The rapid use of conventional resources has increasingly put pressure on households to utilise the benefits of solar energy but till now, those demands have been hardly met as the costs related to purchasing and installing photovoltaic equipment have been on the higher side. But it seems solar panels are more cost effective now than ever.
According to statistics compiled by the IHS Solar Polysilicon Price Index, the global price of silicon, which is a key component in PV panels that converts sunlight into a direct electrical current, last month fell to one of the lowest rates so far this year. Reports suggest that the average price of solar panels has decreased up to 75 per cent since 2007.
During October, the price for 9N silicon, one of the most pure silicon used in PV materials, reduced by 9 per cent. The price of 6N to 8N silicon, the lowest grade product that can actually be used in a PV power system, dropped by 7 per cent.
According to IHS, silicon prices could remain constant or go up slightly during December this year and through January next year. But looking at the oversupply of PV materials happening globally, this could ensure the cost of obtaining solar-grade silicon likely to remain relatively low for the foreseeable future.
“Suppliers are trimming production, inventories in the channel are continuing to be depleted and most industry players are expecting a rebound in demand in 2013,” said Glenn Gu of IHS.
Reducing silicon prices means that making solar panels will get more cost effective, which will eventually reflect on the final pricing for the end consumer, who is readily willing to buy a solar electricity system, at an affordable cost.