What & Why Solar?
Solar energy is free! It is also the cleanest form of electricity available on the planet and is one of the best solutions to the energy and global warming crisis we now face.
Solar is simple! Solar modules are a group of silicon cells that are “doped” with metals like boron and phosphorous that aid in releasing electrons when hit by photons from the sun. These electrons flow through a conductor (wire) and you have electricity! That’s right, no more burning coal and carbon rich fuels that pollute the environment. Solar energy is free Direct Current electricity!
Free power from the Sun is not a new idea. Nor has it ever been so important in the history of civilization. As you read, millions of watts of solar energy are being installed across the globe for a host of reasons.
Why Solar Now?
Year over year demand for solar in the U.S. is increasing at a staggering pace. Demand is forecast to more than double in 2011. There are several factors driving this demand and make solar an incredible investment:
- Federal Government Grants & Tax Incentives
- State Incentives
- RPS or Renewable Portfolio Standards
- PBI or Production based incentives
- Asset Protection
- Investment Return
In an effort to stop global warming, governments across the planet are pouring money into solar. Currently, the US Federal government is offering incentives that pay for 30% of the upfront cost of any solar asset installed in the form of a grant! See www.dsire.org for specific information.
Many states are contributing to the solar goal by adding their own state specific incentives. Some states offer tax rebates and property tax exemptions to owners. See www.dsire.org to get a complete list of incentives available by state.
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)
Currently 17 States have enacted legislation called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that force public and private utilities to produce an increasing amount of their electricity through renewable energy by specific dates, a large portion being solar. This legislation is producing wild demand for solar assets in the US.
PBI or Production Base Incentives
Many states have also included legislations that mandate utilities to offer PBI’s. PBI’s are contracts that guarantee an asset owner a set price the utility will pay for their power over a period of 10, 15 or 20 years. An example of a PBI is a Feed in Tariff or FIT contract. FIT contracts changed the market for solar in Germany as investors scrambled to sign guaranteed contracts with amazing internal rates of return.
Highly rated Insurance companies are providing solar asset insurance from property damage to theft and liability. An important part of the equation is how successfully your asset performs. Currently, manufacturers offer an industry standard 25 year performance warranty. In addition to this warranty, manufacturers are now insuring those performance warranties!