Solar power already cost-effective

Friday, December 9, 2011 @ 09:12 AM
posted by rene5432

A new study suggests that solar power already makes financial sense for much of the country.

The paper, produced by researchers at Queen's University and Michigan Technological University, examined prior studies of the so-called levelized cost of energy, or effectively the electricity rates if all expenses are taken into account.

While many opponents have argued that the up-front costs of solar power are still too high, the researchers found that in areas like California and Hawaii, solar installations already make financial sense, without even taking into account the environmental and health of turning to renewable electricity.

Even more surprisingly, the researchers found that financing rather than technology was actually one of the biggest obstacles to affordable solar, which could change rapidly with a little help from government.

"Over 90 percent of the American public is pro-solar," Joshua Pearce of Michigan Technological University said, according to GreentechMedia. "What holds them back is the ability to finance. But costs have dropped by more than half in the last couple of years. When you compare the average cost of a home and the average cost of the solar system, you need to provide the average electricity you need for that home – it’s not a significant fraction."

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