It was a thrilling week in the solar industry with further technological advances in PV and a few partnerships that turned heads. A new type of solar panel that turns moisture into drinking water, EY’s latest report on the top renewable energy countries and a controversial Florida solar amendment are the big headlines we’re eying from this week’s Solar Energy News report.
What should you look at to determine if you’re getting a good deal on solar? There are lots of things to pay attention to when deciding on a solar energy system; but two of the most useful metrics for evaluating the cost and value of a solar power offer are price per watt, measured in dollars per watt of energy ($/W), and ‘levelized cost of energy’ (LCOE).
What You Should Know About Solar Energy: Costs Are Going Down
If you’re considering whether going solar is a worthwhile financial move for your home, there are essentially two factors that you should look at: 1) the costs associated with solar power, and 2) the rates you pay for electricity from your utility. Going solar makes economic sense when solar electricity costs less than grid electricity.
As for solar, it is clear that costs are coming down. Rooftop solar panels are now more affordable and accessible than ever. This is why more and more households are having solar energy systems installed: going solar is a great way to reduce your power bills.
But what about the future cost of grid electricity? If electricity rates are going up, then of course going solar makes sense. As you’re probably aware, however, utility electricity rates fluctuate seasonally and annually. “What if utility electricity rates go down instead of up?” you might be asking yourself. Would it still be worth it for you to go solar? This article seeks to address this question and put to rest any idea that grid electricity rates could be going down. Continue reading →
This post is the second of a blog mini-series that will explain the various net metering battles occurring across the United States. The first piece in the series covered California.
As solar power becomes cheaper and more accessible, utilities, installers, and consumer advocates are working with state public utility commissions (PUCs) across the country to secure a sustainable future for solar energy. Each group has a different idea of how to ensure “solar sustainability”: utilities are focused on the cost of maintaining the electric grid as distributed solar generation grows, while installers and consumer advocates want to make sure that net metering policies will adequately compensate solar homeowners for the power they generate. Many states are beginning the negotiation process, but one state has already reached its conclusion – in a ruling released on October 12, Hawaii became the first state in the country to eliminate net metering.