Should You Buy Solar Panels For Your Home

Is 2019 the year you should consider purchasing solar panels for your home? Many Americans are asking themselves the same question considering that the 30% federal tax credit will almost be good as gone by the end of 2019. There are several factors you should consider, amongst them are where you currently reside, the amount of space your roof has, how much of your roof is shaded, how much power do you actually use and last, how much are you paying for your electricity.

When it comes to installing solar panels, there are 5 basic things you should be informed about in order to make the most logical decision:

  1. Do you have a roof that is suitable for solar panels to be installed?
  2. What is the cost of installing solar panels at your home?
  3. How much will you actually be saving by installing solar panels?
  4. What brand or type of solar panels will the contractor be installing?
  5. Have you researched the solar panel contractors around your area in order to get the best price and quality service?

How Much Space Do I Need On My Roof To Consider Installing Solar Panels

Net metering is your friend as it gives you credits in order for you to use during your night time electricity usage, meaning that solar power can literally power your entire home. Most homes need between 6-8kW of solar power to completely eliminate their electricity invoice. So you better have between 360 and 520 square feet of roof space if you’re going to consider solar panels at your residence. Most solar consumption happens between 10 am and 3 pm, so make sure you have plenty of sunshine during these hours. Here is a quick link to calculate your roof space.

Should My Roof Be Facing South

It is primarily most effective for solar panels to be facing south, however, if your solar panels face south east or south west, they can still produce plenty of electricity. Solar panels facing west produce roughly 15% less electricity than those facing south, however, with the price of solar panels decreasing, it is a viable option. This is a great way of taking advantage of peak rates in the afternoon, which is becoming more common than usual.

What Is The Cost Of Solar Panel Installation

The two main source for data on home solar panel installation costs in America come from SolarReviews partners. The Lawrence Berkeley institute published the cost of 90% of home solar systems that were installed in the USA. The information gathered showed that on average it costs $3.89 per watt for a solar powered system. You can find that information by clicking here.

The other source of solar data is from The average cost from them was a bit lower than that of Lawrence Berkeley at $3.08 per watt. This however, was for solar systems that were cash purchased and before the 30% tax credit that was being offered. So if you consider a 6kW system, this comes out to $18,480 before the 30% tax credit and $12,936 after taking advantage of the tax credit.

Can I Find a Solar Cost Estimator To Calculate The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels At My Home

One of the most used calculators to estimate the cost of solar panel installation is found at Solar-Estimate. It gives you the rates that are currently being charged by multiple utility companies in its database and also very accurate solar panel production data for many locations around the USA. It will give you the amount of solar panels you will require and how much you’ll be saving before having to enter any personal information.

Do your due diligence and make sure you present the estimate given at this website in order to compare the information with the contractors estimate. As always, there are many different variables when it comes to installing a solar panel system, and coordinating with your contractor is always best for your location and home.

Biggest Reasons Why Solar Power Is As Inexpensive Than Ever

Having held up as a success story for clean energy advocates, solar power has never been cheaper than it is today. Nearly down 99 percent in cost in the last four decades, photovoltaic cells, or PTV, has never been so affordable.

But why is it that this growing technology has been so inexpensive lately? There are several factors that contribute and we are left with the questions as to the sustainability of these savings since renewable subsidies begin to stall.

MIT has done its research as to why PTV solar panels continue to decline in price over time, and here are some of its findings.

One important factor has been government policy, which moving forward, may be considered as one of the best advocates for solar growth and this fight we’re all in, against climate change.

Utilizing a vibrant model that surpasses easy associations, the results recommend that it is, as a matter of fact, feasible for governments to take actions that make solar power more affordable.

Even more, by taking these simple actions, it can substitute for an independent connection between climate policies and technology innovation.

When plans exist that tackle carbon exhausts, the researchers noticed enhancement and also growth in low-carbon technologies. By expanding this market, governments around the globe played a crucial duty in minimizing the cost of the modern technology and, consequently, the price of cutting carbon emissions.

