Price of Solar Panels to Drop to $1 Per Watt By 2013

A recent analysis by Ernst & Young has indicated that the price of solar panels is falling so rapidly that by 2013 the price per watt could be as little as $1, half of what they cost in 2009.

The average cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has already dropped from more than $2 per watt in 2009 to around $1.50 in 2011. Based on broker reports and industry analysis, the report forecasts that those rates of decline will continue and prices should fall close to the $1 mark by 2013.

The report coincides with new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which indicates there has been a drastic 28% month-on-month drop in the spot price of high-grade silicon, which is the raw material used in the majority of solar PV panels.

Commissioned by the Solar Trade Association (STA), it argues that solar electricity could play “an important role” in meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets and that falling solar and rising fossil fuel prices could make large-scale installations cost-competitive in the UK without government support within a decade.

Commenting on the report, STA chairman Howard Johns said the new analysis backed up the industry line that government support for all types of solar systems in the next few years made good economic sense, because it would build capacity and enable unsubsidised solar to be as widely deployed as possible as prices come down.

The report comes in the wake of the Government’s recent announcement to cut feed-in tariff rates for large-scale solar power installations.

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