Can I Afford Solar?

Written by in Solar 101

The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has been decreasing annually for years, falling dramatically since 2008, bringing new opportunities to a still-young industry and sparking new demand from homeowners, business owners, and farm owners.

Solar PV has been supported for many years by government incentives, such as Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), which pay premium rates to solar PV owners who sell their excess electricity to the grid. Incentives to US consumers and businesses also include federal income tax credits and cash rebates (see Financing). In Europe some of these incentives are now being rolled back.

In the U.S. the Department of Energy has launched a major investment called the Sunshot Initiative to spur the solar manufacturing industry to reduce solar production and installed costs so that government incentives can be retired. Indeed, some of the state incentive programs will end at the end of 2015 or 2016, prompting many homeowners and business owners to take a hard look at installing solar PV now.

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