Solar Energy

Are solar panels getting more efficient?

By Solar Smith October 13, 2021

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), most solar panels on the market are between 15% and 20% efficient But, what we're seeing now in 2021 is that more solar manufacturers than ever have solar panels with quoted efficiencies over 20% 

Market  Efficiency

Solar panels aren’t brand new technology. The roots of photovoltaic solar panels go all the way back to 1883, and the first viable photovoltaic solar panel (strong enough to power a household appliance) was made at Bell Labs in 1954.  This may have you wondering about solar panel efficiency improvements over time, and how that has affected the cost of solar panels in the 60+ years since solar power has become a viable source of clean, renewable energy.  

Solar History

In the last decade, the average price of solar has dropped by 70%, and since 1980 they have seen a 97% reduction in module costs. One reason for the drop? Government policy (according to the folks down the road at MIT).  As solar has become a more competitive market, it has led to a race to find the cheapest way to manufacture solar panels.

Solar Panel Prices Are Dropping

1: Investment Tax Credit 2: Increase in home value. 3: Reduced electricity cost.

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