It’s well known among renewable energy enthusiasts and industry trackers that the cost of going solar has been dropping significantly over the last decade, and one reason for this has been the proliferation of Chinese solar panels, which are typically cheaper than solar cells produced by American manufacturers. This has been good for California solar energy customers, who have benefited from lower prices and installation costs as a result. But it has made it more difficult for U.S. companies to be competitive in this sector.

The same issue has been taking place in Europe, which currently boasts the two countries with the most installed solar capacity in the world: Germany and Italy. On July 27, it was announced that the European Union (EU) had reached an agreement with China’s Chamber of Commerce that the latter wouldn’t export panels to E.U. members for less than 56 euros ($0.74 cents) per watt, in order to bring price parity with European-manufactured units.

A similar policy was put in place in the U.S. last year, when the Department of Commerced levied a 31 percent tariff on Chinese solar panels. The tariff was an attempt to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive in the domestic solar marketplace, but it’s unclear if it will have an impact. GreenTech Media Research, a solar industry news site, states that the price per watt of solar panels will continue to drop from 50 cents at the end of 2012 to 36 cents in 2017.

The plummeting costs of solar power mean that there’s never been a better time to have a solar energy system installed on your property. For more information on how your family can benefit from solar power, contact West Coast Solar today