“This work is important in that it identifies that the growth in demand for solar PV in the past 15 years was the most important driver of the astounding cost reductions over that period,” said Gregory Nemet, who is a policy researcher at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who was not involved in the study.

“Policies in Japan, Germany, Spain, California, and China drove the growth of the market and created opportunities for automation, scale, and learning by doing.”

The researchers took a look at solar growth from 1980 to 2012, throughout which time the cost of solar panels fell by 97 percent. From above, they analyzed the high-level elements for one evaluation: the adjustments in production, circulation or research study. And afterwards from below, they separately analyzed the low-level factors: the fundamental scientific research and also design of the panels.

The findings disclose that six low-level elements accounted for over 60 percent of the total decrease in expenses. This is a good indication due to the fact that it means there are various levers we can pull to attempt and maintain solar energy economical and also competitive.

Simply put, if we desire solar development to advance this roadway, the more doors we can open, the much better. As well as if we desire the expense of photovoltaic panels to remain to reduce, it’s crucial that we identify how to manipulate the factors that decrease cost.

Demand for the innovation is also an essential factor the group looked at when considering the high-level elements. They uncovered that 60 percent of the overall cost decline was as a result of government plans that promoted market development.

By implementing renewable energy criteria, tariffs and a variety of aids, governments have “played an important part in decreasing costs,” according to co-author Jessika Trancik, a professional in power systems designing at MIT.

In the past, governments have actually helped significantly by assisting in funding research and development. Actually, this kind of investment made up 40 percent of the general cost decline.

Since the innovation of technology has grown so much, the influence of R&D might not be as great today – although it is still crucial. The scientists found instead that in the last years, broadening production has actually had a greater effect on reducing costs.

And also, while the new study is concentrated on the past, it is just one of our ideal clues for the future. Judging by the results, the writers declare there “are opportunities for additional expense improvements with this technology.”

To get there, the study recommends we require a synergy to increase production and research more affordable alternatives to PTV modern technology, ones that have the potential to function better.

“Looking forward, market-stimulating policies can continue to sustain cost declines, via a virtuous, mutually-reinforcing cycle of innovation improvement as well as emissions reductions,” the writers said.

If we are truly concerned about mitigating climate adjustments, we need to kick our nonrenewable fuel source habit asap and turn our focus to greener resources of energy.

This research study highly recommends that federal governments have the power to make solar energy a feasible different energy source. The next question is – will they do it?

This study has been published in Energy Policy .

Why Solar Costs Are Rising

Solar energy’s clean, renewable, and infinite source made it the energy source of the future. By the early part of the 2000s, the solar energy industry had experienced an average annual growth of 68% and contributed 40 gigawatts of power to America’s power grid. The budding industry powered 6.5 American households and provided jobs to almost 374,000 of the population as solar panel installers.

However, things are about to change in the solar power industry as we enter the end of another decade. The tax exemptions awarded to solar power switchers will be gone in a few years, and the Trump administration has approved additional tariffs on solar panels and equipment. Soon, solar power won’t be as cheap as it used to be and if there is a good time to switch to solar power, that time is now.

Disappearing Tax Exemptions

Solar power saw a steady rise in patrons upon the enactment of the Solar Investment Tax Credit in 2006. Anyone who decided to switch to solar power and outright purchased a module for installation would enjoy a 30% credit on their income taxes. The tax exemptions were originally planned for implementation from January 2006 up to December 2007, but numerous laws were passed to extend the tax exemptions up to 2019. As a result of the multi-year extensions on the tax credit, solar equipment and rates continued to depreciate while technological efficiencies and installation rates improved.

However, there is a glaring development that most people overlook.

As legislators extended the SITC to encourage long-term investments in solar power, the tax exemptions will be reduced by 2019. Any solar project that begins at the start of 2020 will step down to a 26% tax credit. By 2021, the tax credits will reduce to 22% for projects that start within the year. Afterwards, commercial establishments will continue to get a permanent 10% tax credit while residential users will not receive tax credits anymore.

