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More affordable solar panels in 2009?

Generally most consumers don’t go solar because of the high upfront cost, but moving forward in 2009, not only are there more tax credits and other financial incentives for you to reap but the prices of solar panels are predicted to drop because of oversupply. This is great news for you as the consumer because a majority of the cost of a complete solar electric system comes from the solar panels. The solar power industry has been growing at about 40% each year and there has been high demand for limited amount of solar panels which was one reason for the higher cost of solar panels. Now more manufacturing capacity has been deployed, therefore causing the oversupply in the market, thus dropping down the cost per watt. Do you think that more people will adopt solar power for their home or business next year? Do you think the challenges in the financial markets will slow down the growth rate of the solar power...

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Support Electric Cars, Let the Big Three Fall

Did you know over 3 million jobs will be lost if the Big Three Fail? As a clean energy supporter and free markets advocate I say SO WHAT! Not because I am a heartless soul, I do understand the human impact that will be caused by the collapse of these dysfunctional companies but because I have an insider’s view of the huge opportunity in terms of vehicles that very efficient and take advantage of renewable energy, they’re on the market today and getting better everyday. The Big Three automakers (GM, Ford and Chrystler) should not get bailed out because their actions are the reasons why the automakers are in the position they are in today. Some people don’t know, but GM released an electric car called the EV-1 back in 1996 which could only be leased with a clause in the contract making it impossible for the lessee to ever purchase the car! In 2003, GM decided to cancel the electric vehicle project and destroyed their fleet of electric vehicles. According to GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner said the worst decision of his tenure at GM was, “axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didn’t affect profitability, but it did affect image.” In 2007, GM R&D chief Larry Burns stated in a Newsweek article, “I wish GM did not kill the electric vehicle project and If we could turn back the hands of time we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier.” The Chevy Volt is an prototype electric vehicle that GM is rushing to complete, but does not know if the Volt will ever hit the market due to GM’s unstable position today. It does not make sense..there was surging demand for the EV-1, long waiting lists, customers begging GM to buy the cars, but the automaker refused. Any savvy Business man would take the customer feedback as a sign of moving forward with a project. So why are the American automakers notorious for making fuel inefficient vehicles? It’s quite obvious the Oil Industry is in bed with the Big Three Automakers. The Toyota Prius Hybrid is the best selling fuel efficient car in the US. Although full electric vehicles being manufactured by Tesla Motors right here in the good ole USA are in high demand too. Fisker Automotive is another company that is developing a sports Hybrid. Electrorides is selling an Electric Mini Cooper and a very interesting Utility Truck called the ZeroTruck, sweet an all electric truck! The point I’m trying to make is that there are entrepreneurial companies out there that can create a better car, that...

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Confessions of a Solar Electric System Owner

Recently, Pyccku , a well respected member of the TreeHugger forums installed a solar electric system on his home and documented the progress on his blog. We discussed that it would be beneficial to share his experience installing solar panels, so his experience can help others decide if solar power systems energize their lifestyles. Check out the Questions & Answers session below: Q: What made you first gain interest in solar panels? A: When we saw gas prices go up, we realized that energy costs are only going to go up, not down. We also hated that here in AZ there was so much energy coming from the sun, but hardly anyone tapping into it. So we did the calculations and found that even if the cost of energy stays constant, over the next 25 years our electric bill would add up to more than the cost of the solar. Q: How much are you saving per month? A: We haven’t gotten our first bill – but our average pre-solar bill was $165 on the equalizer plan (same amount year-round). We are anticipating having no bill for 8-10 months out of the year and only a minimal bill in the hottest summer months. Q: How long did it take to install the solar panels? A: Once they had the permits it took a little over a week for the whole project. The panels, inverters and wiring only took a couple of days. But we built an addition to our patio to put the panels on, so that added some extra time. Q: Was it difficult to find a solar panel installer? A: No, there are several here in Phoenix. Q: How much were paying originally for electricity? A: $165 per month. Q: Did you have to move out of the house to have them installed? A: No. We didn’t even have to be home for them to do any of the work! Q: How many solar panels do you have? A: 36 Q: Do your solar panels power your entire house? A: During most of the year, yes. During the summer we’ll probably need some power from the grid because of the heavy a/c use. Q: Did your electric spinning backwards once they were installed? A: The meter itself doesn’t spin backwards. It does keep track of how many kWh we take from the grid, and how many hours we give to the grid. Then the power company does the math and credits us for any excess. Right now, since we aren’t using much power at all, we are only using 10kWh/day, and we are giving 15kWh/day to APS....

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