Having been in the renewable energy and solar power industries for the last 10 years, I often get asked about what the future holds. Whether you are interested for investment purposes or general curiosity, I would say in the general the future is extremely bright for clean energy. Here are some things that we see coming in the next 5 to 10 years that will shape the markets for the industry, and specifically solar power.
Feed-in-Tariffs Will Proliferate
The most widely used model for encouraging solar power installations now is giving rebates for installed watts. The problem with this model is that it doesn’t actually give incentives for producing more clean energy, which after all is the point. Installed watts don’t always translate to produced watts due to installation issues and equipment efficiencies.
This is where feed-in tariffs come in. This actually rewards the solar power producer by paying them a rate for the electricity they feed back in to the grid at 3-4x the actual retail rate. So some homes might be paying $0.11/kw-hr for power but selling power back to the grid for $0.45/kw-hr that is produced by their solar panels. This can produce a profit and much faster return on investment for the system.
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Kriss Bergethon is a solar expert and writer. For more of his useful articles on solar power, please visit Solar Panels.