Costing Solar: A New Cliché?
The Top 10
Here are the ten US States in the top 5 rankings with a solar payback of 9 years or less – based on 5/2012 avg. systems costs:
First Place / 4 years • Massachusetts
Second Place / 5 years • Hawaii
Tied in 3rd Place / 7 years • New Jersey • Maryland • Louisiana
Fourth Place / 8 years • New York
Tied for 5th Place / 9 years • California • Ohio • Delaware
Runner-up / 10 years • Arizona
Think solar can’t pay for itself?
With the right combination of state incentives and expensive electricity rates, a solar PV system can have a payback period of 10 years or less.
Want to know how much it could cost to go solar in your state? Check out how much you can save each month, over 20 years, and the average payback time for solar.
(The infographic above, curated from 1BOG.org), reflects the most recent data and trends.
Thin Film vs Crystalline
Generally, thin-film technologies – despite having comparatively low conversion efficiencies – achieve significantly shorter energy payback times than conventional systems (often < 1 year). With a typical lifetime of 20 to 30 years, this means that modern solar cells are net energy producers, i.e. they generate significantly more energy over their lifetime than the energy expended in producing them.
Crystalline silicon devices are approaching the theoretical limiting efficiency of 29% and achieve an energy payback period of 1–2 years.