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From $10 per Watt (W) in 1980, the price of solar panels slumped to $2/W in 2010, says the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Between 2015and 2019, the prices dropped further to $0.35/W from $0.70/W. This has been a result of the rapidly rising demand for clean energy, which has led to a massive increase in the production of photovoltaic (PV) panels, as well as continuous research and development (R&D) aimed at creating cheaper panels.
According to P&S Intelligence, the price slump will likely take the solar street lighting market to $14.6 billion by 2030, from $5.7 billion in 2019, at a 9.4% CAGR between 2020 and 2030. The decrease in the costs of PV panels has enabled their usage for non-utility applications, such as powering individual street lights. In such systems, a solar panel is mounted atop the lighting pole; the panels create electricity and store it in a rechargeable battery, to be used to illuminate the streets at night.
Read Full Report: Solar Street Lighting Market Growth
In addition, solar-powered street lights are also more reliable and low-maintenance, as they can be operated independent of the grid. This also makes them ideal for far-flung areas lacking grid connectivity, which is often the case in the rural pockets of developing countries. For instance, it is difficult to provide grid electricity in places deep in the mountains of India and China, due to the unforgiving terrain, which makes a strong case for the usage of solar street lights.
With the declining PV panel prices, solar street lights are also being widely deployed in urban areas. In the coming years, hundreds of smart cities are set to be constructed across the globe. With energy conservation and clean energy usage being central to smart cities, solar street lights are expected to illuminate most of them. Even in the existing cities, solar street lights are finding increasing application, driven by government-led infrastructure development and energy efficiency efforts.
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