Solar Power in Utah

Utah is full of natural beauty, with examples such as Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Park. Protecting the natural beauty of the state through renewable resources has become the goal of state legislators. With the right policies and incentives, from tax credits for renewable energy systems to solar easements, rights, and net metering, the Honeycomb State is a great place to use solar energy.


Utah Solar Policy Statistics

Compared with other parts of the United States, Utah has room for improvement. On the bright side, Utah has taken a big step in the right direction.

Although 90% of Utah’s energy came from coal and natural gas in 2016, solar power generation has been growing. In 2017, Utah produced 12.1 megawatt-hours (MWh) of solar power through small photovoltaic systems. This statistic accounts for about 8% of the photovoltaic power generation consumed by households.


The Price of Solar Panels in Utah

Currently, the average estimated cost of installing solar panels is between $12,580 and $17,020. In terms of cost per watt ($/W), the price of a solar panel installed in Utah ranges from $2.52 to $3.40.


Growth of Solar Panels and Their Lifespan in Utah

Solar energy is mainly converted into electricity through photovoltaic (PV) panels. Photovoltaic panels are composed of individual cells connected together, which can be formed into various shapes and sizes according to system requirements. The panel itself is made of semiconductor materials, usually silicon, but sometimes different rare metals, usually covered with glass.

Over recent years, the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels has dropped significantly, while efficiency has increased. These trends are continuing, leading to the rapid growth of the global solar energy industry. On average, solar panels can last for 25 to 30 years (or even longer); therefore, it can be expected that solar installations that take place today will remain productive until the middle of this century.
The new panels’ reliability and long life mean that the volume that needs to be recycled or disposed of is very small, except for the very early generation of photovoltaic panels and a small number of panels that will break during installation or be damaged in storms.

However, with the continuous growth of photovoltaic production, recycling and disposal options need to be addressed. Although there may not be greater demand for recycling immediately, infrastructure and policies should now be addressed to meet future needs.


Which Solar Panels Should I Install in Utah?

For both residential and commercial property owners, you can customize installations based on solar panels, inverters, rack systems, and batteries, as well as the overall aesthetics of the installation. However, depending on the installation’s size, you need to determine whether high-efficiency solar panels that can generate more power are worth it.

This adaptability is significant for PV buyers to understand the differences for each type of component. For instance, the best panels accessible may have higher effectiveness and guarantees, but they are generally more costly.


How Much Energy Can I Get from Solar Energy in Utah?

In addition to the power output of the solar equipment you choose to install, the energy produced by solar panels is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your solar panels. Fortunately, Utah ranks in the top ten for the nation’s highest peak sunshine hours, which can help your solar panels save you the most money in their lifetime.


Utah Solar Panel Recycling

Currently, with about 7 percent of the state’s electricity being generated by solar installations, and with a projected growth that would nearly double the installations over the next five years, the solar industry is on an upward trend. Only as older solar equipment is removed and replaced due to decreased efficiency or damage will Utah’s solar panel recycling needs grow but planning for solar decommissioning for new installs in Utah are necessary today.

Any improper disposal or handling of potentially toxic materials from PV equipment could lead to significant environmental and regulatory concerns.

Do you maintain a PV installation and need solar panel recycling in Utah? Contact the We Recycle Solar team today.

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Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight