The past decade has witnessed a dramatic fall in the price of solar. Much of this has been due to the advancements in solar panels that have increased efficiency while reducing costs. Solar energy has come a long way from where it was in 2010 when the global market was small and still heavily reliant on government subsidies.
By contrast, in 2020, there will be more than 115 gigawatts (GW) worth of solar panels installed around the world, which puts it ahead of all other generation technologies put together. Let’s discuss where solar panel technology is headed in the future and what this means for you, a current or prospective solar customer.
The Future of Solar Cells
In the years to come, advances in technology will ensure that solar keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. Many estimate that by 2030, solar will become the most important source of energy for electricity generation in a large portion of the world. This is the best possible outcome for a world dealing with climate change.
The advances in solar are due mostly to the technology used in solar cells. Scientists have already developed a solar cell capable of converting direct sunlight into electricity with 44.5% efficiency. Currently, the best solar panels have a maximum efficiency of about 22%. The superior technology works by stacking multiple layers of material into a single cell, allowing it to absorb a wider range of the solar spectrum.
Current Peak Efficiency
Currently, the best solar panels in the world are produced by SunPower Corporation. Their “Maxeon” solar cells are created by crystalline silicon cells and have a conversion efficiency of up to 22.7%, which is the highest commercially available standard panel efficiency. SunPower solar panels can produce up to 420W of electricity compared to conventional solar panels, which produce around 310W.
One of the projects of the manufacturer is the development of new Maxeon 6 solar panels. Early reports indicate that the model will be built through low-cost and simple manufacturing processes. These will bring the cost of the panel down while maintaining a solar efficiency of 26%. With the Maxeon 6, we can expect more pressure on other solar panel manufacturers to drive down prices and increase efficiency.
What It Means for You
All these things that we have highlighted mean one simple thing: the user, i.e., you, will benefit the most. As important companies like SunPower and its now manufacturing wing, Maxeon, continue to produce higher efficiency panels at low prices, solar will become much more affordable with time. This would be the kind of dynamic that the industry will need once incentives like federal tax credit expire in the near future.
The good thing for you is that solar panels are still at an all-time low cost and high-efficiency status. You can install efficient and cost-effective solar panels by SunPower right now and avail its high ROI for the next 20-25 years. Once newer designs and technologies arrive, you can easily replace your current panels with newer, more efficient ones. This will often mean that you won’t have to change your bracketing or fixtures with every upgrade.
High-efficiency, clean electricity, and low costs will define the future of solar panels and what it means for you. If you’re looking into buying solar panels for your home or business in New York State, consult with our representative today for your specific needs or get a free quote for your installation!