Solar Panels have become a mass phenomenon as Bloomberg reported a few days ago rivaling in explosive growth the Apple iPad. Falling prices of solar panels coupled with the growing prices of fossil fuels has made solar panels increasingly more attractive to end users .Besides it also helps one contribute towards climate change mitigation. Solar [...]

Solar Roofs are a niche area but is growing in popularity with the entry of more and more companies selling products tailormade for this area.What are Solar Roofs exactly – does it mean a Roof with Solar Panels installed on it or something else.Solar Roofs are not roofs where solar electricity is generated by putting in solar mounting/racking systems and mainstream solar panels,rather they are roofs where specialized solar products called solar shingles are installed.Solar Roofs can also mean a roof where Building Integrated Photovoltaic products are installed.Some companies make BIPV products like flexible solar panels or organic/dye solar cell panels ( these are niche companies).

Sharp is the biggest company in the world in terms of making revenues from sales of solar panels so it seems counterintuitive for someone to recommend not buying Sharp Solar Panels.However this Japanese Conglomerate has been losing marketshare rapidly to cheaper Asian competitors.Sharp due to its factories in high cost locations makes solar panels at a much higher cost and sells them at much higher prices as well.The reason is that they manage to sell so many solar panels is that consumers are not educated about other better options and the other solar panel companies don’t have the distribution networks.Note Sharp has been trying to diversify away from crystalline solar panels to thin film solar panels.The reason is that they are losing the competitive advantage to Chinese companies like Trina Solar and others.

Solar Panel Manufacturers globally have kept on increasing due to the fast growing nature of the industry and low entry barriers.However most of the solar panel manufacturers have high costs and low quality.Most of these producers have little growth prospects and are a bad choice to buy from as they might go bellyup.This would lead to a void of the 25 year warranty of the solar panels.So it makes sense only to buy from the biggest and best solar manufacturers in the world.Solar Panel Manufacturers are present in most parts of the world with Korea,China,Taiwan,USA,Japan and Germany dominating.However small solar panel producers are also present in most countries like Spain,Greece,India etc.Solar Panels are of mainly 2 type – crystalline and thin film.Most of the solar panels produced today are of the crystalline type and are mostly used in residential rooftops.Thin film panels are mostly used in large ground solar power plants.Thin film solar panels are of lower efficiency and are lower priced as well.However falling costs of crystalline solar panels has led to their increasing dominance.

Cheap Solar Panels are widely available with the entry of a multitude of Korean,Chinese and Taiwanese companies.Most of these solar panel manufacturers are fighting on price and have decent quality.With little to differentiate between solar panels made by different firms,cheapness has become the main selling point for these solar panels.Cheap Solar Panels can be bought by an informed customers as expensive Western and Japanese brands still hold a large marketshare.But buying these brands might not make sense economically or environmentally.You can easily avoid buying solar panels from BP Solar because they outsource manufacturing of their solar panels to cheaper locations.It is common sense to buy cheaper solar panels from the companies located in those low cost locations.

Free Solar Panels don’t exist just as Free iPads don’t exist.Some websites and companies advertize free solar power or free solar panels based on government subsidies.Note even these free solar power offers are not completely free as they have a payback periods depending on how much government subsidies are given.Nobody is going to give you a free solar panel or a free iPad without a catch.