The factories that can provide this energy can cost millions to operate, which means that there are not that many factories that refine silicon. The limited amount of factories create a limited supply of refined silicon, which increases the cost. Really it's simple economics, supply and demand, less supply plus more demand equals higher cost.
As solar power technology evolves, new and better ways to make solar panels should help reduce the cost. Since the cost of silicon is one of the main factors in the cost of solar panels if we can find ways to use less silicon or even replace it with a cheaper material, while keeping efficiency at the same level, solar power would be much more affordable for everyone. Thankfully both of these options are being researched and some great ideas have come from this research.
Ideas like a spray on solar panel that could be used on the windows of skyscrapers. Essentially the windows would be sprayed with a thin film that would generate electricity and keep most of the windows properties, so it can still let light and heat in. Another idea that is being researched is the use of organic material in solar panels. Some organic materials have semiconductor properties, so they may be able to use those instead of silicon.
Hopefully in the near future some of these ideas can be put to use to reduce solar power cost. Wouldn't it be great if the average homeowner could use solar power for all of their energy needs. What about skyscrapers making their own energy, how much pollution would that save the planet. If we could make a buildings energy needs self sustainable and we did this to buildings all across America, how much would that cut our dependence on foreign oil.
We have the answers to our energy needs and it's time we became self sufficient as a country. Even if solar power is expensive it's time we started to think about our future before it's too late. If you could reduce your utility bill, add value to your home, and help reduce pollution, what would you do.