Q: Can I afford to go with Solar PV
A: Solar panels
have dropped in price dramatically in the last few years. Since
it is a capital improvement to your structure, you re-coup your
entire investment when you sell anyway, so the power is actually
free. A $10,000 CD currently gives $30 of interest a year -minus
taxes. $10,000 worth of solar panels can generate $1800 in
electricity a year, and you get a 30% tax credit when you go
(and commercial power costs go up fast...
which saves you more money every year)
Q: Can I actually
install my own system?
A: If you can use
small hand tools and electric drill.. and have the skills that
would be required to build a dog house or assemble an
above-ground pool, you can install a solar power system.
It's simpler than you might imagine.
Q: How long do solar systems last?
A: Solar panels have only been around for about 45 years. The
original panels still work! They do reduce in output slightly
over many decades, but you can expect to get a 40 year useful
life out of them - easily. There are no moving parts.
Q: Aren't they made
of dangerous toxic materials?
A: Solar panels
are made from silicon - beach sand. The melted sand has minute
amounts of chemicals added to the silicon to
enable it to make
electricity from sunlight. There is no danger in handling them
and they give off no chemicals of any type. It's like handling a
window. They also generate zero CO2.
Q: I've heard that solar power isn't
really viable when compared to Oil, Coal and Gas powered
electric power stations. Is this true?
A: Since panels have dropped in price substantially, PV solar
power is now right on par with the price of Coal-powered
electricity. If you were to consider the extra cost of medical care paid for by citizens exposed to Coal's significant
exhaust fumes, Solar would
be much cheaper. The main problem that solar power poses
that it eliminates your monthly electric bill. This is a
nightmare scenario for those who set energy prices.
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