This is why most people have been encouraged to switch to solar power before 2019. Installing a solar module after that would mean an additional 30% cost on the equipment as the tax credit would be completely gone by then.

Additional Tariffs on Solar Prices

While some may have prepared for the impact of the tax credit reductions, a recent announcement by the Trump administration further sealed the inevitable inflation of solar power.

In January this year, President Donald Trump announced a 30% tariff on all imported solar panels plus an additional 25% tariff on Chinese-made solar module imports. The aftermath was expected as Reuters reported in June that solar installation projects worth approximately $2.5 billion had been cancelled because of the tariffs.

The tariffs were implemented after a couple of American solar manufacturers lobbied to impose a 50% tariff on solar imports which they claimed were harming their business, especially the cheap imports from China. Suniva, a Georgia-based solar cell manufacturer, filed bankruptcy in April 2017 and attributed its financial decline to the lower prices of foreign-produced solar panels.

In October 2017, the International Trade Commission released its analysis of tariffs on imported solar panels and suggested tariffs as high as 35%. The Trump administration eventually settled with its own number: a 30% tariff. Because of the new tariffs, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate an increase of up to 3% for rooftop solar panels; while solar farms which contribute energy to a shared grid might hike prices up to 10%.

Consumer Impact

For those who have already invested in solar power systems, they would have to consider the rate hikes in their bottom-line. This might also result in businesses slowing down or even halting production which can be detrimental for the majority of employees in the industry.

An average homeowner who is looking into using solar energy needs to act fast. NOW is the best time to invest in solar energy before the tariffs permanently take hold and raise the prices.

Pros and Cons on Residential Solar Panels

Sometimes utility bills are just plain annoying. Money put into the headaches of basic living means it can’t be spent elsewhere. But thankfully due to modern technology, we have an answer: and that answer is installing solar panels for your home.

Why Solar Panels Make Sense For Your Residence

From a residential perspective, it’s mostly upsides for the consumer. There’s not even really a con if the house is still connected to the grid, not unless the panels in question are hideously expensive and financing isn’t an option. The first advantage of solar panels is the obvious: you start saving on electricity, thus the system pays for itself out of those savings. How long the repayment period is depends on several factors, that being upfront cost, anything for financing, overall maintenance, and electricity prices of the utilities. Generally speaking, a solar PV system should pay for itself in about five to fifteen years, or fewer if there are any government incentives in play, like tax credits, and the like.

Also, for those worried about their house value, don’t worry; solar panels increase property value. A lot of homeowners are interested in solar, but either haven’t looked into installation, or don’t have the financial means to install a system. If you’re looking to move elsewhere, it still may be worth it to install solar panels for when you sell the house as this will certainly help increase the value of your residence.

We should also look at the situation from the view of the electricity provider, which is by necessity, a bit different. First and most important is that solar panels produce the most energy during the peak times when energy is most in demand, which helps relieve the burden on providers. Not only that, but it also means they won’t have to invest in more equipment to cover peak load, which helps keep electricity prices down.

There Aren’t Really Any Cons For Solar Panels

From a residential perspective, it’s mainly a matter of cost. True, solar panels have gone down in price, and will continue to do so, but the price is the only con at the present. Without the option to finance, or any tax credits or rebates, the cost of a system may be too much. Further, some homes may have difficulty installing solar panels due to the roofing on their residence: slate or cedar tiles are found in older homes, most notably; solar installers often have a hard time working on these types of roofs.  Other difficulties on the roof are skylights or roof decks. The option of ground mounted solar panels also exists; though that has its own difficulties for residences lacking enough ground area.

On the provider’s side, there’s the problem of actually having too much residential solar connected to the grid, such that solar generation covers more than 20% of the load. The grid becomes unstable at such a percentage. However, this is easily compensated for by energy storage, either on the consumer side or the provider side.


