Your Questions About Solar Panel Installation

Mary asks…

Would you rather install solar panels at $15k once or pay $3000 per year indefinitely to heat your house?

I'm asking because solar panels are subsidized heavily. If solar panel installation was more heavily subsidized, would more people put them in?

What should be the limit on subsidizing solar panels?

Should the government be forced to subsidize coal or natural gas facilities at equal levels?

Sorry, I know that's a lot of questions but, I'm really looking for people's viewpoints on this.
Jeff, as someone who is close to this issue, I would argue that subsidizing solar panel installation is equivalent to subsidizing infrastructure. After that it becomes a stand-alone system which is efficient enough that you can sell extra power back to the grid (also thereby reducing grid demand). Solar power is not inefficient, just expensive to install.

As Steve pointed out, over 30 years the solar bill will stand at 15k where the heating bill will end up costing you $90k. Easy to see which process is the most efficient when you look at it that way.
I gave you a thumbs up for making a good debate point btw.

ssadmin answers:

The government IS subsidizing nuclear, coal, gas, and oil.

Nuclear subsidies are the largest direct subsidies of any energy form.

Coal is subsidized by the sale of below-market-value land, as well as the public payment for cleaning up the pollution and health effects of the energy.

However, it is oil and gas that have the largest subsidies. They get direct subsidies for infrastructure, but they also get enormous indirect subsidies in the form of military protection for oil producing nations. In fact, it has been estimated that half of our military spending is devoted to protecting oil supplies.

Furthermore, all these industries receive industry-specific tax breaks, which is yet another subsidy.

Thus, given all the subsidies these other form of energy get, I feel it's only fair that we subsidize solar/wind/etc. To allow them to compete on a level playing field.

As to your question: if the cost of solar panels were factored into the mortgage cost and amortized over the life of the standard home loan (30 years), they would be an absolutely obvious money saver, even in colder climates.

William asks…

Does anyone know HOW MUCH do solar panels cost and how much is installation?

ssadmin answers:

Panels and installation depend on technology and type of installation. Generally these values are calculated on a $/watt basis.

Depending on technology and difficulty of installation, prices can vary from $5-12/watt. If you want an accurate price, get a quote! Goto www.findsolar.com to find a local professional. Good luck!

James asks…

need advice on solar panel business?

i live in a country where there is sun (very hot weather) all round year, plenty of money and stable conditions (politically economically…etc), cheap labor, no taxes (<5% tariff) however, energy bills are quite expensive. i think solar panel business (sales, distribution and installation) would be extremely profitable. where do i start from?

ssadmin answers:

Here are couple sites to get you started. They talk about panels and solar walls. What the benefits are, how they work, and how to build one.
Good Luck

http://www.amsolar.com/solarpanels.html
http://www.astravan.com/solar.html

Nancy asks…

Is it ok to cut off plumbing roof vent pipes and allow them to vent under my solar electric panels?

My solar installer says its OK to cut off these vent pipes in order to make for a clean installation of the solar panels. Will this create and problems?

ssadmin answers:

In most areas, you cannot cut the vent lines. The height is to assure the wind does not take the fumes back into the pipe and house. You could have the lines moved though.

Donald asks…

How expensive is expensive? what is the dollar amount?

I keep seeing people say it (solar panel installation and use) is to expensive and such, but I never see any actual figures. I would like to see some and the sources please. Thank you
so is 10,000 expensive? My new car cost me that much and more. I would like to see some sources.
johnnie, our income isn't that much better but we financed the vehicle over a 6 yr period. My point is that if its something that will improve your way of life (lifestyle) wouldn't you think it prudent to find a way. (of course the big issue is home ownership vs. rental.) if you rent there is no way that it would be fesable no matter what the cost.

ssadmin answers:

Solar panels, associated hardware, and installation are expensive. Depending on how much power you need, the cost varies quite a lot! Around $10,000 will get you panels for a small house; if you're trying to power a business or larger building, it's in the hundreds of thousands. I've got a small system I built for small appliances at home (powers alarm clocks and a battery charger) for about $500.

Solar panel USE isn't expensive, it's free. Perhaps they were thinking of maintenance and upkeep costs?

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