Led lights, solar panels, and even a car are on sale for under $1,000, but those prices are still way below the cost of the devices themselves.
The average home or small business still requires at least $3,000 of solar panels and batteries to power everything from refrigerators to televisions to air conditioners, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
But with solar panels now being available at nearly every major American store, that means it’s easier to get those devices than ever before, the solar industry’s largest trade group says.
The report, released Thursday, found that the price of solar power has dropped by more than 70% since 2013, and that consumers can now get their solar panels for $200 or less than they did two years ago.
It also found that prices for LED and other low-power devices are down as well, but that even more energy needs to be spent to keep them cool, and those are more expensive.
“There’s a lot of pressure on consumers to spend more,” said David Noyes, the association’s executive vice president.
“They want the product, they want the price, and they’re willing to pay that price.
But if they want to be good stewards of the planet, they need to get better at the cost side.”
The report is just the latest in a string of studies that have shown the solar market is changing.
The National Solar Energy Association released its latest quarterly report this month, predicting a surge in solar installations across the U.K., Germany, China and the U: The industry is experiencing unprecedented growth in solar power capacity, and is now one of the most profitable segments in the U, with a combined $15.5 trillion market value, according the report.
But while the U’s economy is booming, the energy market in the United States is in dire straits.
Solar installations fell 13% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the industry’s most recent quarterly report showed, and the industry saw a 30% drop in installations last quarter.
“Solar is a huge part of our economic future, but it has also become a very expensive and inefficient business model for a number of reasons,” said Mark Zaid, executive director of the American Solar Association.
“Our job is to find solutions to make solar more affordable and accessible, and it’s clear that many solutions are being looked at.”
A growing number of states and cities are considering measures to lower solar costs and cut out the middleman.
The U.N. climate agency in January proposed a set of international rules to lower the cost for solar, but the Obama administration has resisted that push, arguing that such a measure is too expensive.
Meanwhile, California Gov.
Jerry Brown has said he wants the state to be the first to offer solar power on the grid by 2022, and a group of prominent environmental activists is calling on the Trump administration to move quickly to get the federal government to move toward a more solar-friendly energy system.
Meanwhile the U — and the solar companies that are supporting it — are struggling to make ends meet.
The solar industry is growing, but prices are not.
The industry’s stock has dropped 40% over the last decade.
Solar panels now cost about $2,500, compared to $1.75 in 2015.
And with solar panel production and sales surging, there are still many people who can’t afford to install the equipment.
The American Solar Council, a trade group that represents the solar industries largest players, said in its report that more than 1.5 million U.s. homeowners have installed solar panels in their homes since the beginning of the year, and solar installations have reached a record of 4.2 million.