The cost of putting photovoltaic panels into operation falls by more than 80%

The average capital costs of building photovoltaic power plants have fallen by more than 80% over the last decade, according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The global average cost of operating 1 kilowatt (kW) of photovoltaic panels has fallen from $5,124 in 2010 to $876 in 2022 (all values ??are in 2022 prices).
The levelized cost of electricity generated by solar panels has also fallen significantly, from $0.445 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2010 to $0.049 per kWh in 2022. The reduction in the cost of the technologies has led to an expansion of its geographical reach, including in countries with a high average annual number of sunny days, thanks to which the average utilization rate of solar panels increased from 14% in 2010 to 17% in 2022. At the same time, global capital costs to commission photovoltaic panels increased from $106.1 billion in 2013 to $298.2 billion in 2022, and their share in the global cost structure for the development of renewable energy sources will increase from 44% to 60%.

The growth in investment is related, among other things, to the ease of use of solar panels in everyday life and in the commercial sector. These are projects with a capacity of less than 1 megawatt (MW), which have already become a key industrial driver in several countries. According to Ember, the housing, industrial and service sectors accounted for 53% of the capacity of solar panels launched in China in 2021, and 58% in 2022. Meanwhile, microgeneration accounted for 26% of the new solar energy capabilities launched. in the United States in 2023.

There is also potential for the development of microgeneration in Turkey, where the total area of ??flat and pitched roofs is sufficient to accommodate 120 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic panels, while the installed capacity of all power plants operating in the country, including coal and gas, fuel oil and generators powered by renewable energy sources, at the end of 2022 they totaled 105.1 GW, of which 9.4 GW were represented by solar energy.

The use of roofs for solar energy development could be facilitated by the implementation of roof tiles with integrated monocrystalline solar cells. Tiles of this type are manufactured by Autarq. Each tile has a power of 10 watts (W), which adds up to 120 W per square meter of roof. Autarq estimates that 40 square meters of photovoltaic panels will be enough to generate 3,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of a household of four members.