“The public is kept in the dark about the viability of photovoltaic solar energy,” according to a study by Queen’s University in Canada.

“Many analysts emphasize the high cost of photovoltaic solar energy do not always reflect the latest technological advances and cost reductions,” such are the words of Joshua Pearce, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University the Queen. “Older models to determine the cost of solar PV are too conservative.”

Dr. J. Pearce thought that solar photovoltaic systems are close to the “tipping point” where they can produce energy for about the same price as other traditional energy sources.

Analysts watch a lot of variables to determine the cost of photovoltaic solar systems for consumers, as the cost of installation and maintenance, financial expenses, the life of the system, and the amount of electricity they generate.

Dr. J. Pearce says that some studies do not take into account the 70% reduction in the cost of solar panels since 2009. He also said that current research shows an annual productivity of high-efficiency solar panels driving down prices of only 0.1% to 0.2%, well below the 1% in many widely accepted economic analysis.

Equipment costs are determined based on the electricity generated in $ (dollar) per watt. A study published in 2010 estimated the cost at 7.61 dollars, while another from 2003 fixed the threshold at 4.16 dollars. According to Dr. J. Pearce, the actual cost in 2011 is less than $ 1 per watt for solar panels purchased in volume on the world market, while the costs of the systems and the installation remain at very variable.

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