On the whole, solar is the future, especially in the face of public opinion and investor choices. There are practical and financial hurdles to consider, but they’re hurdles, not roadblocks. If you think you can jump over them, consider your future well secured.


Solar To Take Over US Electricity By 2022

According to Yuri Horwitz, co-founder and CEO of Sol Systems, solar power will be the main form of electricity generation by the time 2022 hits, despite the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. In a report released on the 15th of February 2018, Horwitz names three reasons for solar power to advance.

Public Support

Polls show significant support for renewable energy. A Pew poll of January 2017 notes 65% of Americans would prefer to develop alternative energy sources, as opposed to 27% who would rather expand production of fossil fuels. A Gallup poll of March 2018 notes that 59% of Americans prefer environmental protection to development of energy supplies, and that 63% would rather emphasize conservation, as opposed to 32% who would rather emphasize production. A second Gallup poll of March 2017 saw 71% of respondents favour emphasis on alternative energy, versus 23% who prefer oil, gas, and coal.

Horwitz believes that this base of public support will become important, as the US continues to develop its renewable energy assets.

Solar Rises to the Challenge

Horwitz then considers natural gas, currently America’s primary fuel in terms of power generation. He notes an increase in production that will lower prices by 2019, but also is concerned that the long-term picture doesn’t look as good. New gas discoveries have fallen to a 70-year low, and continue to fall, and recent studies show that the least expensive wells have already been tapped. Whether or not these are valid concerns, there are also projections that estimate prices to rise to $79-$85, depending on location, by 2039.

Solar, on the other hand, is getting cheaper all the time. Solar-based power purchase agreements are getting cheaper every year, and many such agreements in 2017 for delivery in 2018 and 2019 came out at a price below the range for new-build natural gas. As solar develops, prices are fully expected to go even lower, not just due to after-the-fact costs, but also because the technology is maturing. Raw material prices are going down, manufacturers are figuring out how to use less material to achieve the same result, and performance in output per watt is increasing.

Investors Want Solar

Horwitz’s third point is based on a detailed analysis of the current state of the stock market. Boiled down, the current market is shrinking and growing more expensive to invest in; investors are looking for stability over the long term, which solar assets offer. Also, Horwitz cites ‘a global preference for dollar-denominated investments, specifically infrastructure, and especially renewable energy investments’. This preference has driven large investors towards renewable, and thus capital for utility-scale solar is expected to remain cheap or grow even cheaper.


The simple fact of the matter is that the money has to go where it’s cheap, and right now, with public interest in renewable energy, the good bet is on solar. It just so happens that solar is also the environmental option. With the three factors above, it’s well on track to overtaking other sources.


Why Solar Panels Help the Environment

Solar panels are all the rage today, primarily because they largely contribute to sustainable living.

Moreover, solar panels cost less now than they did years ago.

US residents also get credits and incentives for choosing solar panels. Buying them for purposes of aesthetics is one thing; purchasing them to help the environment is another. Be the smart consumer and know how “green” you can get with solar panels.

Goodbye, Pollution!

Honestly, solar panels aren’t a cure-all for harmful carbon emissions, but they can certainly play a huge part in reducing them. Traditional electricity consumption in the US produces huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, coal power plants emit smog that also pollute the environment. Using solar panels not only improves the quality of air, but it also mitigates the damage done by pollution.

And because solar energy does not pollute water unlike coal-fired power plants, solar panels indirectly save rivers, oceans and wildlife.

A Reduced Carbon Footprint

Both nuclear power plants and coal power plants require huge amounts of water to run, causing significant strain on the environment.Fortunately, solar panels don’t use a lot of resources, with the sun’s energy being renewable. The sun produces more than 170,000 terawatts of energy each second, more than enough to power your entire household. Moreover, such energy can be reused over and over without wasting natural resources.

