Why Are Solar Panels 44 Percent Cheaper in China than the US? – MishTalk

The US wants to break into the solar panel business. Doing so, if its possible at all, means costs of the solar panels and electricity will surge.

China’s Grip on Solar Solar Panel Installation

Why Are Solar Panels 44 Percent Cheaper in China than the US? – MishTalk

The Wall Street Journal asks Can the U.S. Break China’s Grip on Solar?

That’s a free link worth reading. The short answer is everything in China is cheaper from materials to electricity to labor.

The process is worth a closer look, however, and the US trails significantly in every stage.

The primary building block for some 97% of the world’s solar panels is high-purity silicon, or polysilicon. Making that silicon is the first big step in the solar manufacturing process. It is the most energy- and capital-intensive piece because of the high temperatures and expensive equipment used in refining.

Until around 2005, polysilicon manufacturing was dominated by companies from the U.S., Europe and Japan. With China’s huge expansion and investment into solar, that has flipped. In 2023, roughly 91% of the polysilicon for solar panels was produced in China.

Recently, the U.S. has effectively banned the use of most Chinese polysilicon in imported solar panels because much of it is made in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the U.S. has accused Chinese authorities of committing human-rights abuses including forced labor, allegations that Beijing denies.

Today, U.S. buyers are increasingly relying on solar panels that use polysilicon made outside of China. Those supplies are tight, and keep prices for the U.S. market higher than for other markets.

In the next part of the process, the solar-grade silicon is melted in furnaces then cooled into big rod-shaped crystals called ingots. The ingots are sawed into thin slices called wafers.

China makes more than 97% of the world’s solar ingots and wafers. The U.S. makes none.

Ingot manufacturing is very energy-intensive due to the high temperatures used.

China has built many factories in areas with cheap power from coal or hydroelectric plants. The bulk of China’s solar manufacturing is in provinces where electricity costs are nearly 30% below the global industrial average.

High-quality quartz sand is used to produce special containers, called crucibles, for melting the silicon.

Most of the world’s sand used in ingot production comes from the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina. But almost all of it is shipped straight to China, which makes the bulk of the world’s crucibles.

Would-be crucible makers in the U.S. could have trouble getting sand. And would-be ingot and wafer makers in the U.S. will probably be buying the crucibles from China, bumping up costs.

This is the stage at which the silicon becomes a device that can convert sunlight into electricity. There are many different ways of making solar cells, but in most, wafers are treated with chemicals and etched with circuits.

China controls around 80% of the solar-cell market, largely because of cost advantages, and because it controls other steps of the supply chain, which lets it build ecosystems of suppliers. Many Chinese cell manufacturers also produce wafers or panels.

The U.S. currently has no solar-cell manufacturers, with the last few pulling out of the country or going bankrupt within the past few years. Many companies have said they are planning to build solar-cell factories following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. More announcements are expected since it doesn’t require as much initial investment as silicon or wafer manufacturing.

Solar-panel manufacturing is effectively an assembly process. Companies take cells and line them between sheets of glass or another material, connect them with wires, laminate the whole thing and place it in a frame. Then wires and other electronics are added to connect the panels to each other and the larger electrical system.

This is the easiest and least capital-intensive piece of the solar supply chain, and the part that is most widely dispersed around the world. China accounted for 83% of the world’s solar-panel production and the U.S. less than 2% in 2023.

Reuters reports With Solar industry in Crisis, Europe in a Bind Over Chinese Imports

Europe’s green energy transition is stuck between a rock and a hard place. A flood of cheap Chinese solar panel imports is driving record solar energy installations. But those same imports are crushing Europe’s few local solar manufacturers.

Europe just had a bumper year for green energy. European Union countries installed record levels of solar capacity, 40% more than in 2022. The vast majority of those panels and parts came from China – in some cases, 95%, International Energy Agency data show.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck wrote to the European Commission in November, expressing concern that the EU executive was about to slap trade restrictions on Chinese solar imports, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

Habeck warned restricting Chinese imports could kill off Europe’s rapid expansion of green energy and make 90% of the PV market more expensive. It risked bankruptcies among EU companies that assemble and install solar panels using imported parts, he said.

“You can’t reduce dependency on China in the short term or you don’t build the projects,” Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, CEO of Portuguese utility EDP, told Reuters. He noted that solar panel prices have climbed in the United States, which has duties on Chinese imports. “It is having an inflationary impact … the price of panels is more than double that of Europe,” he said.

Rather than being happy about cheap panels that help a green transition, the EU nannycrats are up in arms. So are President Biden and Donald Trump.

The Inflation Reduction Act aims to bring some of the above processes back to the US. But it will not level the playing field on labor costs or electricity costs. Nor does the US have the plants.

The US can easily catch up on technical know how, but it is going to lose out on every other step without huge additional tariffs.

Both Biden and Trump are willing to do so. Trump proposes 60 percent tariffs on China. To date, Biden took Tariffs trump imposed and increased most of them.

If the US puts 60 percent tariffs on China, the final costs will rise at least 60 percent and we will need much more electricity as well. So electricity costs will jump too.

There are big inflationary pressures on many fronts.

Minimum Wages Hikes at California Fast Food Restaurants

On September 28, I noted Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers Jumps 30% to $20 Per Hour in California

More inflation is coming your way. California again leads the way.The bill will force many small restaurants out of business or they will pony up too. If McDonalds pays $20, why take $15.50 elsewhere? The $4.50 hike from $15.50 to $20 is a massive 30 percent jump.More inflation is coming your way. California again leads the way.

President Biden is bragging the Supreme Court didn’t stop him from handing out still more inflationary free money.

“The Supreme Court Didn’t Stop Me” said Biden on more student debt cancellation.

The True Costs of Net Zero Are Becoming Impossible to Hide

On February 6, I noted The True Costs of Net Zero Are Becoming Impossible to Hide

Bloomberg reports a 48% Surge in Costs Wrecks Biden’s Much-Lauded Wind-Power Plans.

Even with massive subsidies, these projects are not economical.

Big Explosion of Government and Social Assistance Jobs

President Biden is bragging about job growth in 2023. But he doesn’t say where those jobs are.

As a direct result of migration Denver Health at “Critical Point” as 8,000 Migrants Make 20,000 Emergency Visits

Denver Health CEO Donna Lynne warned Denver Health is at a critical, critical point. Eight-thousand migrants from Central America accounted for approximately 20,000 visits in 2023.

Denver Health asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide funds for immigrants’ medical costs. The state and federal governments aren’t reimbursing the hospital, which spent $136 million for patients who didn’t pay.

For more discussion, please see Big Explosion of Government and Social Assistance Jobs in 2023 to Help Migrants

For now, we have disinflation, a slower increase in prices, not falling prices.

I wonder how long that can last given the huge number of inflationary pressures that are still on deck.

Fed Chairman Tells 60 Minutes US Fiscal Path is Unsustainable

Also note that Jerome Powell told 60 Minutes the US Fiscal Path is Unsustainable

Fed Chair Jerome Powell tells 60 Minutes that it’s “urgent” the US address its “Unsustainable Fiscal Path”

I list 15 key takeaways from the interview.

In light of unsustainable fiscal policy, the end of global wage arbitrage, the end of just in time manufacturing, and huge tariffs, I do not see the happy soft landing that nearly everyone including the Feds now sees.

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“Rather than being happy about cheap panels that help a green transition, the EU nannycrats are up in arms.”

For the same reasons that most emerging markets aren’t ecstatic about getting cheap gadgets from industrial countries. They may be cheap, but they can see that they are always behind and they always get less than rich countries, and they are forced to eat risks that the rich countries export to them. The industry of the EU and USA has hollowed out, and people are starting to realise that very soon, if they don’t manage to reverse the trend, they’ll be in the position of emerging markets compared to China, and that isn’t lots of fun.

“The US can easily catch up on technical know how….”

