By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
Incentives for solar energy have encouraged an increase in the number of solar installations in the U.S. and reduced the initial cost of them, according to a new report.
After a three-year plateau, solar costs decreased by 3.6 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to a report (.pdf) released Wednesday by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
According to the report, the cost of installing photovoltaic solar systems -- excluding tax credits or other financial incentives -- was $10.80 per watt in 1998 versus $7.50 per watt in 2008.
With incentives and tax credits factored in, the average cost of installation was $2.80 per watt for residential photovoltaic in 2008. The average cost of commercial applications was $4.00 per watt.
Rising fuel prices since 1998 and increasing government incentives for alternative energy helped lower prices, according to the report.
Since 2007, photovoltaic installations in the U.S. have been on the rise. In fact, an estimated 293 megawatts of photovoltaic was added in the U.S. in 2008 alone. That's more than half of the 566 megawatts of solar power added in the nation since 1998.
More favorable federal investment tax credits were adopted for commercial photovoltaic systems in 2006. Figures from the report refer to grid-connected systems only.
The report estimated the cost outlay for 52,000 residential and commercial installations -- roughly 71 percent of all grid-connected photovoltaic systems installed in the U.S. between 1998 and 2009. No data for systems off the grid was included in the report.
Interestingly, solar's taking off overseas, too: 5,948 megawatts of photovoltaic were installed worldwide in 2008. That's in contrast to 2,826 megawatts in 2007.
In terms of photovoltaic installation, Spain leads the way, followed by Germany and the U.S., according to the report.
Oct 22, 2009
roughrider seems to be living in the age of teddy roosevelt and at the level of scientific knowledge at that time. a hundred years and much work has passed along with the gathering of an immense amount of usable data.
Well, solar energy has been around since the beginning of creation and has been a source for sustaining life here on Earth. It is quite a stable source if you live in a part of the country that has more sunshine than clouds. So, forget about using solar energy in the Ohio Valley and the northeastern United States. The cost outweighs the return on investment. It just isn't worth it. Especially since the planet has been cooling over the past decade ("Apocalypse No!" by Lord Christopher Monckton), it makes even less sense to promote solar energy. If you know anything about the function of government, you would know that Government regulations cause valuable societal assets such as human resources, ideas, property, goods and services to be run into the ground while supporting and propping up failed or untested ideals that in theory sound good but just don't fly on the open market. If solar energy were such a good, worthwhile venture, the open market would have caused it to flourish. Instead since people put their money where their mouth is, they put it on proven, working resources which are more cost effective for them. That just happens to not be "Solar Energy" unless they are forced by government interdiction. You could make every nation on earth a communist country but as a whole the nations will invest in what works for their money, ?in theory?. In actuality, if they were all communist, there would be the ruling class of the few who exploit the lives, property, goods and services of the masses. Keep promoting your "Global Warming? and "Green Planet Theory" and you will see a continual obfuscation of the good will of man trying to better himself and to help others. What you will get is the rise of man's inhumanity to man. It will come. Just keep preaching the mantra that CO2 is bad.
Government incentives and tax credits do not decrease the cost of my solar power. It shifts the cost of my solar installation to you. Thanks!