1. The Reduction in Prices for Solar Panels
One of the biggest reasons people avoided solar power in the past is that it was too expensive and inefficient to be worth their time. Coal has been up to 90% less expensive to use as an energy source over the years, which made other options ineffective. Prices on solar panels have dropped up to 30% in some cases and have come down to the $4/watt range.
2. The Development of Solar Film
Rather than using the traditional solar panels, a few companies have started to put out solar film. Film is cheaper to make than panels because it is printed out in rolls while standard panels are manufactured like microchips. The prices on solar film seem to be coming out at roughly $2/watt, which is 50% less expensive than panels.
3. Increase in Efficiency for Panels
Solar panels typically ran at an efficiency level of around 15%, which is measured by the difference between how much sun hits the panel and how much energy comes out of it. Solar energy has become more efficient in recent years, and newer panels are putting out 22% more consistently.
4. Increase in Efficiency for Films
Thin films have greatly increased in efficiency as well. Films consistently used to have about 10% efficiency, but with improvements in technology the films have bumped up their efficiency to about 15%, which makes them more worth the money.
5. Utility Scale Solar Power
Solar power can now be delivered through utility companies instead of just through panels mounted on a home or building. This enables power facilities to use mirrors and advanced panels to obtain maximum energy from the sun and transmit it to homes and businesses.
6. Increased Price for Traditional Power
As prices for traditional power like coal and fossil fuels continue to rise, people will continue to develop alternative energy sources. Solar energy is the most abundant resource that should be tapped, and increased cost will lead to more research and development.
7. Research for Advancements
Research drives projects like solar power to greater heights. When research is funded, things like efficiency go up for these panels and make it more affordable for everyone. The government is funding projects like solar power to clean up the environment.
8. Investment of Time and Money
Silicon Valley venture capital is involved in significant investments for the solar energy field. Programs are being granted the money and opportunities needed to advance solar power to a new level. Investment increases the rate of development for solar power.
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