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In a few years, solar panels rise quickly in popularity

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Three years after being somewhat obscure, over 1,000 homes in Yucatán have solar panels. Photo: Habitec

Mérida, Yucatán — Just three years ago it was fairly rare to find residential houses or businesses with solar panels.

But their use has grown exponentially, driven by a number of factors.

Millet Suárez has no doubt that solar energy will become increasingly common in Mérida and other municipalities in Yucatán as long as CFE rates are high and people care about the environment.

Just over 1,000 residences in Mérida use solar panels to supplement their CFE supply, according to a recent report in Diario de Yucatán.

Millet Suárez, who sells and installs panels locally, says Yucatán is well suited to the technology.

Yucatán has plenty of sunshine, so energy generation from solar panels is guaranteed, he says.

Savings accumulate more quickly these days because equipment costs are less. Where panels were once bought exclusively from abroad, there are now a variety of domestic manufacturers of solar panels. Solar-energy systems also require less space than before.

Tax deductions for homeowners and businesses include VAT and machinery costs, he said. In Mérida, 15 percent discounts apply to homeowners who certify they use solar energy.

“I think this technology has a lot of future in Yucatán because of the inexhaustible source of solar radiation,” he says. “The use of solar panels already has an exponential growth because of the real benefits it generates. Homeowners who paid 10,000 pesos for electricity, today pay 45 pesos.”

Suárez assures customers that the solar panels do not represent any danger, as long as the installation is done by real professionals. Panels can also withstand hurricane winds if they are well anchored, or can be disassembled easily, he continued.

Five years ago, the owners of a newly renovated four-bedroom house in the Centro explored solar-energy options and received a bid of 450,000 pesos. Today, the average investment for some high-energy home or business is around 70,000 pesos, and with an immediate CFE savings of 85-80 percent, said Suárez.

Competition has also increased. More than a dozen solar panel companies are publicly listed in Mérida alone.

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