Has The Drop in Solar Panel Prices Increased The Demand?

published Feb 15, 2017
2 min read


Solar panel prices drop from 5% to 12% in 2015 due to new photovoltaic developments

Solar prices have lowered significantly in recent years, this effect is from a decrease in PV module pricing. We are now being bombarded with new reports that show on a global level that solar prices will only continue to drop.

Due to the large number of advancements that are being made in the solar energy industry, costs plummeting. Solar panel technologies first emerged in the 70’s, only taking a mere 10 years for the prices to drop, in 1980s and early 90s solar energy reached a plateau. Since the 1980s, solar panels have become 10% cheaper every year! Most likely this trend will continue and put solar energy on route to produce more than 20% of the world’s energy needs by 2027.

This new generation of solar projects are seeking out the most optimum ways of using energy more efficiently. PV projects deliver in AC terms an average capacity factor of 29.4% in 2015, a notable improvement compared to the capacity factors of 26.3% and 24.5% in 2014. In recent months, the cost of solar energy has decreased 25% during the last 5 months. The continuation of various developments in the solar panel industry has resulted in substantial cost reductions. Within this short period of time, it has become evident that there is a future for sustainable energy.


What does this hold for the future?

There has been an unprecedented amount of research put into the standard solar panel. At the heart of all this research is the promise to make solar energy more accessible to everyone. With the large shift toward solar energy, companies are becoming more competitive with their costs, which means more people can make use of solar energy.
It has been predicted that within the next 15 years solar panel energy will become the cheapest and most efficient power source, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It has also been predicted that the installation costs of solar panels will drop by 60% to an approximate cost of around four cent per kilowatt hour by 2040. Ultimately this means that solar energy will work out cheaper than both coal and gas energy. The price of solar panels has decreased by almost 80% since 2008. Solar energy is already a cheaper alternative compared to the costs related to traditional forms of energy. Reductions in these prices is due to a large increase in production coming back from China, who are producing more solar panels compared to any other country. In 2015 China became known as the largest generator of solar power, successfully passing out Germany.

Cost Associated with Solar Panels

Solar panel costs depends on both quality and size. In the UK the costs have reduced by 70% in the past few years. Your avarage A 4kW solar system will come in at around £6,000 – £8,000.

2kWp (8 panels) of solar costs between £3.800 – £4.700  price per watt-peak of £1.90 – £2.00
3kWp (12 panels) of solar costs between £4.500 – £5.300 price per watt-peak of £1.50 – £1.75
4kWp (16 panels) of solar costs between £5.000 – £6.000 price per watt-peak of £1.25 – £1.50

Findings from the Berkeley Lab’s latest “Utility-Scale Solar” stated that Since 2009 On average installation prices associated with photovoltaic (PV) devices has decreased by 50%, this made the starting investment costs of system installations more affordable for more premises. Notably, solar energy is a key resource in the attempts to lower CO2 emissions and lessen our need for fossil fuels. Since there has been a significant increase in demand for solar systems, the average consumer’s can find a solar panel provider at a much cheaper cost.


Roof Space: System Size: Cost (£): Annual Output: CO2 saved in 25 yrs (tonnes): First Year Return: 20 year profit:
8 sq m 1kW 2,500-3,000 850kWh 10 £130 £100
14 sq m 2kW 3,000-5,000 1,700kWh 20 £222 £562
21 sq m 3kW 5,000-6,000 2,550kWh 30 £316 £1,320
28 sq m 4kW 6,000-8,000 3,400kWh 40 £404 £2,080

Prepare for the change that embraces green energy

Before solar panels were only an item for luxury homes, this has changed within the last 5 years as production and installations costs have been decreasing steadily. It is now extremely common feature in many buildings. Embracing solar panels while looking towards a greener future is becoming easier as the costs continue to come down. We can expect to see an increase in solar panels this year as more people turn towards sustainable and cost efficient ways to source their energy. After people make the first investment, they can save money long term while reducing their carbon footprint.