“Well,honey, I could do that too, if I wanted to…..” But, like, I,like, don’t…

Internationally competitive industry is competitive. Duh! The Chinese can profitably build a solar panel plant, and then sell solar panels, for less than you’d have to pay lawyers, permits, lobbying, rent and other pure theft before you even get to start actually building the factory in the US.

And,where the heck in the US would you go look for “technical knowhow” in cut-throat, competitive solar manufacturing? Some moron with a Powerpoint presentation at a “business school?” Some backmarker who “made money from my portfolio” at a “Venture Fund?” Or perhaps by making some clown “sign a requirements document…?”

There are noone with competitive industrial experience nor acumen in the US anymore. Noone with the faintest idea of even how to determine how to rank candidates for hire. “We” “make money” by being handed theft by The Fed now. That’s all we’ve been doing for 50 years. Long enough that that’s all “we” know how to do.

Sure, “we”, or at least five of “us” at MIT and another four at NASA, knows the fundamental science as well as anyone. Enough so that the latter four could probably find a way to build a “better” panel than far and away most Chinese could. But only one at a time. At a cost of 200x what the Chinese will sell one for. For a 3% improvement along some metric. Which makes all the sense in the world for space shuttles (and bombing Middle Eastern civilians…), but has nothing whatsoever in common with technical knowhow required to produce industrial quantities of high quality standard panels at competitive prices.

“We,” no different from Argentina, will have to spend generations to rebuild fundamental industrial infrastructure razed since ’71; in order to even catch up with where China is today. Germany is still much closer. But only for another decade. After that, they’ll have lost so much they’ll effectively be Argentina as well. Then all three of “us”; Argentina, Germany and “we”; can all babble about being “capitalists” while heading to Jerusalem to bang our heads into a stone wall, like the stupid hoofed animals “we” are no longer any more intelligent than.

Path of manufacturing… Made in USA -> Japan -> Taiwan -> China -> ??? Jobs are not coming back, they’ll just shift to the next country the US politicians make more favorable. All the noise is to buy your vote.

Another way of looking at green energy is insurance if something should happen to the fossil fuel processing and transportation. Refineries or pipelines are venerable to attacks and natuaral disasters. It’s nice to know that either individuals or local power production has alternate energy to draw from. In this day and age god helps those that help themselves. We can’t easliy make fuel for our vechicles, however Solar or wind could easily charge EV’s and Electronics.

The only way we’ll get prices down is to cut taxes on the wealthy, these job creating tax cuts will then create solar jobs in China at much lower labor costs, and those job creators will pass those savings on to us, oh, wait… We’re already doing that.

China is selling solar cells at a ridiculously low price to establish a global monopoly with the ultimate goal of controlling countries.

how much of the solar tech did China steal from U.S. and other companies?

I would be surprised if their technology is not far superior to anything we have

Is it just me or is the referenced WSJ article full of technical inaccuracies?

It’s a good thing the solar panels all come from China; when the scam unravels the US will have less capital to write off.

Looks like someone’s catching on….40+ years of “job creating” tax cuts that “pay for themselves” that create jobs in China…… and we still pay a huge markup for the product, that’s some nice “trickle-down”.

And the Congolese will have even less. Lucky bastards!

Before anyone get too jealous of them: We’re right there with them, in a generation or two.

Reason: Two words. BIG OIL!

Better ways to conserve energy than solar. One, stop sending junk mail to homes 6 days a week. Make it illegal to send unsolicited junk mail. Especially unsolicited solar energy junk mail.

“As a direct result of migration Denver Health at “Critical Point” as 8,000 Migrants Make 20,000 Emergency Visits“

It’s more of an issue than that. Ohio sheriff Richard Jones said that in a meeting with FBI Director Wray, he was told that more Red Flags were going off than before 9/11. Also that China has “safe houses” in every state, whatever that is supposed to mean. Saw another story in which a Denver officer anonymously told the writer that several had been arrested locally. There is a serious national security issue.

This is why Ron from Florida banned non American Chinese from owning property but the idiots are fighting it. Why we can not own property there either. Hmmmmmm?

