incentives.)

Variables such as climate and requirements from the systems account for the differences in prices.

These are not small investments. By doing a cost analysis, you can figure out when the payback would occur on your investment. The big calculation will clearly show you that traditional energy costs will keep rising and the cost of solar energy will keep decreasing.

A History of the Cost of Solar Energy

Back in the 1970s and 19802, the United States was experiencing an energy crisis, or so we thought. Gasoline was the most expensive it had been, electric costs were the highest ever, and so on. Fast forward to today, gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon and energy and food costs are higher than we could have imagined in the 70s and 80s.

The cost of solar power in the past was based on the demand and technology of the time. After a brief period of growth, the energy crisis subsided and the mainstream interest in solar power followed.

Today, the cost of solar power is on the way down. One of the largest reasons for this new trend is an investment in technology. There are many new entrepreneurs who are investing time and resources in producing cost effective ways to harness the sun's energy. As these technologies increase, the efficiencies of solar units, they also reduce cost.

Another consideration with the cost of solar power are government rebates and incentives. These programs are a clear indication that the government sees advantages to promoting the use of solar energy. There are several benefits for governments to promote these systems. One benefit is the reduction on foreign investments and resources.

Another benefit is the growth of the U.S. economy by creating new jobs. As many of our domestic industries are experiencing cutbacks and layoffs, the solar industry is experiencing modest growth.

There is another considerations with the cost of solar power, and that is inflation. There is no way to accurately predict how much electricity is going to cost in the future. Unstable foreign governments, natural disasters, and corporate greed are just a few of the factors that affect energy costs. These factors are all highly volatile, and cannot be controlled by any one person.

Solar power, on the other hand, is available to everyone. And it is not susceptible to the above factors, like traditional energy sources. This energy source is not susceptible to inflation, either--if anything, it will continue to become cheaper to harness.


Return from Cost of Solar Energy to Solar Energy.


Return from Cost of Solar Energy to the Home Page.