Is solar energy more expensive than conventional energy?
In many countries, solar systems produce electricity at or close to the cost of electricity from other conventional sources, which continue to rise. When the cost of solar electricity matches the cost of conventional energy, we refer to this as “grid parity”. In Australia "grid parity" is now close in many areas or has already arrived in areas with high electricity costs.
The more recent increases in electricity bills and the parallel reduction in the cost of solar power systems means that most home solar power systems are paid off in 5 to 7 years. A high quality solar panel can generate power for more than 25 years (Please consider that panels can last that long, but inverters are likely to require replacement over such a long time frame).
In the past, governments around the world have provided financial support for solar energy in many countries in recognition of its important role in avoiding reliance on fossil fuels.
Solar energy production costs have been reducing due to improvements in technology and economies of scale.
The solar industry now operates in Australia with relative small government rebate incentives. The industry is now past the establishment phase and moves to be a more steady and balanced industry, avoiding the solar rebate fueled boom and bust cycles.