Does Solar Energy make Financial Sense?

DIY solar kits

“Now, I know Solar Energy just doesn’t make financial sense yet…..” He told me that with a straight face and obviously believed it.       I thought about his perception of solar for a while- why do we still think solar is out of reach?

There is no doubt that installing a solar system has been like the “rich cousin” coming for a visit and has been out of the reach of most of us “normal people.”    We think it is a great idea, but that it is just still too fancy and expensive for us.

Today, solar is more accessible than ever.   The prices are dropping and the cost of a complete solar system has been reduced dramatically.    China has invested over 30 billion dollars into their solar manufacturing businesses and as a result have begun delivering solar modules at a significantly lower price.   This is like a huge solar subsidy giving the American consumer.   They are delivering modules at half of what the market cost was just a few year ago.     This downward “price war” has cause all of the American module producers to “sharpen their pencils” just to stay in the game.    The prices of American Made modules are therefore also significantly reduced.      In this “price war” the average Joe is the huge winner.    We can now install solar and enjoy significant savings.

Enphase MicroinverterOn top of the dropping prices, we can also use new services and technologies to make a solar system much more affordable!   With the help of “full service” suppliers who provide the technical support typical AC electricians and skilled homeowners are finding it possible to easily install a solar system kit and save thousands on the labor.   

Because of the improved technologies (like the enphase microinverters and the complete bundled kits) a solar install is now in the reach of most people in the United States.    

Solar systems are coming to the “normal Joe’s” and that is happening because they do make financial sense….Now!    

Take Ted and Denise for instance.    Ted has been fascinated with Solar power for years, but always thought that it was “…too expensive.”     Sound familiar?

Anyway, after researching solar kits and technologies for years they decided to purchase a complete solar kit from us.    They purchased a 1.84 kW kit and were able to self-install (with a little help from their friends) the complete system in just over a weekend.   They hired a local electrician to do the final connection to the grid.

Their system is now producing energy and the complete energy output of the system can be tracked online at:

http://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Wjgg11567 .      

Ted and Denise are so happy with their system and how it is producing that they are planning on expanding their original system with another 14 modules so the final system will be 4.9kW.

Now Ted and Denise live in a “TVA” land, so they are able to sell all of the energy that they produce to TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) for $.12 above retail.   TVA also gave them $1000 back just to connect their system into the local power grid.    On top of the TVA solar incentives they are also able to use the 30% tax credit to offset tax liabilities.

These solar systems are now becoming so financially reasonable that with the help of a full service kit provider, a photovoltaic solar system (PV system) can be a project for a coming weekend, rather than remaining  a  “good idea” that  will be possible waaaaaaaaaay out there in the  indefinite future.

Share
This entry was posted in DIY (is it a good idea?), Good PV Design, Learning Solar, Micro-Inverters, PV costs, Solar Incentives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply