Lower photovoltaic costs
Driven by the exponential growth in installations around the world, the global manufacturing capacity for photovoltaics has ballooned. Just in 2011, new photovoltaic systems with a combined capacity of over 27 GW were connected to the electrical grids. Coupled with a notable growth in design and installation capability, the installed cost of photovoltaics has halved in the last 5-years and the product quality has markedly improved. With falling costs, photovoltaics are increasingly appealing to customers everywhere.
Falling subsidies herald "PV 2.0"
Much has been written about the falling levels of government subsidies for photovoltaics, especially in European countries. Some believe that this will mean the end of photovoltaics. However, due to cost reductions, the period of subsidy dependency is naturally coming to an end. Why pay continue paying the same high subsidies as costs fall?
Some have called the first period of subsidy-enabled photovoltaics deployment "PV 1.0" - implying that it's time for a new "version", an upgrade of business models. PV 2.0 means deployment without subsidies, and that's beginning just now. It is an exciting new phase, which opens up the benefits of solar technology to a much wider customer base.
Recent falls in equipment costs made solar electricity economically competitive