Is Solar Energy Really Too Expensive?

When the topic of solar power comes up, many quickly dismiss it as being too expensive. Yet the alternative to solar power is the continued burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are limited and their incineration is devastating our sensitive environment. We are at a crossroads: Find ways to make solar power more affordable or march forth with the poisoning of our planet through the burning of fossil fuels. Can we put a Price Tag on Earth? Building, selling and placing solar panels on rooftops is not a cheap endeavor. Yet we might not have any other choice as our finite fossil fuels continue to dwindle and we add even more nasty pollution to our air, water and land. Our engineers and physicists must figure out how to further lower the cost of solar panels. This will prove to be somewhat challenging as utility companies have united to lobby politicians against the continued expansion of rooftop solar initiatives. Making the push for solar power expansion even more difficult is the fact that solar panels often takes years to produce a pay-off. Although almost all photovoltaic systems do eventually pay back their cost and more.  Those who live in especially sunny areas of the world stand a much greater chance at profiting from solar power than those in areas with comparably overcast skies. Yet many individuals and organizations can’t even afford a single solar panel. Such a beleaguered financial situation makes it impossible to generate income from solar panels in the long-run. The question looms: Can we, in good conscience, put a price tag on our planet? It appears as though utility executives are buying and selling our politicians left and right. What are the odds that these politicians will support initiatives to reduce the cost of solar power or create solar power rebates/tax incentives? The odds are quite low at the moment. Millennials are Renting and That’s Ominous News for the Solar Power Push If the United States had a burgeoning middle class, plenty more homeowners would consider adding solar panels to their property. The economy never fully recovered from the recession of 2008. Though baby-boomers own their fair share of homes, most millennials rent. Saddled by crushing student debt and shaky employment prospects, millennials have become increasingly hesitant to take on a home mortgage. This fact does not bode well for the future of solar power. Renters cannot install solar panels on a landlord’s property. As a result, few millennials even ponder the notion of installing solar panels. Landlords have no incentive to install solar panels as the savings would go straight into tenants’ pockets. An Increase in Solar Power Incentives is Necessary In the long run, a continued reliance on fossil fuels does not benefit humanity or our delicate planet. Federal and state government officials must band together to craft far-reaching legislation that incentivizes the purchase of solar panels. These incentives will reduce solar panel costs for homeowners as well as businesses and even government agencies themselves. The alternative is to watch our planet melt one day at a time.

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