The below depicts the cost and savings projected overtime for each of the following scenarios:
Doing Nothing | Depending on the customer’s utility provider
Lease Model | Expected to be less than the utility; but no guaranty.
Purchase Model | Effective control of energy cost.
Existing systems should last 50 years. Many products on the market have reliability problems due to quality and manufacturing contamination issues. Many large installers have budgeted millions to cover the cost of failing products installed over the past 5 to 7 years.
“If I wait five years, won’t the systems produce more and cost less?”
The costs are artificially low due to incentives that will expire by the end of 2016. Costs will actually be higher if a customer waits until 2017 to purchase.
The systems should produce marginally more, but not enough to offset the loss of incentives. Current PV panel technology ranges from 14% to 21%. The practical maximum energy harvest for PV technology is 21 to 22 percent. The current typical PV panel at a competitive price is 16% efficiency versus existing 20% PV panels. What that translates to is 25% fewer panels required for the same output at double the price in cost per watts.
So the answer is No. While the efficiency and related size of PV panels will increase marginally, the reliability and cost of premium products will not change enough to offset existing incentives.