At the moment the cost of solar panels means that cheap solar power for your home is still several years away. The cost of commercially produced solar power systems are still so high that they will take many years to recoup the cost of the investment. However many people are getting around the prohibitive cost of commercial solar power systems by making their own for a fraction of the cost.
An article published in The Daily Telegraph in 2007 stated that solar power would become cheap enough within 5 years to compete with carbon-generated electricity. The costs of solar panels are expected to fall further still and within a decade the cost of PV solar panels will have fallen sufficiently to undercut fossil fuel produced power by up to half.
Anil Sethi, CEO of Swiss company Flisom envisions a near future when entire cities are powered by solar electricity. Even buildings without solar electricity will be powered by the surplus energy that has been fed back into the grid from solar powered buildings. The cost of solar panels looks set to become a lot cheaper in the near future due to a new solar material made from a dark polymer foil that it is 200 time lighter than conventional glass based solar panels. One of the problems with normal solar panels is the expensive cost of fixing them to rooftops. This new material is so light that it can be stuck to the sides of buildings. It can be mass produced in rolls unlike solar panels which are laboriously manufactured piece by piece.
This new solar material will work anywhere in the world regardless of cloud cover as long as sufficient quantities of this foil are used. In some places such as England where there are many grey cloudy days up to half the roof might needs to be covered with the material.
Solar power has already taken off in countries such as Japan and Germany. The success of cheap solar power in Germany has been due to the government introducing laws forcing the grid to purchase surplus solar generated electricity. Households can expect to be paid a fat premium for their surplus electricity. Germany is proof that people will turn to solar power when they realize they can undercut their utility provided electricity. This will happen as soon as the cost of solar power becomes a cheap widespread reality. This will occur when tipping point is reached where solar power can be produced for the same cost or less than carbon produced power. Within a decade solar power is expected to only cost 30-40% of carbon based power.
With any new advancement in technology there will often be losers who would rather things stayed the same so that they can continue to profit. The big losers of cheap solar power revolution will be the electrical utility companies. Their profits have already fallen in Japan and Germany where the peak wattage produced by home solar panel systems overlaps with the hours of peak demand.
You can get it on the cheap solar power revolution before it takes off with Earth4Energy. Earth4Energy will show you how the cost of solar panels can be less than $200 each if you learn to make your own.