Solar Price Comparisons Over Time
The photovoltaic industry is dynamic. As time goes on, research and development offer more efficient conversion of sunlight to electricity. The monetary cost of that conversion is also less expensive per kilowatt hour, which makes getting a solar system for your home an even better option than before.
The first solar cells became functional in the 1800s, but they only converted about 1% of the sunlight they received into electricity. Nearly 50 years later, Bell labs made a silicon solar panel that increased the efficiency to about 6%. Today, many solar panels provide cells that offer 20% efficiency. SunPower solar panels feature 22.8% efficiency, the highest available for residential markets.
How does that rising efficiency convert to your pocketbook? Well, solar energy was first available to households in the 1970s. Back then, it cost about $76.67 per watt. That was a pretty high price for solar panels. By the 1990’s the average cost of solar energy per watt was $10. In 2020, one industry website estimated the average cost per watt for solar panels at $2.50 to $3.50. So basically, in 50 years, the cost to generate electricity using solar panels has dropped from about $75 to roughly $3.
When you consider the falling cost of using photovoltaic systems the benefits become clear. Using free sunlight to power our homes, devices, and even our cars is not just a trend, but a staple of the future. As SunPower continues its own research and development, we will see ongoing improvements in efficiency as prices continue to drop.
Solaron is proud to help you benefit from the value of solar panels. To find out how, give us a call at 916-631-9293 in Sacramento and 408-292-4328 in the Bay Area. Or if you prefer, fill out our online request here on our website for a free home solar analysis.