Money Matters - Simplified

Solar power gaining popularity amid decreasing installation costs

Applied Materials Inc. today released the results of the third annual solar energy survey, a day before 21st June when the northern hemisphere celebrates the summer solstice. Applied Materials provides equipment, services and software that supports the production of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products.

President of the Solar division of Applied Materials, Dr. Charlie Gay said, “The solstice is a time to recognize the power of the sun and raise awareness of the significant advancements that have been achieved with solar power technology and use, especially in the past few years.”
The company forecasted that by 2020, more than 100 countries of the world, covering 98 percent of the population of the world, will have access to solar power at price that will be equal to the present cost of domestic power supply.

The reason behind this fall in the cost of production of solar power is the drop in the price of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that have witnessed a 70 percent reduction since 2008. The result is that now solar power will cost the same as the traditional sources of domestic electricity in 19 countries including Spain, Italy and Brazil by the end of this year.

The survey conducted telephonically, had a sample size of 1,011 adults comprising 503 men and 508 women, found that 32 percent Americans considered solar energy to be the most efficient source of renewable energy, less than 1 percent of the energy consumption in the country is sourced from solar energy.

While 27 percent Americans said they would consider installing solar panels on their home in the survey, 48 percent said they were not thinking about installing these at the moment.

The survey also found that a large number (about 80 percent) of Americans could be motivated to install solar panels if there is a drop in the front end installation and opportunity to save money in the long run also.

The survey found that young Americans (between 18 to 44 years of age) were more likely to install solar panels.

The survey found that Government incentives to cut the cost of installation, Increase in the value of the house, more information and the ability to sell excess power to an energy company were some of the leading factors that could prompt consumers opt for solar energy.

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