Solar panels are too expensive and not efficient enough? In 2014, that’s no longer true.
Solar panels are cheap enough and efficient enough. Renting your electricity from a utility for the rest of your life is no longer the only option. If you invest in a solar panel system, you will be your own utility and can start earning a return on your hard-earned money. (Oh yeah, and you’ll be helping the environment and future generations while you’re at it.)
Every week there’s another article claiming that solar has “two fundamental problems…: they’re not very efficient, and they cost a lot to produce.”
I disagree with both of these. First of all, solar panels are currently plenty efficient to produce valuable energy. If not, why would so many governments invest in solar (from the US to China, Germany, Spain, Japan, Korea, even Namibia and Morocco).
There is a myth that solar is getting more efficient every year and that people should wait for next year. This is a myth. Solar efficiency does not follow Moore’s Law – efficiency does not double every X years. So, no need to wait. It’s efficient enough right now.
As for the claim that solar costs a lot to produce – the cost of solar has dropped “60% since the beginning of 2011″. Does solar cost more than burnable substances dug up from the Earth? In many places, where oil and gas companies are subsidized, yes. But that doesn’t mean solar is too expensive to use. On the contrary, solar is so cheap that it’s an obvious financial investment for many intelligent business and home owners.
If solar panels weren’t efficient enough, or cost too much, then for-profit companies and millions of homeowners around the world would not be installing solar.
Solar panels, at their current efficiency levels, have the capability to produce more than enough energy to power the entire world 46 times over just by putting solar panels in the unpopulated parts of the Sahara desert. And solar panels are cheap enough to get a ROI good enough for Google, Wal-mart, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx and millions of businesses and homeowners around the world. For-profit businesses and the typical homeowner wouldn’t install solar if it wasn’t cheap enough to be a good value.
Solar panels suffer from two fundamental problems: (1) the general public is uninformed about the economic and environmental benefits of solar, and (2) the current system of energy based on fossil fuels and limited resources is fighting against the adoption of solar to protect the status quo’s financial interests.
Solar panels are both cheap enough and efficient enough now.