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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - the Chuck Norris of solar

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:53 am 
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When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The solar industry saw about a decade of rapid growth as "early adopters" to the technologies were willing to pay the higher prices (in terms of price/watt-hour installed and loans mortgaged). To cash in on this, research companies and start-ups went into debt to get going with the continued growth expected. The problem is the world ran out of "early adopters" and a general economic slowdown also slowed sales. This resulted in a drastic drop in the prices of the equipment as the market gets flooded with unsold solar stuff. The good news is the price of solar energy when installed and interest on loans accounted for has now dropped below the cheapest traditional fuel sources of electricity (coal, natural gas) in some areas. This will result in a second boom in growth but only for companies who can ride out the current slump in sales before industrial-sized installations start to happen for companies and governments seeking the cheapest electricity and finding solar to be a bargain.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:23 am 
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If the cost of producing energy from solar is really less than from coal then the boom times are just about to hit!

Once this point is achieved we stop digging up coal.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:14 pm 
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I doubt the coal companies will stop digging coal, unless they are forced to by government regulations and lack of demand by coal fired plants being replaced by Gen IV nuclear. There will still be a small amount of digging for use at steel and cement plants.
Solar panels are less than half of what I paid in 1997, and my self installed system paid for itself in 6 years, then by 9 years later(2006) I paid off my small mortgage. Doing all the trades and doing them well, all I had were materials costs on a small mortgage, basically. Unfortunately, only a small percentage can do that.
The profiteering installers keep the costs up.
I would have used nickel-iron batteries that are available now, and they add to the system cost, but last 25 years. Even with lower priced panels, there has been no big boom. People on the grid in the sunny areas are not going solar and disconnecting. Some who made the mistake of a grid tie system are being ripped off by the power companies and regret what they did, and the story is read in the newspaper.
It makes me sick that places like Colorado Springs in a perfect solar area, have a coal fired power plant right downtown. Pastel shoebox housing developments too close (many burned up in the foothills), when there are plenty of tires for Earthships. The same with my old town, Phoenix. Too many houses, and built above the 70*F underground temperatures, and needing AC.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:27 pm 
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I am very interested and impressed by your solar power information.

What do you have and how much does it produce?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:35 pm 
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"With every decision, think seven generations ahead of the consequences of your actions" Ute rule of life.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”― Chief Seattle
“Those Who Have the Privilege to Know Have the Duty to Act”…Albert Einstein


Last edited by Johhny Electriglide on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Our power supplier just sent me a survey concerning some options for solar. If this survey tracks like the previous ones we should be seeing some of the options within the next year to eighteen months. One option was "community production" where the businesses without the ability to have solar placed in their location "partnered" with businesses with additional solar placed at their location. Another was the installation of solar arrays on the business property where the power company would maintain them and supplement the needed power from the grid at the same cost per month as currently billed for grid power. Currently there is an additional surcharge to get renewable energy, so this would be a decrease in cost for some of us.

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