Although solar energy is a free and abundant resource, the generation of electricity through the PV systems is not completely free of cost. There are several factors that should be considered before deciding whether it is economical to install a PV system or not.
The first thing that should be considered is the location of your residence. People who live in the sunny areas of the world have a greater advantage as compared to those who are settled in less sunny areas.
Generating electricity from solar means is more beneficial if the electricity rates in the region where you live are particularly high.
But the main thing you should think about is the installation cost, which is the most dreadful part of the solar power generation. The basic initial cost of installation can be very high for a household. As of 2009, a residential solar panel setup cost somewhere between $8 and $10 per watt to install. The larger the system gets, lesser the cost becomes per watt.
Also do keep in mind that most of the solar power systems cannot completely cover the electricity load all the time. You may still have to get electricity from the grid, which means that you’ll still have a power bill, although it’ll definitely be lower as compared to before.
However, in order to protect the environment and the natural resources, government and certain organizations have taken an initiative to promote solar installations and help those households that are willing to use solar energy. These incentives come in the form of federal and state tax discounts, utility company rebates and other financing opportunities.
Moreover, Installing a PV system can add thousands of dollars to the value of a home.
Although solar power is currently facing some difficulty competing with the utilities, but the costs are declining rapidly as additional research improves the technology, and soon enough, we will be able to use economical and cheap solar installations that will make use of the latest technology.