Solar energy is the most efficient sustainable source of energy and if harnessed correctly it can help in reducing the cost by quite a huge proportion. Use of this renewable source of energy has increased a lot with more and more people switching to solar panels for their electricity needs.

70 percent increase in the solar panel has been observed since 2015 and costs for installation have reduced by 73% since 2006.  Rooftop Solar panel is prepared by installing a photovoltaic system on the rooftops of apartments, buildings etc. These solar panels help in generating electricity through solar energy. The usual capacity of a rooftop solar panel system is approximately 5kW.

While preparing for the installation of solar panels it is very important to follow a number of steps.

  • Get a clear picture of your home’s energy requirement
  • Evaluate Solar energy potential
  • Get an estimate of solar electricity requirement
  • Talk to vendors and get bids from solar installers
  • Assess the finances involved

Before proceeding with solar panel installation, it is very important to get a clear idea about the factors that play a very important role in determining solar power cost. Along with understanding the factors that affect solar energy cost, one should also understand how solar energy’s trend has changed in recent times.

The cost of installing a rooftop solar photovoltaic system mainly depends on the function it has to perform i.e feeding power into the grid, supporting the load in time of power failure etc. There are a lot of incentives/subsidies available and this plays a very important is cost reduction.

Types of Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic System

  1. GRID – TIED: Grid Tied rooftop solar panel systems are majorly designed to supply power to the grid and to power the load. This system will not be able to generate enough power during a power failure. Inverter, in this case, will stop sending power to the grid in order to avoid any mishaps.
  2. GRID – INTERACTIVE: Grid Interactive solar panel system works together with a battery backup or a diesel generator. This system is well equipped to provide enough support to the load during a power failure
  3. OFF GRID: Off Grid Solar Panel systems works without any grid and is specially designed to work only with the backup of batter or diesel generator.

The key differentiator among each of the systems is the kind of inverter being used and the use of batteries. Each vendor has a different way to address each of systems and it is often recommended to get a clear understanding of the functions of the system being offered instead of simply going-by-the-name.

There are a lot of factors that play a very important role in determining the cost of installation such as :

  • The place of installation
  • The solar panel system
  • Warranty
  • Output Capacity
  • Installation Charges
  • Cost of photovoltaic panels
  • Inverter and Battery Charger
  • Subsidies if any

‘Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission’ has issued several incentives for rooftop solar photovoltaic panel installation.

The cost breakdown of different components for installation of basic rooftop solar panel system, photovoltaic panels constitute almost 52% of the total cost, inverters constitute 23% of the cost and the balance (cables etc) constitute 17% of the cost. Installation costs are around 8% of the total cost.

Cost of solar energy has dropped down drastically in the last few years. This can be a result of more and more people switching to solar energy which in turn has led to increasing the efficiency of solar panels and has led to a decrease in panel prices.