Sunny Outlook

Posted By on September 27, 2010

Solar power demand should grow rapidly, if incentives stay in place.

By John Caulfield; printed in Builder Magazine September 2010

Research business Solarbuzz recently projected that solar-generated electricity in the U.S., which increased by 36 percent in 2009, could expand tenfold over the next five years.  Local, state, and federal tax credits and incentives are driving demand.  But, ironically, a federal agency’s decision this summer threatened to slow that growth, at least temporarily.

California dominates the solar field in the U.S., representing half of the 485 megawatts of electricity generated from solar installations in the country last year. 

2009 Market Share, by state, of U.S. Solar-Generated Power:

 * Source: Solarbuzz

California:  49.79%

New Jersey: 12.30%

Florida: 8.57%

Colorado: 4.568%

Arizona: 4.62%

Hawaii: 3.29%

New York: 2.36%

Other states: 14.38%

Solarbuzz estimates that solar energy could increase nationally at an average annual rate of 30 percent and reach between 4.5 gigawatts and 5.5 gigawatts by 2014. 

There’s a blizzard of federal, state, and local incentives that encourage households and businesses to consider solar power, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.  Among the more popular are Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs that allow homeowners to pay off the cost of solar panel installations on their houses over 20 years through property taxes. 

Twenty-two states have PACE programs.  But their viability came into doubt in July, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed the GSEs to avoid approving PACE assessments, because liens a county or town places on the property would take precedence over mortgages if the owner defaults. 

However, momentum for renewable energy might be stronger than any bureaucratic resistance to it.  California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is running for governor, and Sonoma County immediately filed suites against Fannie, Freddie and FHFA for blocking the financing program.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered to add PACE- restoring legislation to the federal energy bill before Congress if he could find a Republican sponsor.  And other municipalities were quick to indicate they wouldn’t give up PACE without a battle.  Stay tuned.

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About the author

As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+

Comments

One Response to “Sunny Outlook”

  1. Mike Smedick says:

    The two of us will have already been researching into photo voltaic energy for roughly a year or so and as a consequence my spouse and i conclusively made the decision based mostly on on the pairing of governtment incentive plans not to mention unbelievably cost-effective financing. We will have been checking into solar power for about a twelve months and then my partner and i eventually made the commitment based on the mixture of the governtment incentive options along with extremely cost-effective financing. I really could hardly comprehend just how reasonable everything was and my spouse and i have actually been a new solar power residence for about a fair amount of time and every little thing appears as though it is certainly working out great. We can also honestly relax and watch just how much electrical energy we aer reducing every night in addition to it is always extremely marvelous. I alway believed that solar power most likely was backed by means of a lot of hype however , My partner and i can certainly tell everyone that the product is without a doubt the bona fide deal. My partner and i wish my partner and i had implemented it several years ago.

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

As the people behind Potterhill Homes, we have some pretty strong feelings about energy efficiency and green building. And we don't always agree! But we are commited to building a best homes we can and bringing you along on our journey to figure out exactly what that means! Thanks for checking out our site. My Google Profile+