What Happened to $1 Watt Solar?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ken Scharabok, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Article in yesterdays paper on how it still cost about $12-15,000 to install a 2KW solar electric system using state-of-the-art. I remember reading in TMEN maybe 20 or more years ago on how solar would become widespread when the cost came down to $1 a watt. Will solar ever become competitive?

    Ken Scharabok
     
  2. tkrabec

    tkrabec Well-Known Member

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    it will as soon as more people start useing it. I am making a slow conversion of some of my stuff to solar. not for enviromental or cost saving reasons, but for reliability

    -- tim
     

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Not until they can improve the technology and reduce the cost. Right now, the only people who even consider solar on anything but a very small scale are those that have no other choice. Most folks have power needs which cannot easily be met with solar... and they're not willing to change their usage habits.

    cheers,
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem the $1watt was for the solar panels, NOT for a system.
     
  5. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Two things that come to mind are inflation and demand. What is the value of the dollar of 20 years ago today? A dollar of 1984 would be worth almost $2 today, and demand has helped keep the price of available PVs high. When manufacturing catches up to demand, prices might drop, but I suspect that $1/watt PVs is in the same category as nuclear reactors producing electricity that is too cheap to meter.
    I recently purchased some 125 panels for around $480 each, and I thought that was a reasonable price. We added a total of 1500 watts to our system, including a adjustable tilt rack, wiring for the 240 feet to the garage, a new Outback MX60 charge controller, and necessary circuit breakers, etc. We added it to our existing wind generator, pvs, batteries, and inverter.
    The additional 1.5kw will cost us about $7500 to $8000 before any tax breaks, rebates, etc. We are making some changes in how we are using electricity, so I'm not sure yet how much power we will still be buying from the local utility, but I think that it is worth spending the money for reliability, safety, emergency power, and as a political statement.

    Jim
     
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I read that with the rebates being offered by Euro governments that much of the available supply now has a large market,with supply not meeting demand at this time.And the Japanese market is taking a lot of the Japanese production too.
    Actually in my searches lately,a 290 dollar panel(75-80 watt monocrystalline panel) is up to 340 dollars.In my neck of the woods anyhow.
    Just what Ive read and seen,YMMV and FWIW.

    BooBoo