Monday, 4 January 2010

Photovoltaic Solar Panel Installation costs not what they seem

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to Solar Panel Quoter - the Blog, after the Christmas break.

Just like those New Year Sales, we're back with a vengeance, Solar Panel Quoter - the Blog - will be bringing you an almost daily digest of the latest solar and other renewable energy stories throughout 2010.

Like this one....

The Daily Herald in Chicago (USA) reported just before Christmas on a new photovoltaic solar energy installation at Schneider Electric.

What struck me about the story was the miss-leading way the installation costs were put across.

Their recent completion of a photovoltaic solar panel installation quotes them as saying the project took about six months to complete at a cost of $750,000. The company expected to save $9,000 annually off of their $316,000 electric bill.

Hang on a minute - that doesn't sound like a very short pay-back period (does quick mental maths) that's 83+ years to get your money back. With a quoted life expectancy of 40 years - thats 43+ years short.

It doesn't paint a very good case for installing solar energy does it?

Ah - but read onto the bottom of the piece and we find out that the company predicts "It has a payback time for the company's costs of installation of 8 to 10 years, or roughly $90,000. The rest of the construction cost was supported by federal and state incentives and tax credits, the company said."

That's more like it. Read the full piece at the Daily Herald by clicking here. There's a useful quote about the effectiveness of photovoltaic solar power even in climates / states not renowned for their geographic position to take full effect of solar energy.

It also goes to show the continuing importance of national and local government subsidies as well as an increasing involvement by the private sector if renewable energies like solar power are to appeal to homeowners and businesses alike in the UK.

photo credit: francisco osorio

No comments:

Post a Comment