Solar PV - Prices and costs of Solar PV installation

Solar PV panels Since 2010 the costs to install Solar PV panels have fallen dramatically. So much so most renewable energy experts expect solar PV to achieve grid parity (the point at which solar PV costs fall to the level of conventional fuels or lower) within the next few years.

When FiTS was first introduced in April 2010 it rewarded householders and businesses exporting energy from their panels to the national grid with incentive payments of up to 43p per kWh of energy generated. The current FIT rate (as of April 2014) is 14.38p per KWh.

Benefits of installing a solar PV system

One of the most popular types of renewable energies, despite cuts to FITS solar PV is still very much value for money. It will not only help you to reduce your electricity bills but you will also generate a nice little extra income through the tariff, which pays out for 20 years.

Types of solar photovoltaic panels

There are various types of solar PV panels:

  • Monocrystalline PV – the most common and most widely available, the silica cells that generate the electricity have been cut from a single piece of silica crystal.
  • Polycrystalline PV – not as efficient as monocrystalline PV, polycrystalline PV panels have silica cells which are made from bits of silica poured into a mould. Polycrystalline tends to be cheaper than monocrystalline.

It is even more important with solar PV to have a roof that faces south or south-east and which is not overshadowed by trees or tall buildings.

How much does a solar PV system cost

Expect to pay between £4,000 and £6,000 for a PV system for a 2-4kW system. This includes an inverter, which converts the Direct Current (DC) generated by the panel into Alternating Current (AC) for household use, as well as various other components.

If this sounds prohibitively expensive bear in mind that a few years ago the price would have been more along the lines of £16,000 to £18,000 and that PV prices are likely to fall even further in the near future.

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