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20 Jun 2011: Cost of Solar Panels
Projected to Fall Sharply by 2013

The price of photovoltaic solar panels is dropping so quickly that by 2013 panels will cost about half of what they cost in 2009, a new report says. Based on broker reports and industry analyses, the independent consulting firm Ernst & Young predicts that the cost of panels — typically described in terms of the price of each watt of peak capacity — will fall to about $1 dollar within two years, compared to $2 in 2009. The current cost is about $1.50. When combined with the rising cost of fossil fuel-generated power, solar energy could be cost-competitive even without government support within a decade, the report says. The report, which was prepared by Ernest & Young for the Solar Trade Association in response to reduced UK government support for large solar systems, also suggests that reduced government support for solar technology could undermine the growth of the emerging energy sector. “If you create a sustainable market, you will achieve cost savings and drive economic benefits in terms of tax income and job creation,” said Ben Warren, lead author of the Ernst & Young report. The Committee on Climate Change, an independent advisory body to the UK government, recently suggested that solar remains too expensive for short-term government investment.


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