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Free Solar Panels – They don’t Exist and Why you should not Confuse Free with Government Subsidies

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Free Solar Panels

Free Solar Panels do not 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.

Note governments around the world give some sort of incentive or subsidy to install solar energy panels on your residence or commercial establishment. These incentives can either be in the form of cash grant or higher electricity tariffs (called feed in tariffs) or tax breaks. However no government in the world will give you free solar panels (except in some niche pilot projects). However there are a number of companies that will offer free solar panels which are being irresponsible at best or frauds at worst.

Free Solar Panels – Are they for real?

The way solar panels can be made free is that if you get enough returns from saving on electricity costs by installing solar panels. However in most cases it takes 5-10 years for the savings to materialize enough for the solar panel installation cost to be compensated. However saying solar panels can be had for no money is completely wrong. So when you hear about solar panels being free just ignore them. You are better off buying and installing solar panels from reputed companies and availing of government subsidies. There are a number of high quality low cost solar panel producers and good installers which will install solar panels at a cost.

Here is a list of top Chinese companies which sell solar panels at a low cost. Similarly there are Korean and Taiwanese companies listed in the bottom as well.

  1. Suntech – Suntech was  the world’s biggest producer of solar panels in 2010 and was one the first companies to set up operations in China.Its example was followed by a host of other Chinese companies.Suntech has been slow to expand compared to the fast growing small companies in China and has lost marketshare to them.It has started to vertically integrate in order to meet the low cost challenge from Trina and Yingli.Suntech makes one of the best quality Solar Panels in China.
  2. Yingli Green Energy – Yingli Green Energy is one of the oldest Chinese companies and is completely integrated from polysilicon.The company has been expanding rapidly and has one of the lowest cost structures in the industry.Yingli Green Energy has been sponsoring Football in Europe and has started a new line of high efficiency “Panda” Solar Panels.Yingli is the second biggest producer of Solar Panels in China
  3. Trina Solar – Trina Solar is one of the lowest cost manufacturers of Solar Panels in the World right now and also sells it at a very low price.This is the reason that the company in a span of few short years has managed to acquire a substantial  global marketshare.The prices the solar panels being sold are around $340 per 200 watt module.Trina Solar.Like Yingli and Suntech,Trina Solar Panels are one the best quality in China
  4. Hanwha Solar One – The Company which was recently acquired by South Korean Chemicals Giant Hanwha also makes one of the cheapest panels and sells it a very low price.The quality is also quite good and with strong parentage behind it,the solar panels made by the company.Again like Trina Solar,it has very low cost Chinese manufacturing capacity.The company was earlier known as Solarfun.
  5. Canadian Solar – The Company sells a wide variety of solar panels unlike other producers.The Solar Panel Selling Price is also quite cheap.The Company is headquartered in Canada with factories in China and Ontario.Canadian Solar is the 5th biggest producer of Solar Panels in China.
  6. LDK Solar – This is the biggest producer of solar wafers that are used by crystalline solar panels but is losing its No.1 position to GCL Poly.Is expanding rapidly into other parts of the solar supply chain and could break into top 10 solar panel producer in the next couple of years.LDK Solar is building a huge solar panel and cell production facility.It sells Solar Panels mostly to other Solar Panel Companies.
  7. Renesola – Very similar to LDK Solar in operations and structure,this Chinese company is the lowest cost producer of solar wafer producer in the world.It is expanding into other parts of the supply chain.Like LDK Solar,Renesola sells most of its Solar Panels under an OEM Contract
  8. Jinko Solar – Jinko Solar has shown the fastest growth rates in the Chinese Solar Panel Industry.The company is expanding again to become one of the Top 5 Solar Panel Producers in China.Jinko Solar like Trina and Yingli is vertically integrated and has one of the lowest cost solar panel production process.
  9. Trony Solar – Trony Solar is the largest Solar Thin Film Producer in China and uses a-Si Technology to producer Solar Panels used mostly in Off-Grid Applications.The company uses its own custom made equipment and manages to get decent margins for its products.The company recently listed on the HK Stock Exchange.

Greenworldinvestor Articles to Read

  1. BP Solar Panels – Why you Should Avoid Buying Them (Environment,Pricing)
  2. Cheapest Solar Panels – Which Companies Sell at the Lowest Price and Why you should avoid Distributors/Wholesalers
  3. Taiwan Solar Energy Challenging China – Taiwanese Solar Cell,Wafer,Panel,Inverter Manufacturers following the Semi Success Path
  4. Korean Solar Energy Set to Explode due to the Greenest Government and Chaebols Hanwha,Hyundai,Posco,Samsung,LG
  5. Will Sharp be Decimated like the Europeans by Chinese Solar Panel Companies
  6. Which is the Lowest Cost Solar Panel Manufacturer in the World


Abhishek Shah

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Anonymous

    True, solar panels are not cheap but it’s a great investment. Definitely, by using solar power we can save not only a lot of money but also we will be able to help the environment for our future. More and more people are installing solar panels on their roofs and they actually save a lot of money plus no more blackouts.


    I am really fascinated with Solar energy and would like it to be implemented for household energy/illumination at my residence in Vasai,Maharashtra,India.We face a lot of load sheddings every week and face enormous hardship during severe summers.Kindly enlighten regarding useful use of this friendly form of energy.