Today, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, and SolarCity claim to have produced the solar industry’s most efficient solar panel.
SolarCity is the nations front runner for solar panel installations. Today, along with Elon, SolarCity unveiled today in Times Square that the company has designed and created the world’s most efficient solar panel. Industry experts state a normal solar cell panel converts 14, sometimes as high as 20 percent of the collected energy to actual electricity that one can use.
With the announcement today in Times Square in New York City, Elon Musk, who is also company chairman for SolarCity, was very adamant about the new panels designed can achieve up to 22.04% and can produce a lot more power, as high as 40% in some cases. It’s always been a focus to get the costs down for solar. Often times, installing solar panels on your home is not cost effective in most states. There are a few states like California, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey that have relatively low installation costs. Those costs could be lower with today’s announcement.
SolarCity’s CTO, Peter Rive, spoke with Mashable today stating that these new panels are going to bring opportunities in the future to keep the costs down, even if the government tax credits expire.
“They were happy to make a standard efficiency 15% panel year-over-year that looked not that great. So we thought we had to make our own panels,” Elon Musk stated. “I like counter-intuitive moves. I thought people would think, at the time, ‘Wow, that’s stupid,'” which made him think, “That’s probably a good idea.”
On August 21st, Elon Musk bought 5 Million shares of SolarCity, which brings his total holdings to almost $945 million dollars (as of Aug 22nd, 2015).
These are some of the best of time for installing solar panels. Back in Decemeber, 2012 SolarCity stock was trading at $8 a share. About a year and half later, it was trading at $82 a share. The stock has cooled off since then, but no doubt Elon’s relationship with President Barack Obama gave the stock some significant push upwards.
The federal tax credit is due to expire in 2016. There have been many critics of the solar tax credit, saying that it’s an abuse of taxpayer dollars and a fairly risky investment. But many solar panel companies have gotten creative with how they package up the equipment to homeowners. Companies use a unique marketing proposal that allows residents to actually lease the solar panel/energy equipment over a span of 20 years. What often falls between the cracks and what people miss is that the solar company retains ownership of the product, it they actually reap the benefits of local and federal tax credit. But, if you purchase the solar system outright, you can enjoy the breaks on your taxes.