96 percent of the material used to manufacture solar panels is recyclable, although materials do need to be mined, including gallium, silver, germanium, indium, aluminum, and glass. Since solar panels can produce energy for 30 years and are useful even after they are recycled into a different form.

Solar energy also makes for a “clean” power plant. The photo voltaic system (i.e. the cells can be reused to produce new solar cells) that makes solar panels work, can help produce and sustain solar energy for 18 to 36 months, which is a cost-effective way to generate electricity. Importing solar energy is the starting point to becoming efficient and independent. There will be fewer outages and cheaper utility bills.

Reduced Radioactive Waste

Although nuclear power is defined as “clean energy” due to not producing carbon, it is still a source of hazardous waste. Nuclear waste is toxic for the environment and harmful to humans and animals. It also reduces the need to build more power plants that use up fossil fuel.

Absolute No Mercury Emissions and Acid Rain

Coal-fired power plants are one of the main sources of mercury. A heavily toxic substance, mercury can pose health risks and damage to the surroundings. By using solar panels, there will be a reduced need for coal power plants, thereby decreasing mercury emissions.

Meanwhile, the burning of fossil fuels can result in sulfuric acid which can harm natural resources. Solar panels can also reduce – and stop – the possibility and occurrence of acid rain.


With solar panels you can enjoy both sustainable, clean energy and a beautiful environment. You are not only making a valuable investment, but also doing a favor for the Earth, environment and future generations.

Solar Panels: A Strong Investment Or Waste Of Money?

With the world moving towards more sustainable energy production, it’s not surprising that homeowners are beginning to see the countless benefits of installing solar panels in their homes.

In terms of finances, solar panels can actually be the best decision for anyone’s wallet; drastically reducing energy consumption and saving a significant amount on monthly electricity bills.

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity using solar cells, and when sunlight hits the cells, electricity is generated. Solar panels can be used for various industries and purposes: as remote power systems for telecommunications equipment, and as electricity generator in residential areas and commercial establishments.

Cost spikes in electricity are inevitable, and having solar panels on your roof can stabilize your monthly expenditures on utilities and keep more money in your family’s pocket!

Solar panels are not only an investment that will save you money on an ongoing basis, but will also increase the value of your home. A study from the Appraisal Institute in Chicago says that a typical residential installation of solar panels could increase a home’s value by $30,000.

This means that for every $1 dollar that you save from electricity consumption, an additional $20 goes to your home value. The accumulated savings over time eventually offset the initial cost of installation, with a return on investment in as little as 5 to 7 years.

Other Benefits

However, solar panels have other benefits that go beyond money. For one, solar panels make your home  ‘off-the-grid’. This means you can protect yourself from unpredictable sources in energy rate. You also get to enjoy cheap energy throughout the day, making your home energy-independent.

Suffice to say, solar panels improve grid security. Each home that utilises solar panels work as a small independent power plant and provides security during natural and man-made disasters.

Not only this, but installing solar panels helps do your part for the environment. Solar energy is a clean and green energy source, drastically reducing your carbon footprint. And unlike other sources of energy production, solar doesn’t emit greenhouse gases or other harmful substances into the environment. Solar power is totally self-sufficient and is one of the greatest contributions to sustainable development.

Putting The Control Back In YOUR Hands

Furthermore, solar panel roofs allow you to be in control of your energy consumption. You will be consuming energy that is domestic, as opposed to electricity that needs to be transported from power plants through networks and providers. Solar panels also largely reduce service interruptions (there is of course, no power outages!)

In the UK, solar power creates more jobs and encourages economic growth. Thirty-five thousand people were employed in the solar energy industry in 2015, and the photovoltaic (PV) panel installation market continues to grow.

Meanwhile, US residents 30% federal solar tax credit to commercial and residential properties – some government states offer additional tax credits, too. A residential federal tax credit allows you to claim 30% of your installation costs. Suppose you placed this service in 2019, the credit will drop to 26% in 2020, and will expire in 2021. Though it may not sound like a lot, these tax credits help decrease your monthly spending costs.

