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Don’t Expect $1/watt solar power for your home anytime soon.

There has been so much buzz in the market about Nanosolar’s /Watt that I decided to touch up on this subject. I have actually spoken to residential consumers who have read the press about Nanosolar goal to deliver solar modules at /Watt (which is competitive to coal). When people ask me what I think about Nanosolar, I feel they are a great company, with a strong management team, and will be able to deliver on their promises, but everyone will not benefit from Nanosolar’s technology, especially homeowners. Nanosolar maybe able to offer very cheap thin film to the market but the only ones who will be able to benefit from the solar panels will be commercial enterprises who have A LOT of surface area to make up for the low efficiency put out by the Nanosolar panels. Residential home owners will not benefit from this because they just don’t have the roof space for Nanosolar’s solar panels to produce the energy they need. A residential home owner needs to shop for high efficiency solar panels that will produce the MOST energy per square feet versus the cheapest solution. Lower Cost per Watt = Lower Efficiency = More surface are you need. If you’re a homeowner, don’t dream about buying Nanosolar $1/Watt solar panels at Wal-Mart and hope to eliminate your entire bill, because it’s just not...

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Going solar in California makes the most financial sense.

Let’s compare two states, both with lots of sun exposure. California and Nevada both have an abundance of sunshine, then why does going solar in California make much more sense than Nevada? The financial payback period for solar energy in California is much quicker than any other states. The purpose of this post is to compare two states that have equal sun exposure and demonstrate how much state incentives available for solar energy can do reduce upfront costs for a solar energy system. Residence: Los Angeles, CA – Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) System Size: 5kW Total Cost $40,000 Federal Tax Credits $(2,000) State Incentives $(20,086) ————————————- NET COST $17,914 Residence: Las Vegas, NV – Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) System Size: 5kW Total Cost $40,000 Federal Tax Credits $(2,000) State Incentives $(0) ————————————- NET COST $38000 In comparison, let’s look at commercial photovoltaic systems in both states……. Commercial: Los Angeles, CA – Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) System Size: 5kW Total Cost $40,000 Federal Tax Credit $(12,000) State Incentives $(15,782) —————————————— NET COST $17,584 Commercial: Las Vegas, NV – Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) System Size: 5kW Total Cost $40,000 Federal Tax Credits $(12,000) State Incentives $(0) —————————————— NET COST $28000 ** All calculations assume 30 degree pitch facing south, with no shading issues. As you can see commercial solar energy systems get the largest break from the federal government. The residential sector is capped at $2,000…this federal tax credit is set to expire on December 31st, 2008….unless congress renews it. The latest I have heard about the extension is the house just passed up a bill to extend the credit, hopefully it passes through the senate this time around, although President Bush has already threatened to veto it if the extension of the tax credit for renewable energy comes up to his...

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Get your solar energy / wind power system this year!

Congress has decided not to extend the federal renewable energy production tax credit for 2009. So what does that mean to you as a consumer? Well it depends. If you are a residence you qualify for a $2,000 tax credit when purchasing a solar energy or small scale wind power system. A commercial entity can qualify for 30% of the total cost of the system is refunded through a tax credit from the federal government; this tax credit is a primary reason for many residential and commercial renewable energy systems being installed. So think of this year as renewable energy systems being on sale! Take advantage of it, if you are thinking about going solar or producing your own clean green energy, stop waiting around because now is the time. To qualify for the federal tax credit your system has to be installed and active by December 31st, 2008. To get started the first step is to get a quote from a service provider in your...

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Does a Do it Yourself Solar Energy Install Make Sense?

Consumers are continuously looking new methods to reduce upfront investments or avoid costs to make a solar energy more affordable. The labor costs when dealing with a renewable energy can be significant to the install of a system and could be eliminated if one prefers a self solar install. There are two sides to this coin, because all decisions come with risk, a self install could go very well and you may be able to save lots of money or it can become a money pit. What does it depend on? You! Installing clean energy systems such as solar photovoltaic (electricity), solar hot water (thermal) or small scale wind requires trade skills and in general working with electricity is dangerous. Depending on your trade skills, there is a learning curve to installation, and on your first self install, expect to make mistakes that will cost you in time and money. Depending on how many mistakes you make the end cost of installing a clean energy system could be a rewarding experience because you not only save a lot of money, but you’ll be the master of your system. Questions you may want to ask yourself before you self install? Am I afraid of heights? (if so, consider a ground mount system) Am I comfortable working with electricity? Do I have room for mistakes in the budget? Does the company I am purchasing the products from offer installation consulting / support? Should I buy a turn key system? Do I know how to use a...

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Solar Power and Clean Energy as an Investment

Do you think of your car as an investment? Can it provide you a rate of return? Unless it’s a classic/vintage or limited production car, a newly purchased car depreciates most of its value right when a consumer drives it off the dealership lot. Purchasing solar energy on the other hand is a smart investment, because the home or business you attach solar panels to increases in value significantly. Solar Energy adds more value than adding a new room or expanding a warehouse. Solar Energy adds a large boost to the value of your home or business because it helps reduce your net operating cost to run the household or business. Producing your own clean green energy is the best way a home or business can fix in their energy costs for the life of the system. Since Solar energy systems have no movable parts the lifetime of solar panels are more than 30 years. The Appraisal Journal suggests that a home value increases by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual energy bills. For example, a solar energy system that saves a home owner $400 per year would add $8,000 to the value of the home. Solar Energy for a business can even add more value, depending on many factors, a business valuation professional can help a business entity figure out how much value a solar energy system would add to the business. In conclusion it makes total financial sense to go solar, even with an upfront cost because when a home or business is sold, the investment in a solar energy system provides a great return. In addition with this tough real estate market in the USA, realtors are reporting that homes with solar energy systems are in high demand, and these homes differentiate themselves in the real estate...

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Reducing your upfront investment to go solar

Is going solar is costing more than you expected? Don’t give up! There are alternative options you should think about: 1. If you have good credit we can help you finance your solar power system and make the monthly payments competitive to your monthly energy bill 2. Reduce your consumption of energy (eliminating energy waste can reduce the final cost of a system by thousands) For example insulation, CFL or LED light bulbs, energy star appliances….etc 3. Research and consider Solar Hot Water (heating your water with solar has a much lower upfront cost compared to solar PV, and a faster break even point) 4. Don’t shoot to eliminate your entire bill, the great aspect of a solar power system is that they are scalable, you can always start for example by eliminating 25% of your energy bill and then scale the system up on the future, the system can be expanded quite easily. I hope this advice will help you with your solar energy...

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