How much electrical energy does it take to manufacture a solar cell? I'm curious about the break-even time. Silicon boules are grown in an over--probably electric. More machining follows. If the frame is aluminum, it's smelted in an electric arc furnace. This is really an oversimplifed question, but a start. The energy cost of the electrical gear and storage batteries are additional considerations, as well as transportation and installation of all the gear. I've been suspicious of the value of these things for a long time, where every few years, someone is going to have a break through in a few years that doesn't seem to happen, that would make them more than a novelty item with a government kick-back.