In my view there are several factors, which are adding up in favor of solar electricity. These are now combining to make solar an exponential technology – eg Ray Kurzweil has predicted with current trends, the share of solar doubles every two years, meaning that solar should have a 100% share of the market in 12 years – “it has begun to reliably double its market share every two years — today’s 2% share is up from just 0.5% in 2012.”.
The trend is driven by the following factors:
- The cost of solar per Watt DC going down according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:
- In over 20 US states solar is at grid parity with retail electricity according to Greentech Media. So why is grid parity important? By grid parity we mean “Residential solar reaches grid parity when the levelized cost of solar energy falls below gross electricity bill savings in the first year of a solar PV system’s life.” Meaning that you can buy the solar system (even 100% financed, zero down), and you will pay less in the first year, than you would have paid for electricity to your utility company. As the cost of retail electricity will likely continue to rise, and the cost of a solar installation will go lower, GTM estimate 42 states reaching grid parity by 2020.
- US Solar PV (photovoltaic) market growth is strong, especially the utility sector is showing a nice hockeystick (probably due to the lower costs).
- The fact of the matter is that not many people have an extra 15K-20K laying around, however if you do – you get the best IRR (Internal Rate of Return), around 10% depending on your state, but as high as 30% in MA, and 20% in NY, NJ. These days it’s possible to purchase a solar PV installation using financing, essentially paying for the solar installation using the savings in your electricity bill. I.e. no money down, and after 10 years the system is yours, and the electricity produced from it is ‘free’. The options for lease / purchase for example by sunrun.com shown here;
- And the final factor – according to research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that home buyers were likely to pay on average $15.000 dollars more for a home with a solar system installed (even small 3.6 KW system), compared to a home without one. So not only would you be able to reduce or eliminate your electricity bill, but you would essentially get the money back on your investment when / if you sell your home.
So, you know this thing about climate change? That it’s not a hoax, even the permafrost in Siberia is thawing etc, right? Given the above info, I know I would install solar power in my house (if having a house was on the radar..), how about you?
Thanks for reading.