Elon Musk explains why Tesla Solar Power is so cheap – CleanTechnik Exclusive


Clean power

Published on September 12, 2020 |
By Zachary Shahan


September 12, 2020 by Zachari Shahan


Last weekend, I wrote an article about the fact that the cost of solar energy has dropped significantly in recent years. I started by looking at the average price of solar PV panels alone, which were 12 times more expensive in 2010 and 459 times more expensive in 1977 than they are today. (I know – it was unnecessary to go back to 1977. But it was fun.) After looking at solar PV panel prices, I got into the comprehensive costs of a rooftop solar power system, including the cost of installation as well as many Others also included “soft costs” related to solar. Diving into that case, it was striking to see that the average cost of a rooftop solar power system in the United States is $ 2.19 / watt, while Tesla is now offering rooftop solar power for $ 1.49 / watt across the country . (Both prices are the price of an installed solar power system After Considering the US federal tax credit for solar, which is 26% of the system’s cost.)

This is a big price difference. Searching for average solar pricing in different states based on the EnergyEdge report, I thought I’d find some areas in which $ 1.49 / watt were more specific. but I did not. The state with the lowest average price of solar was Arizona, after accounting for a 26% US tax credit at $ 1.85 / watt. (Note that EnergySage presented a pre-credit price in that ranking, so it shows $ 2.50 / watt instead of $ 1.85 / watt for Arizona.) In California, where most American solar power is installed, according to EnergySage The average price of the solar system was. $ 2.18 / watt after tax credit ($ 2.94 / watt before tax credit). When you put all these watts together, the difference of 69 cents per watt is a big thing. This is $ 4,140 on a 6 kW system, or $ 6,900 on a 10 kW system.

There are some things that Tesla can clearly leverage to bring its solar costs down. For example, Tesla is a very popular brand. (Okay, this is a scorching hot brand.) This means that Tesla hardly has to do anything to advertise its solar power systems. Additionally, Tesla is heavily online – people buy their cars online, even on their phones – and Elon Musk has One of the most popular accounts on Twitter. He can sometimes tweet a reminder about the solar program and – bomb – Sale is safe. famous @Tesla An account on Twitter can do the same. Historically, there has been a lot of roof-to-ceiling solar sales. Yes, door-to-door sales are still a thing, and this home is a big thing in the solar power industry. A lot of money was spent on SolarCity (which Tesla acquired in late 2016). It costs # 1 American home solar installer Sunrun a lot of money. This is not a cheap sale. People are trying to shop for something that costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars after walking around the neighborhood, even if it will save them money in the long run. Tesla can simply send a few tweets, sell solar through its existing stores, and push solar indirectly through Tesla’s owner referral code.

Despite knowing this and some other ways Tesla may be able to cut costs, I felt that I did not have enough concrete evidence to explain Tesla’s low solar energy price to the world. So, I asked Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla about it. He replied:

“Solar panel costs only ~ 50 cents / watt. Mounting hardware, inverter and wiring is ~ 25 cents / watt. Installation is ~ 50 cents / watt depending on the system size.

“Other solar companies spent heavily on salespeople, advertising and complex financing instruments. not us.”

So, that is – Tesla spends about 75 cents a watt on hardware and adds up to ~ $ 1.25 / watt, one watt at about 50 cents per installation cost. Another 24 cents a watt covers some additional soft costs, while possibly providing a small benefit as well.

There are other operating, overhead, maintenance / repair, and customer acquisition costs, but some of those costs can only be covered by the rest of Tesla – accounting and legal matters, for example, simply Tesla’s comprehensive accounting and Can be rolled into legal functions. / Cost. Tesla is now making so much money on the automotive side of the business that it has some advantages from economies of scale and its overall financials should help keep some soft costs out of the rooftop solar power equation. A pure solar company does not have those benefits.

As always, no matter what the average and surface value statements are, I do Recommend that if any of you can go solar, you should get quotes from several installers in your area (they are always free) and look closely at the details. Contracts are not all the same in terms of deadlines, maintenance, or financing. Of course, if you go solar with Tesla and you don’t have one to get a Tesla referral code, you are definitely free to use mine – https://ts.la/zachary63404 – get $ 100 off for, especially if I convinced you at some point that this is a good time to go solar.

The price of solar power has become so competitive that we are seeing solar power very high in the ranking for new power capacity in the United States. Utility-scale solar power was the # 1 source of new electricity capacity in June, and it was # 3 in the first half of the year, behind wind. However, those results still cover new capacity vast solar power plant. If you consider 3,000 to 4,000 MW from small-scale solar power plants – such as rooftop solar power systems – solar power would have been # 1 overall in the first half of 2020. We will get those numbers at some point. Once we do, I’ll watch closely, as a strong chance solar has come out on top.

We still have a long way to go regarding solar power generation so that emissions from fossil fuels can be cut significantly. I reported earlier today that solar power accounts for only 3.4% of US electricity generation in the first half of 2020 – that’s 34%, not 34%. According to the US Energy Information Administration, rooftops account for about a third of solar power, 1.1% of US electricity generation. Solar power is increasing electricity, but there is still a long way to go to 10% of US electricity generation.


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Tags: Elon Musk, Energize, Tesla, Tesla Energy, Tesla Solar, Tesla Solar Panel, Tesla Solar Price


About the Author

Zachary is Shahan Trinin to help the society at one time. He spends most of his time here CleanTechnica As its director, chief editor and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy and energy storage specialist. He has presented about Cleantech at conferences in India, UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Canada and Curacao. Zach has a long-term investment in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], And Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not provide any type of investment advice (explicitly or implicitly).