Clean energy is making bigger inroads to the world economy. The solar market is over 7 billion per year and growing 30% annually. BP Solar is putting 25 PV systems in Staples and Whole Foods Market Stores. GE’s wind business has expanded from $500 million in 2002 to an anticipated $2 billion this year. Sharp’s installed costs for solar systems has been dropping at 5% for the last 10 years and should continue on that track. Tax credits from the federal government and 19 states fuel the technology. Financing from major investment houses and venture capitalists also is on the increase.
Business Week, July 4, 2005, pp 36-37
(Ed. note: The continual march of higher oil prices sympathetically add to the prices of other fossil fuels, enhancing the opportunity for renewable and nuclear power generation. BD is estimating that parity between renewables and fossils will happen when oil gets to $77/bbl. Meantime, watch a gradual increase in the use of renewables, hydrogen supply and fuel cells as oil escalates.)
The Coming Payoff in Solar Electricity
As a growing market, photovoltaics increased 2001 sales by 30% in the U.S. and 40% elsewhere. Three factors set the stage for ever increasing PV useage. They are: the power crisis in California, the availability of more convenient forms of PV panels and the decline in manufacturing costs. Social benefits of PV include a cleaner environment and improved security through reduced dependence on foreign oil.
July 2002, p. 12
The Sun Also Rises Again
The photovoltaic industry continues to grow by 25-30% and currently has global sales approaching $ 4 billion. Astropower Inc. has increased production from 35 MW in 2000 to 110 MW for 2002. Installations in new homes can be performed for between $6,000 and $10,000, but additions to existing homes typically costs 50% more. Net metering assists in making the PV installation cost effective, but many states do not yet have legislation covering it.
Manufacturers have continued to cut costs of PV generation per Watt by 50% every 10 years. Multi or polycrystalline and thin film amorphous technology has contributed to this cost reduction. State incentives make the total installation cost lower for the home owner..
A must read for those considering PV!
September 2002, pp. 92-98