When people ask about solar power cost the answer is always the same:
Yes, I'm afraid the cost of solar power is going to depend on exactly what you want to do with it.
You could decide that you want to install enough solar panels on your roof to go 'off-grid' and never see another electric bill again.
I think that sounds terrific, but you should also know that it will probably cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
You could also decide that you'd just like to get a solar phone charger to go with your shiny new iPhone.
This idea also sounds terrific, and it will cost considerably less.
Of course there are probably some steps you could take before you buy any solar gadgets.
It's good to remember that your first step with solar power should always be looking at how you can reduce your current consumption.
This could involve:
These steps not only save you money on your electricity bill but will allow you to purchase a smaller solar power system (less money!).
Once you've reduced your power use there are a range of solar options to consider.
Solar water heaters can be installed for $2000 to $4000 (just imagine you're prepaying for hot water). This could be a good option since it can pay for itself in less than 7 years.
Solar electric panels are the sweetest plum in the solar power universe. They're shiny and cool and they turn light into electricity.
And they're not cheap.
A medium-sized solar electric system could cost $16000 to $20000 installed.
A larger system could cost in the $40000 range. Ouch.
Of course there are many variables. If you go with a grid-tie system (connected to the electrical grid) you can keep costs down by going without batteries. This means you can sell power to the utility company and get back free power at night.
Also, there are rebates and incentives available. If you live in the U.S. you can check out what incentives your state offers at the DSIRE website .
If you're looking to keep your solar power cost low, why not try out a solar oven. You can find one for as little as fifty bucks and start cooking your dinner with the power of the sun.
Solar yard lights are also a cheap way to start putting the sun to work.
So, as you can see: How much solar power will set you back is impossible to say until you know what you want to do with it.
In other words: It depends.