Thursday, September 17, 2009
The news agency Reuters reports that, while California may be the Golden State, it’s New Jersey where U.S. residents get the best deal on their solar power systems.
A new survey by Global Solar Center , which endeavored to provide an “apples to apples” comparison for the cost of solar power in all 50 states, found that New Jersey had the fastest payback — 1.5 years — for residential solar systems, followed by New York and Delaware with paybacks of three and six years, respectively.
California tied for fourth place with Maryland, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, all with payback hitting seven years.
“That takes into account the cost of the system, the sun at that spot, the incentives of that region, utility rates. It blends in everything all together,” said Jack Hidary, Global's chairman.
“To put this all in context, five years ago you couldn’t find a state with less than a 10 or 15 year payback,” said Hidary, who also is a board member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He said the steep fall in solar panel prices and more government incentives have helped speed up the return on investing in a solar power system.
Going from a 15 year payback to 1.5 years is amazing progress. So amazing that it brings out the native skeptic in me (and I'll bet in others, too).
So, let's put it to the experts--the folks in New Jersey who are doing or financing residential solar installations.
What do you folks say? Are these numbers real? Click on the tiny 'comment' line below (or in the comment box if one appears)
and give us your professional opinion. If you disagree, tell us why.
While you're at it, provide your best estimate of whether and when New Jersey consumers might expect to see such a quick payoff.
On your marks, get set, generate!
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