<== Site of the Week for 2014-02-21 ==>
Community Solar Program
Solar panels are based on the same technologies as microchips in computers.
The very first solar panels had a serious problems. It took more energy to produce a panel than the panel would produce in it's expected life time. These first panels were not a good deal for the environment.
Just at computer technology has improved, solar technology has gradually improved. The panels produced today not only generate more power than they cost to create, they are getting to the point where they are a cost effective source of energy for homes and businesses.
Once an investment in solar panels gives a better return than a treasury bond, solar technology will become ubiquitous.
Community Solar Program is a government funded program built on the premise that solar technology is simply too expensive for individuals and that we have to have the purchasing power of big groups to provide solar panels.
Personally, I think the price of the technology has dropped to the point where it is foolish not to put solar on new construction and prices could soon drop to the point where it is reasonable to take out a loan to install panels on existing structures.
There is an argument that our energy resources, including solar, should be communally owned and that individual ownership of panels is anti-social. That argument doesn't strike a chord with me. I would rather see individually owned panels.
Personally, I predict that, in the near future, we will see a huge push to place high taxes on individually owned solar panels to make up for lost tax revenue from the power companies.
I've followed the development of solar for decades, and it is exciting to live in a time when the cost curve of this technology has reached the point where the common man can buy panels. and I hope that we will soon see the day when panels are on more homes than not.