Lower Solar Panel Costs May Lead to Greater Adoption of Renewable Energy Tech


A recent boom in the production of solar panels, mostly driven by a substantial decrease in the cost of raw materials, could prove a boon to the world as the annual price of electricity generated via solar equipment could drop by 10% throughout the current decade.

A recent Solar Pivot report by analysts Tim Buckley and Xuyang Dong pointed out how the cost of polysilicon, the primary material for the production of wafers that make up solar panels, fell by nearly 75% this year. This has driven down panel prices to around US$0.18 per watt as of May 31st.

Buckley and Dong’s report also showed that solar installations across the globe generated around 268 gigawatts in 2022 and could have a total output of 1,000 gigawatts by the end of the decade – a development that could have a far-reaching impact on the world’s energy markets.

Who’s Investing in Solar These Days?

For the most part, it’s the Chinese who have taken the lead in terms of solar technologies. As Buckley puts it, while much of the international energy sector has turned its nose up at solar technologies for several decades, China appears to be making up for it by investing massive amounts into the development and production of solar power solutions.

Indeed, Shanxi-based solar panel producer JinkoSolar announced plans for a $7.9 billion wafer to module solar factory that hopes to generate up to 56 gigawatts in terms of annual solar capacity. This is at least nineteen times bigger than the amount promised by what will eventually be the largest solar power plant in the United States.

But the US, the European Union, and India are not about to be left in the dust. Their governments are now rushing to decarbonize their energy systems in order to meet their carbon-neutrality goals, but also to reduce their dependence on Russian gas and oil in light of the Ukrainian crisis and to beat China at its own game in the energy sector.