A recent report from the USA has found return on investment from solar power is higher than any other renewable energy source.
The report entitled “Global Solar Inverter Markets”, released by SBI Energy, states the payback period for a typical solar PV-based project has reduced from 7-10 years to 3-5 years currently.
This has also been the case for home solar power in some Australian states, where payback time on rooftop solar panels can be under 4 years. With electricity prices rapidly increasing, investment in a home solar power system can in some scenarios provide a better return than putting the equivalent money in the bank.
SBI predicts the cost of solar power production will decrease by half every ten years, reaching $1 a watt by 2020 and as low as $0.50 per watt by 2030. Further reductions after that time are also possible due to large scale adoption of PV technology and the ongoing development of low cost production sites in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
SBI says cumulative PV installations have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 35% since 2000, reaching 40 GW globally in 2010; and are estimated to reach 400 GW by 2020.
SBI expects to see a short-term lull in the European Union PV market, mainly due to solar feed in tariff rate cuts and some regulatory issues, but this will be offset by installations in North America and Asia. The research firm believes China is likely to reach the 1 GW cumulative installation mark during this year.
Global Solar Inverters Markets covers the PV component sector; with a detailed analysis of PV cells, solar panels, wafers, polysilicon and solar inverters. In regard to the latter, SBI Energy estimates that the global solar inverter market, currently valued between $5.5- 5.8 billion, will hit $7.5 billion in 2015. A solar inverter is a device that convert DC electricity generated by a solar panel into AC power; suitable for use by standard home appliances.