It’s not about solar pannels. It’s about cars, TVs, furniture, nails… everything. I recommend you some writings of Friedrich List. He explains how proteccionism helped build american industry in the XIX century. Just like chinese proteccionism today helps them.

I am for EVs because they are much better at converting energy to motion than ICE cars but I don’t care how the electricity is generated. It could be by wind, photoelectric, nuclear, gas, oil or whatever as long as it produces electricity so it really doesn’t matter to me that China has captured the market for solar panels. There are plenty other ways that are or can be made to do it cheaper and better.

this is untrue: “EVs because they are much better at converting energy to motion than ICE cars”

This is very true. Electric vehicles are more efficient. We can also make clean energy to power them. As a surfer I would assume you understand the dangers of oil being spilled in our oceans as well. I am a gearhead but time for change has come and the oil companies can not keep killing idea of change anymore.

The world demand for ever more energy is not going to slow down anytime soon. Much of that increasing demand will be met by fossil fuels, but not all. Particularly since we reduced oil and gas capex over the last decade.

As such, we need as much renewable and nuclear energy as we can possibly produce. The solution is not “this source”, or “that source”. It is “all of the above”.

Solar is one part of the solution; particularly since it is advancing the fastest technologically. Of all energy sources, the cost of solar has decreased the fastest over the last 30 years, because of those technological advances.

Wind and nuclear are both struggling right now, in terms of cost and timeframes. So solar will have to grow even faster to make up the difference.

The problem, as Mish pointed out, is that our free market is currently incapable of competing with China in this area. China’s government has been able to “pick the winners” in the renewables area and now dominate solar, wind, and nuclear installations. They are adding more capacity locally in these three areas every year than the rest of the world combined. (And, yes, they are also smart enough to realize that still isn’t enough, so they keep building out coal generation as well. All of the above!) And they are the big winner when it comes to exports of most things that are renewable. And our free market system is unable to respond without the same kind of support and subsidies that Chinese companies receive. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that China also has a labor cost advantage that we cannot match.

Free market advocates will tell you that the solution is “simple”. Just import all the cheap Chinese renewable stuff, like solar panels, and take advantage of them. A reasonable solution.

Except that things are rarely simple. Politics, national security concerns, international tensions, military conflicts, trade wars etc really gum up those reasonable free market ideas. Rendering them useless.

I for one, am all in favor of free market solutions. But I am also cognizant that the world doesn’t work that way.

Which means we are not going to import as much Chinese renewables as we should, and we will keep falling further behind in our renewables goals.

Which means ever more use of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, in the US.

And growing demand of US crude oil and petroleum products abroad. link to

Yes. Though we currently import more oil than we export. However, we export refined oil products as well. And we are the world’s biggest exporter of LNG because we are blessed with a lot of surplus natural gas.

On a side note: one of my frequent recommendations, Diamondback Energy (FANG) had a very good day today after announcing a take-over of Endeavor Energy.

“There are big inflationary pressures on many fronts.”

A headline on Zero Hedge today said household debt tops 17.5 trillion $. The National debt is now over 34 trillion $. It would seem that the inflationary pressures are intentional. After all, the U.S. government for one, is afraid of 1930’s style deflation occurring again. Recency bias.

Those considering solar panel systems need to be wary of the potential pitfalls if you don’t own the system outright. Many installations are on a lease basis. This could make it more difficult to sell your house at a later date as the lease-terms would apply to the new owner.

I was never keen on the idea of having additional penetrations into the roof which would happen with the feet that support the panels. I have recently seen a GAF system (the roofing shingle company) that sits flush onto the shingles. Some of the reviews are very spotty, much to do with the installation and subsequent customer service.

All of my roofs, in the last couple of decades, have been standing seam metal. Solar panels clamp on to the seams- no penetration. That being said, my all electric house in the PNW only requires about $75/ month of electricity. Solar doesn’t pencil out, although I did purchase a share in a remote solar installation constructed and managed by my co-op utility.

Also, it’s worth considering the amount of wind lift that can happen to a roof with solar panels particularly for those houses at huricane risk or in ‘wind load zone 4’.

So how did the Chinese take over these parts of the industry in the first place. Obviously they started with nothing. Are their entrepreneurs just smarter and harder working than ours? If so, tariffs are idiocy. Or did their government fund the entire effort, from confiscating the IP, to building the power plants, to suppressing wages, to allowing the pollution of the land, to subsidizing the cost of the equipment? If American businesses can’t compete with superior Chinese businesses, that’s one thing. If American businesses are expected to compete with the Chinese government, that’s another. I know Mish is all in for lower costs, even if it means handing control of all production over to the socialists, but I think that’s a long-term risky and unsustainable model. Because its a model built on American government debt. Our most important export. And if the Chinese decide that they no longer want to import our paper, we’re hosed.

Everything moves in cycles as nothing is sustainable. After WW2 the U.S. was producer to the world. That could not be sustained. Countries with destroyed economies rebuilt. Once China reopened, it was far cheaper for Apple to build iPhones there. Jobs told Obama that the factory operation wasn’t coming back. On Shark Tank, one entrepreneur seeking funding, was asked why he wasn’t having his product made in China? He said he wanted to provide jobs for his community. The sharks were not impressed.

Then Mush proved that you can manufacture in the US profitably if you know how. He was able to find the engineers and get the permits that Jobs said he couldn’t do.

Big difference is Musk is making VERY large and heavy objects (cars) and Jobs was making tiny light ones (phones). The shipping cost on an iPhone compared to the price is negligible. That’s not true on a car.

“Or did their government fund the entire effort, from confiscating the IP, to building the power plants, to suppressing wages, to allowing the pollution of the land, to subsidizing the cost of the equipment?”

Got it in one. Back around 2005 the Chinese government decided that PV technology was a “Must win” industry, and they did exactly what you said with the goal of driving everyone else out of the business. Even companies that survived like REC Solar in Singapore did so by closing down their wafer production and buying Chinese wafers.

And yet China still needs 233 million barrels of US petroleum products yearly. link to

China gets a lot more oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia than it does from the US. They consume over 15 mbpd but produce only 4 mbpd.

Solar panels, Windmills and EV’s are all virtue signaling, feel good, look at me, see what I can spend your tax dollars on, whether you like it or not. It’s not at all about saving energy. If it was they would have built infrastructure first, so the technology could be implemented right away. They knew that would shed a massive light on the fallbacks, inconsistencies, issues, and overall cost that they don’t want you to know or realize until you’re all in and it’s too late. So now you have people with solar panels, but they are not being used, can’t be used, or are not yet finished with the installation due to cost, or they need very costly repairs and/or disposal cost that the people don’t have, and didn’t plan on. What a giant scam this climate change BS has become! Now Washington and the U.S. will look to do what occurred in Germany. Wipe out available & affordable energy, and replace it with less available, and more costly energy. But this time you will be on the grid, or another word comes to mind, Controlled! That is the end game correct? Grid controlled energy electrically, Digitally control money electrically, and more to come, as they are just getting started…

I remember when every politician in eastern NC came to a celebration when a major set of solar panels were put on a large USMC base. All talked about the “free electricity” and efficiency. Being an engineer, I couldn’t help but look at the numbers. Basically, the break even point was 75 years out IF the panels and all infrastructure lasted that 75 years with 0 operational cost (both absurd assessments). In reality, there was no break even point … it was a financial boon doggle so that all the politicians could do their social messaging in front of a passionate but uninformed audience.

We, the public, are constantly being played. Goebels writ large. The agenda driven politicians would probably say your scientific facts are misinformation.

Wow. I haven’t read one of your comments in a year or more. Accidentally read this one.

I see nothing has changed. You are still a cult conspiracy moron.

There was cheer and applause from the crowd, I am sure.

“Being an engineer” “Basically, the break even point was 75 years out”

How long ago was that? Most small installations take less than 10 years to pay back. Large ones take as little as 5 years.

