Renewable Energy

It's all about energy, from renewable sources to energy-efficient usage.

Update on Solar Panel Prices

9/27/2007 12:00:00 AM

Tags:

Installing those photovoltaic (PV) panels of your ‘green' dreams may soon be cheaper thanks to coming relief from the current silicon shortage. Though silicon is made from ever-abundant sand, it is used in multiple fields, including the computer chip industry. The solar industry must then compete with the computer chip industry to access all available high-grade silicon, and because the computer chip industry has more money, it therefore has more access to the resource it needs.

Ironically, some of the trouble the solar industry has had meeting demand stems from increased interest in renewable energy. Because of increased demand in the solar industry, silicon manufacturers can't keep up. This has, in turn, slowed solar growth, according to a recent Reuters article. Though it may seem unfair that earth-conscious citizens are actually driving the cost of PV panels up, rest assured: Industry officials are confident that relief is in sight.

Individual predictions range from as early as 2008 to as late as 2010, but there seems to be some general consensus that starting next year, the silicon supply will increase to meet demand. As Russell Hasan, president of www.altenews.com, states in a recent report, it's not unreasonable to factor in the laws of economics: Increased demand leads to an increase in supply and a subsequent dip in price. Hasan also cites several international silicon producers that are increasing production in the coming years, including manufacturers in China and Wacker of Munich.

Between deliberate increased production and natural supply-and-demand shifts, the price of silicon—and therefore PV panels—should stabilize soon, allowing you to pursue your solar energy pursuits with ‘renew'ed vigor.



Related Content

Ever Wondered How Solar Panels Work?

Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.

Thinking About Thin-Film Solar

Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.

Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panels

Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with ...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.