Obviously solar energy works when the sun is out… So what happens when the sky is overcast?

In such cases you may draw from the grid, OR install a solar battery. And although the full benefits of using solar panels may not manifest for now, you’ll definitely enjoy the fruits of your initial investment much later.

How Many Solar Powers Can Power a Household?

You can use a solar calculator to determine the best sized system for your home. It’s easy to use – you’ll just have to enter your postcode and how much you pay for energy consumption.

For example: a 2,000-square foot household would need a solar array of 4,000 watts. That would translate to around 17 or 18 solar panels. Remember that this is just an estimate of your energy consumption, which will vary depending on your electricity provider.

How Much Can You Exactly Save?

The amount saved by utilizing solar panels depend on a few key factors. As solar panels generate their own power, they can offset your monthly electricity expenditures. Keep in mind though, that energy rates and usage are volatile!

When the price fluctuates, the amount of saving does also.

One cannot really say how much – for a fixed price – you can chop off your electricity bill every month. Reviewing your own electric bills will more or less give you insights on how much you could save.

Another important consideration is to evaluate your sunlight exposure. Some states in the US are blessed with more sunlight than others. California and Arizona, for instance, get more sunlight hours in each day.

You also have to check the location of your home – its position toward the sun, its roof type, and the amount of shade it gets. A Solar-Estimate Calculator can estimate the efficiency of solar panels in your area depending on your exact location, average energy cost in your bill, and electricity provider.

While solar panels may require an initial investment of anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000 on average, the benefits and savings that they offer make them an important consideration for any family. With low maintenance and a long life, solar panels can provide your family years and years of free energy, saved money and a reduced carbon footprint.

California Set To Require Solar Panels on New Homes

California state board has signed the motion to require solar panels on all new homes. This movement, which will start in the year 2020, will reduce utility expenses although it will shoot up the cost of new constructions. Aside from reducing utility costs, it will lower greenhouse gas emissions which have been the aim of the state.

While other cities like South Miami and San Francisco currently have a requirement for solar panels on every home, California would be the first state in the country to have such requirements.

California has come up with a new rule that would cover every low-rise residential building in the state; however, houses that are regularly in the shade are excluded.

The new regulation was approved in mid-May by the California Energy Commission (CEC); however, this has not been approved by the Building Standards Commission (BSC).

Many organizations all support the plan, the same plan they have helped to grow over the past years. However, the leaders of the Republican legislative kicked against the idea saying Californians can no longer pay for housing in the state due to high cost.

The state organized a report and the result is that the requirement has an upfront cost of not less than $9,365. This cost will be balanced by utility savings in the coming years, however, homebuyers, developers, and real estate agents will still be hurt by the higher sales point.

According to statistics, the state with the highest housing costs across the country is California, and is also the state with insufficient housing.

Due to the way electric bills are calculated in California, bills of ratepayers are likely going to increase if the number of solar panels is increased in the state.

Above all, making solar panels a must have, is likely going to be cost-effective due to the fact that it is possibly the only current method for the state to achieve its aim of making new homes be produce as much as they use, in terms of power.

The California EPA released a report into the consequences for climate change in California the same day the new regulation was approved by the California Energy Commission.

According to the report, the following are as a result of global warming: wildfires, dying trees, droughts, and warming waters. Despite all of this, researchers are still optimistic that the greenhouse gas emission of the state is reducing even as the population continues to grow.

According to California energy commission, the state has been preparing for solar panels for a very long time. In a statement made by Beck, all new homes were required to be solar-ready in 2013. She went on saying there should be some spaces made available on the roof for solar panel just in case the homeowner feels like or it becomes necessary to add a solar panel in the future.

The idea is to make California homes energy-efficient and as well reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state below 40% come the year 2030.

