Thursday, May 31, 2012

How do you make money with solar energy?

One way is the way this video shows with the meter running backwards (where your electric utility account is credited for the electricity generated by your solar array).  In addition, you earn a certificate issued by the state which takes a monthly reading of the amount of power produced by your system at it's peak during the month.  You then sell your solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) on a market called the SREC market.  If you want to learn how, just ask your solar energy experts.  They make it very easy for you, and Mercury Solar Systems actually automates the whole process for you with  Typical 10kW household system generates 1 SREC per month and current trade value in Maryland for an SREC is $250.  That means you could earn $250/month, plus offset your own use or what you buy from the utility every month with a solar power plant!  Amazing isn't it?  Isn't MD, CT, DE, NJ, NY, MA, CA, CO, TX and about 38 other states that offer incentives for solar just the best places in the world to live?  You hear a lot about the failure of Solyndra and how that it was a dumb investment, yet the Federal Government subsidizes the oil companies by about $39 billion/yr or about 52% of all the incentives out there, another $9 billion goes to nuclear, another $6 billion to coal, another $6 billion to ethanol, and finally $6 billion set aside for solar.  The incentives like the 30% federal tax credit and bonus depreciation schedule allowing you to depreciate 60% of the total system cost (in addition to the 30% credit) in the year it is installed totals out to about $6 billion/yr, and helps your house, farm, office, plant become independent of distributed power from the utility company.  As battery technology advances (see recent post about the A123 Systems batteries used in the Chevy Volt and the implications of applying that technology as a standby backup on every home) and you see the possibility of energy independence that actually helps everyone in the community and the world.  You tell me where you'd rather see your tax money get invested?

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