The penetration of solar power equipment into the markets will depend on how substantial is the reduction in their prices in the coming years, producers of these equipment and the campaigners for their use say. They point out there are bright hopes in this regard, considering the cost of solar panels has come down by 50 per cent in the past one year.
"Reduction in the cost of solar power equipment is essential for them to penetrate deeper in markets such as Bangladesh. We need a reduction in the prices of solar panels and batteries as well as in the interest rates of bank loans given to people to buy solar power equipment," said Dipal C Barua, winner of the first Zayed Future Energy Prize.
In countries such as Bangladesh, where solar power has been massively used for energising rural households, an individual who takes a loan for installing solar power equipment pays nine to 10 per cent as interest. "It would be helpful if the interest rate could be brought down to five per cent," said Barua.
Zhengrong Shi, CEO of Suntech, one of the largest producers of solar equipment, said: "It is essential we bring down the costs of solar equipment."
He said massive use of solar products will help bring down their cost. "India plans to have a 20 gigawatt solar installation by 2020 and Italy a 15 gigawatt installation by 2015. Such projects help bring down the costs."
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