Monday, December 1, 2008

Solar Energy Is It Ready?

Solar energy alternatives,

During research the last few weeks I have found some interesting things about solar energy I did not know, so thought I would share.

1. To install a solar energy alternative in our own home to provide enough electric to run our home and sell a little back to the Utility would cost about $75,000 investment ( Ouch ).

2. The grants seem to be very dependent on each state and range from $2,000 to $30,000 depending on your state, but if you run a business for example a horse stables can be much better grants.

3. Most of the cost can be offset against tax but it seems a very very complicated process.

4. New companies ( like a modern day utility company )are springing up that install all the equipment and then lease it back to you for less than your current electric bill.

5. Some of the technology is so cool including one company that makes roof tiles so that each tile is a solar panel turning your roof into a giant solar energy producer.

6. You do not have to start with the full monty you could just get a system to heat your water or provide power to an outbuilding and add additional capacity as you go along.

7. It is much much much cheaper to install a grid connected system than a fully independent system ( our $70,000 was for a grid connected system )

I thought I would share with our fellow bloggers who might find some of this interesting even though not horse related. This is the page I was researching for, Solar Energy Information it also includes some of the companies who sell and lease Solar Energy Systems for those who might be interested



Grey Horse Matters said...

Thanks for doing the research. We were considering putting some solar in the indoor we plan on building for lights and maybe even some heat, I'll check it out.

Midlife Mom said...

Very interesting post. We've got to do something in this country to cut down on how much we depend on our energy sources. Wind farms are going up around here a lot. I like the solar roof tiles idea.

You have so much more snow then we do! We got a dusting last night but then it turned to rain so that was the end of that. The stable where my guys live in the winter has a tin roof and the wind off the river really howls up through there and keeps them jumping! No way do I ride in the indoor arena when it is real windy, I'd land in the dirt! Sometimes I just think horses look for something to be scared of.

Jean said...

I am in the process of attempting to install a solar system on my barn roof.

Uhm, yep....nearly $70,000. My State, NJ, was supposed to pay over $30,000. Don't know what's going on as my Town has been running the solar energy company through the wringer on the permits, and my State grant was only available through October.

I have to finance the system through the company for now as the money I had set aside nearly 3 years ago has melted away.

Were I able to own the system outright, it would produce enough energy to run my house with excess sold to the grid. And, I could sell energy credits (green tags) to the tune of $3-$4K a year--perhaps more. Kind of a rebate.

The income tax benefit was set at $2000. Don't know if there is more return in the works.

Don't like the fact that the solar guy thinks we may need to trim some of my big shade trees on the west side to allow more afternoon sun to hit the panels.

However, at the moment, I do not know of any of this will happen.

The People History said...

Thanks for the comments , I was suprised at the cost and even more suprised at how complicated the "grants subsidies tax allowance" is.

It strikes me that if the government was to come up with a plan to encourage 5% to 10% of homes to go solar it would create 100,000s of thousands of jobs including manufacturing and construction ( the installs requires roofers ) plus the long term benefits to the balance of payments and help make the world a greener place

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ok, now I feel a little bit disheartened. Hubby and want to both solar and wind systems for our house or future dream house,. Not sure.
If we are in New Mexico, we'd use wind all winter. We have serious wind here. And in the summer it's sunny 29 days out of 30.

I had no idea it would cost THAT much, though.
I know in the long run the freedom of being off-grid and the eventual savings woud be worth it, but it's painful to have to come up with that much at the start. gah.

New Mexico

The People History said...

Sorry Lisa to burst your bubble , When I was doing research one of the things I discovered was wind turbines are oversold on what they really provide , I am in the process of putting together a similar research page on wind but a few problems keep cropping up

1. actual figures provided by wind generators do not match sales pitch

2. Gaining planning permission is frightfull if you want wind as the option because of how high they need to be to make them practicle, they are also very very expensive

I am also looking at creating a geo thermal energy options section this might prove interesting for you to have a look at

White Horse Pilgrim said...

This is an interesting subject. The situation in Europe is broadly as follows.
- A solar water heater on the roof can have a fairly quick payback.
- Photovoltaic cells have such a long payback period as not to be worthwhile.
- Small wind generators are oversold. As well as not having a fast payback, they are noisy and annoying to neighbours.
- A ground source heat pump can be cost-effective in the right soil conditions or if a well or pond is available.
- Insulation can also be cost-effective as a means of reducing energy requirements.

I hope that this helps.

Total Solar Energy said...

you can always install the system yourself if you have a basic grasp of DIY. this greatly reduces costs because the price of installation is very high.