Costs have dropped 82% since 2010 and 99% since 1980.

China has already installed 500 GW of solar and should hit 1 TW in a few years. They wouldn’t be doing that if it wasn’t worth it.

I will further add to my prior post:

The regulation of solar panels requires me, where I live, to have them installed by a professional. I am not allowed to install them myself and also have them attached to the grid. That means I would, if I did them myself, have to purchase an 8000 dollar battery to take my home off grid, bringing the total cost of doing it myself 11k, instead of the 3k cost it would take if I could hook myself up to the grid.

Regulation is also a problem also.

Why would you want to go off grid? I realize there are end of world preppers out there but for 99% of people, there is no reason to go off grid.

Also, you could go off grid with no battery but it just means no storage capacity so you may have to go without power entirely at some points.

I don’t want to go off grid.

My point was that I could 100% power my home using panels for a total cost of 3k if there were no regulations preventing it.

Because of regulations, if I do the install myself, I’d have to go off grid, as I am required to use a professional installation company to connect to the grid.

Using a professional installation company raises my cost from 3k to 18k to connect to the grid. That makes the entire solar equation useless for me.

If I go off grid (and therefore do not need to use a professional solar company) I can do it, but must install my own battery, which again, raises the cost to 11k, from 3k.

My point is that it is not the cost of solar panels that makes solar inefficient. It’s the cost of solar labor and regulations that make it inefficient. The cost of solar panels could go to zero, and the biggest barrier to solar adoption would still be there.

That’s crazy. Where do you live?

The only part that should need a licensed professional is where you connect to the grid, not the panels themselves. That’s the part the electric company cares about because that’s where there can be problems if it’s not done correctly. Are you 100% sure it’s not just that part that has to be done be a licensed professional?

Positive. I live near Raleigh NC.

I am surrounded by solar farms where I live in rural NC, and I suspect they do not want people like me to connect to the grid.

There is no net metering law here. IF you produce more than you consume, you get nothing.

I’ll assume you aren’t in to make money via net metering but instead just want to have a net zero electric cost.

The problem with connecting to the grid from home use is that when there is a power outage, you can be putting back energy into the grid if your solar array is ‘online’. That could potentially kill a worker who was working on a ‘downed line’ near your home because they would not be aware of the back energy going into the grid. What’s required is that when there is an outage on the power from the electric company there is an auto cut off of the back fill from the solar array (at least here in Florida that’s the big thing that you must have). This means that your own home also gets the power outage even though you have solar and could in theory be powered. On other words, the only way you can have power during an outage is to be truly off grid (which you don’t want to do because of the 8K battery cost) or have a home generator (which also requires a special switch to again prevent back filling the power company lines).

That’s why I figured the only part that should matter is having that part professionally installed and inspected.

Where do you live? Almost all places that I know of just need to have the system inspected to see if it meets the NEC. It doesn’t require a licensed electrician if it is a DIY.

I’ve checked, and you absolutely must use a solar company here in NC to connect to the grid….and there’s not even a net metering law here.

People around here who use solar are very bad at math. They brag about how much they save on their electric bill but forget that the 30k they spent on solar could be making them much more invested in something.

If I could do it myself, I would, for 3k. That would make great economic sense.

Solar panels are cheap, whether you purchase them in the USA or not. It’s the labor to install them that is the problem.

I can purchase, right now, enough solar panels to power a 100% electric home that is 2000sf. The cost to me would be around 3k for everything I need to install them.

3k would save me about 150 a month on my utility bill. That’s totally worth doing……but the labor to install them is 15k. The labor component of solar panels is 5x as much as the panels themselves.

If you want to make solar affordable, the labor cost MUST be brought down.

Making solar panels cheaper isn’t going to do much at all.

And so the question is why is the labor so high? I had a neighbor put solar on his roof here in Florida. It took 3 guys 2 days to do the work (and that’s being generous). Suppose those guys make $70/hour fully loaded with bennies (that’s being generous too). That’s $70 * 3 workers * 16 hours or $3,360 in actual labor costs.

