Prices of Photovoltaic Panels Keep Decreasing
As green energy grows more popular and technological advances are introduced, prices of photovoltaic panels keep decreasing, making them increasingly more accessible for everyone. Installing a solar system is still a significant investment, but it comes with many advantages. Aside from the obvious one - autonomously generating clean, green energy - you should be aware of a few more.
How Do I Get Information on Photovoltaic Panel Prices?
The price of a photovoltaic panel system depends on your specific needs. You can choose between different brands and quality levels of solar panels.
However, contacting all the suppliers may be a lengthy process. You can skip the research by requesting quotes via the form at the top of the page. You will then receive up to four non-binding, completely free quotes from our trusted certified suppliers.
If you need some more technical info, just keep reading!
The Cost Advantages of Investing in Photovoltaic Panels
- Solar panel systems pay back quickly: the average payback year for a 4 kWh system, the most used in the UK, is only 4 years.
- Large systems will produce excess energy that you can sell back to the grid to generate profit. Having a solar battery storage system to store more energy is also a good option. With a decline in solar battery storage system costs, the investment will be paid off in a shorter period than before.
- After the initial investment, you will not need to spend any more money on the system, since it needs little to no maintenance.
- The lifespan of photovoltaic panels is very long. They are guaranteed to work (hence to maintain at least 80% of their efficiency) for 25 years, but the average lifespan is between 30 and 40 years. They are tested to resist to tough weather conditions, and to deliver standard performance even extreme temperatures, ranging from -40C to 90C.
- Larger systems such as 5 kWh and 6 kWh have a shorter payback time and offer more value for money: the bigger the system, the lower will the price per watt be.
- Small and mid-range solar systems will produce a certain percentage of the electricity you need and lead to huge savings on energy bills, while large ones can allow you to become completely independent from the grid and generate all the power you need, and more.
Factors Influencing Photovoltaic Panels Prices
1. Size of the installation
Solar systems vary in size, according to your energy needs and the size of your house. Of course, smaller systems will be less expensive than larger ones. The smaller available size is 1 kWh, which costs between £1500 and £3000, but it usually does not cover the energy needs of an average household. The most popular size in the UK is the 4 kWh system, which starts at around £7000. You can also choose to go for mid-range sizes, such as 2 kWh and 3 kWh, or above average sized solar systems, namely 6 kWh and 12 kWh. You can find all the information about system sizes at our solar systems page.
2. Roof size and condition
The price of the system will be strongly influenced by the specific characteristics of your house. According to the chosen size of the installation, you will need a certain amount of free space on your roof. Moreover, the roof must be strong enough to support the panels, and its inclination is also an important feature. This table summarizes the estimated cost of solar systems according to the roof size:
|Roof Space (sq m)||System Size (kWh)||Estimated Cost (£)|
3. Photovoltaic panel efficiency
Efficiency is a crucial element to consider because it maximises your investment. Photovoltaic panels available today do not convert all the sunlight they receive into electricity. The average effective rate for domestic systems is of 17%, which is enough to cover the energy needs of a normal family and to produce a little extra electricity to sell. Domestic solar systems can reach up to 20% efficiency, but only the most expensive ones. Some commercial systems can have even higher efficiency rates, up to 40%, but their prices are much higher than domestic installations. However, the technological advancements and high competition on the green energy market are pushing for higher performance at a lower price. Photovoltaic panel efficiency and size are correlated to the power output: larger installations will produce more electricity, thus increasing efficiency.
4. Government policies
In the past, when solar panels were more expensive and less accessible to homeowners, the government was more keen on offering grants to whoever decided to install them. Nowadays, since prices have decreased, many of these schemes have been scrapped or downgraded. The main one still in place is the feed-in tariff, which helps pay back for your photovoltaic panels by paying you for the electricity you produce. By installing solar panels, you will be eligible to receive two different payments: the Generation Tariff for the electricity produced, and the Export Tariff for the extra power you sell back to the grid. The amount of excess energy you produce will depend on the size of the installation: larger ones such as the 6 kWh system usually produce more energy than you will consume, thus making photovoltaic panels a profitable investment.
Applications for Solar PV Feed in Tariff Close in March
Read our guide on how you can still benefit from the solar PV Feed in Tariff before it ends in March 2019.