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Enthusiasts: Solar power to become more popular

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Posted by Summer Wind on April 21, 2009, 12:17 am

Environment » Energy costs rising; price of panels falling.
By María Villaseñor

The Salt Lake Tribune

Like a toaster or a refrigerator, Kevin Shumway hopes solar panels will one
day be a mainstay in homes.

He rigged his historic Salt Lake City Avenues home with a photovoltaic
(PV)-cell system that, for the past year, has powered his electric car and
supplied about 80 percent of the home's electricity needs.

"Really, there's nothing to it; it costs a lot up front, but then you've
locked in your electricity rate for the next 40 years," said Shumway, who
converted to solar to decrease his dependence on foreign oil and other
polluting energy sources.

With tax credits and rebates, Shumway expects his $5,000 system will cost
closer to $5,000.

Solar-power enthusiasts say the technology is becoming within reach of more

With the cost of solar panels dipping and the price of utilities expected to
rise, a PV system "will be as cost-effective as anything else," said Utah
Solar Energy Association President Orrin Farnsworth, who deals energy
systems for AEE Solar.

He has seen more people who want to be energy-independent and
self-sufficient. Also, many worry of skyrocketing electricity bills,
Farnsworth said, though Utah has lower rates than some other states, such as
California and Florida.

Depending on the size and type of system, most residential installations now
cost between $5,000 to $0,000 before any tax credits, he said.

While the cost still might concern homeowners, installers say the panels are
an investment.

"It does seem expensive, but in reality people are putting their money into
other things," said Intermountain Wind & Solar's Doug Shipley, noting home
renovations like kitchen remodels can cost about the same.

"And this saves them money."

Posted by RF on April 21, 2009, 5:39 am
Nothing new here.

Just vague speculation.


Summer Wind wrote:

Posted by Eeyore on April 21, 2009, 3:53 pm

Summer Wind wrote:

Not many inhabited places where people have cars have that much sunshine.


Posted by Bob on May 6, 2009, 4:11 am
 Eeyore wrote:

FUD. I have a small PV in San Jose that covers my electricity from PG&E
almost exactly. A few more panels and I would cover a car. Most of
California is like this. "not many places"? You, sir, are an ass.


Posted by Phil Ross on May 6, 2009, 9:00 pm
I agree wholeheartedly. I too live in San Jose, and after cutting our energy
usage to the minimum by installing insulation and double pane windows,
replacing all of our incandescent lighting with CFL bulbs, switching to
Energy Start appliances, etc., I was able to get our electircity consumption
down to an average 12.5 kWh per day. All without sacraficing our qualityof
life, etc. Then we installed a 14 panel system that generates 2.3 kW (at the
optimal time of day), which produces more power than we consume in a year.
We had a surplus of 421 kWh last year and we're on track for similar
performance this year. All 14 panels all fit on my garage, so I have plenty
of room on the rest of my roof should we decide to install solar hot water,
or add additional panels to support a plug in electric or hybrid vehicle if
that need ever arises.

I believe that many folks could get by with much smaller solar systems if
they first make the effort to cut consumption before sizing their systems.


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