My point here is that it really isn’t that the labor is super expensive. It’s the profit expectations and operating costs of the installer that are overly expensive.

Just to be clear, if those installers were a legit business and their wages are 70/hr with bennies then the cost to the company is probably close to 140/hr because of all the hidden taxes and fees that companies pay for employees. That makes the labor cost more like $6500 before profits.

You bring up a key point. It is usually assumed by the green zealots that the installed cost of solar PV systems will continue to drop toward zero due to some variation of “Moore’s Law”, thus enabling the “net zero” transition.

The installed cost of every solar PV system can be viewed as a combination of two separate cost items:

#1 – The “technology product” component – the PV panels themselves and the inverters..

#2 – The old-fashioned electrical and structural/roofing installation work – building racks as necessary, modifying roofs, rigging panels into place, running EMT and wire, installing fuses and breakers, performing final tie-ins.

The reality is that even if the costs of item #1 – the panels and inverters – dropped to zero (not gonna happen but that would be the “limiting” case) – the overall installation cost would still be significant.

The costs for item #2 might drop marginally as electrical installers get used to doing more PV installations, but the reductions will be minimal, and likely will be overtaken by continuing increases in the labor rates for electricians, and price increases in the basic installation materials like EMT and wire.

To put it another way, people can fantasize about some Moore’s Law variation continuing to drop the prices of PV panels, but the hourly rates for electricians are never going to drop to $1.00 an hour.

Moore’s Law does not apply to PV panels – and it CERTAINLY does not apply to basic demolition and installation labor and installation materials. If it did, we could all be living in fancy well-appointed houses that cost $100 each.

The only realistic way to get labor costs down are:

1) Allow do it yourself (unlikely unless you also self insure your home and even then you’d have trouble selling since it also means non-inspected/regulated) 2) Do it at the time you install a new roof. This is probably the most promising way it’s going to happen especially the individual shingle panels as opposed to the big solar panels.

Where I live, you cannot connect at all if you do not hire a company to do it. That doesn’t mean it can’t get inspected.

If you get it inspected, it doesn’t matter, since the city signed off on it, just as if a contractor did it. Therefore, you can still sell your house since it was permitted and passed inspection, even though the homeowner did it. They currently do not allow that where I live, and the homeowner CANNOT install themself, unless they separate from the grid.

Regulations are a big part of the problem.

And yes, solar shingles make huge sense to me. The cost of the EV panels as the roof itself makes the cost of EV go down significantly, when that cost is subtracted from the cost of replacing the roof.

I was really hoping TESLA roofs would become a thing, but the price point is ridiculous and anyone who buys one isn’t buying them for cost savings but for status symbols. 100k for a new roof? No thank you.

The only way labor costs will ever decline is replacing humans with robots.

Until then, there will the constant drumbeat of the bleeding hearts trying to make sure that everyone, no matter how stupid they may be, should enjoy a “livable wage”.

Unfortunately, this just means that once the low tier workers are ratcheted up to this livable wage, everyone ahead of them on the wage pyramid will also be given equal or better raises, thus leaving the lower tier workers STILL at the bottom of the pyramid but everything just more expensive.

Maybe thats why they offshored most of the U.S. manufacturing ?

China is a meritocracy. USA has socialist diversity, equity, inclusion.

I implore you to move to China for six months. I did, and no one in China believes it’s a meritocracy. It’s a communist government under a dictator. That’s very evident when you try to connect to Twitter or YouTube there and can’t because of the Great Firewall, or when you’re driving around Beijing as every highway is covered in cameras. Any behaviors that are seen in the images and videos taken of you as being counter to the Chinese culture – you will be notified. As such, they can finance anything, move very quickly, and ignore any of their own regulations that get in the way of their goals. They answer to no one and have been stealing IP from most major countries for decades as part of their advancement at any cost belief. I did not enjoy living there. The people were kind and patient, but the officials and government were oppressive.

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Why Are Solar Panels 44 Percent Cheaper in China than the US? – MishTalk

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