Is Solar Power Really Taking America by Storm?

Posted April 23rd, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

While there’s an awful lot of buzz out there about alternative energy sources, and while experts and pundits are constantly talking about the advantages of using power sources such as solar power, the fact remains that this technology just isn’t being accepted as rapidly as we’d like to think. In fact, less than one percent of the energy in this country comes from solar power.

Why is this, exactly? After all, elected officials have talked for decades about investing more in solar, and those in the market have worked hard to get their products out there. Some insurance companies even offer a “green discount” on your homeowners insurance policy if you go solar. There are federal tax incentives, as well as many state incentives for adopting solar technologies.

Still, while things have been slow to change, some experts suggest that the future still looks bright. Governmental incentives and regulations have never been as good as they are today, making it more attractive than ever. One of the chances that was made to tax policy during the response to the recent recession was to end the tax deduction cap of $2,000 for installing residential solar power.

In itself, that move may have doubled the residential solar industry in a single year. That’s right, doubled. On top of that new business, it also helped to create new jobs, to the tune of around 17,000.

It’s not just in the residential area that solar adoption is increasing. In the commercial solar industry, there was a 37 percent increase in the energy produced for power installations from solar sources.

It takes about $4 billion in investment and 46,000 employees at the current stage to keep the solar power industry going. Investors have their doubts, however. The largest publically traded residential solar power investment company’s stock dropped around 8 percent last year, although it is expected to rise this year. Perhaps more important and relevant will be what happens when some of the largest private solar companies go public, as they are expected to do some time this year.

Photo via mjmonty

Categories: Green Living, News

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