According to a report released by California Public Utilities Commission, about 14% greenhouse gas emissions in the state is as a result of the electricity consumed by commercial and residential buildings. However, the benefits, the cost of the new requirement have been an issue. According to a homebuilder, it will cost about $30,000 to add solar panels to a home which is about three times the estimate of the commission. Another issue on the table is how this new requirement will help in fighting climate change.

The biggest climate issue the state is facing is from transportation which is about 40% emissions compared to the one generated by electricity which is just 20%. The idea to add solar panels to new homes is likely going to be difficult to increase housing density in the state which will definitely affect the reduction of emissions.

Utility companies have been yearning for an increase in solar operations as preferred to rooftop power. Their point is solar farms give the customers the opportunity to have solar power and the advantage being cost reduction.

Using Solar For North Africa Off Grid Hatchery

There are only 8 pairs of NADO (North African Desert Ostrich) left in the world at the moment. The attempt made by Wildlife Conservation Network and Sahara Conservation Fund to revamp the NADO has birthed three plans which are: captive breeding, protection and to prevent extinction, the reintroduction of the NADO. This is almost impossible to achieve in the Sahara Desert. Team Niger and their partners have teamed up to build a one of a kind solar field station. The solar field station is made up of 4 modified containers which were delivered mid-April 2018.

The following are the specifications:

  • It comes with 32 kW of solar energy
  • It comes with 144 kWh of usable battery storage for hatchers, freezer, BACnet, incubator, refrigerator, water pumping, VSAT communications system, water heater, and lighting.

The field station comes with two high-end video cams, and it can be remotely controlled. Due to high temperatures, the containers are air-conditioning fitted. Most components are custom-made which were built in CA, and disassembled to assemble again when they arrive in Niger which is the final destination.

Can We Recycle Solar Panels

If you have ever worked in the solar industry you will know the importance of solar energy to the world at large. Solar energy is inexpensive to maintain, and it aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, what a lot of experts in the industry have failed to understand is that solar modules have some advantages and disadvantages when they are no longer useful.

The United States deployed 53GW solar capacity so far this year. Now, let’s say 250W was the average wattage of every installed solar module, the overall weight of panels deployed is equivalent to 44.5 million tons. To put it in perspective, that is equal to the weight of the Empire State Building times 22.

Being an industry that takes pride in its sustainability, there needs to be a concentration on recycling its panels after a solar project, so that our landfills don’t become saturated with them. The recycling of solar panels, as of now in the United States, is not a problem due to the fact that a many of the installations have been carried out in the past decade; however, the market for more places to recycle will only increase with time in the near future. According to a research by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), materials that can be recycled are expected to hit $15 billion by 2050.

How are they currently recycling?

The question being asked is if “solar modules are currently being recycled?” The quick and short answer to this question is, YES. Silicon solar modules basically consist of aluminum, glass and plastic, which are the three materials recyclable in large quantities.

The process involved for these materials to be recycled is not an easy one, and require the use of highly sophisticated machinery. The procedures for a silicon module to be recycled include:

  1. eliminating the frame of the aluminum
  2. separation of the glass with a conveyor belt
  3. the processing of thermal at no less than 500 degrees Celsius
  4. and finally, the etching away of silicon wafers and the smelting of slabs which can be used again.

Due to the fact that PV capacities were installed in the 1990s by a lot of European Nations, the recycling market of a solar module PV is booming gradually. The PV Cycle was built by the European Union’s WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) to structure a great recycling system.

This is why the United States has a lot to learn when it comes to the recycling of PV module form the European nations. Although last year, Washington turned out to be the first state to scale through solar product stewardship law, there is a need for other states to join this movement in order put enough pressure on producers to come up with recycling programs.

This process will not be as hard to implement as the life span of a solar panel is beyond 24 years. However, the success of the solar industry depends on how we get the raw materials needed for producing solar modules. If we aim at making our solar firm move to the next level in the coming years, now is the time to start thinking of ways to make sure modules stay out of landfills throughout our beautiful country.