Solar energy is just as useful as energy derived from fossil fuels, except it’s cleaner to use and it’s renewable. The only thing stopping the world from using solar energy instead of fossil fuel-based energy is the cost factor—up until now, fossil fuel derived energies (including gas, oil, and coal energy production processes) have been much cheaper than buying and installing solar panels.
However, according to Elon Musk, CEO of SolarCity, residential solar panels are now under development that would make solar energy more affordable and more accessible than fossil fuel power. These solar panels are capable of reaching 22.5 percent efficiency, which is a full 6 points better than the overall industry average. This figure represents the percentage of the sun’s power that can be directly converted into usable energy.
The panels are also less expensive than even their underperforming competitors. All in all, they produce more energy and cost less than any other panel in the industry—according to his reports.
Of course, panels are only one part of the overall system. Panels themselves can be efficient, but that efficiency could be lost if not installed using high-efficiency, durable, cost-effective racking and mounting units like those offered by Solar FlexRack. Our solar trackers and mounting units are some of the most cost efficient and reliable in the industry.
In combination with efficiency-enhancing solar racks like the Solar FlexRack solar tracker, panels like those being developed by Solar City could be a cost-efficient alternative to fossil fuels. The upfront installation costs still make solar energy systems intimidating for the average consumer, but the long-term benefits will outweigh that initial investment, especially as new technologies develop.