Solar Power

Solar energy has become a mainstay of alternative energy. If you have a small environment it can do much more then just heat your water.

Prices Fall Overall Cost Still High

Why is the cost of a solar energy system still high?

The price for purchasing a solar system continues to drop but here is where they get you. Installation is a very specific and tightly controlled market, permitting is expensive and zoning for systems is tightly regulated. In reality the big energy companies don't want you putting your own energy back into the grid. Additional costs are encountered when you try to hook to the grid and have to get additional permitting to do that. Currently 38 states require energy companies to buy back the energy these small systems produce. Bad news for the energy companies, good news for you.

Soft costs such as those mentioned above are an extra burden and in some case make it cost preventative for a small business or home to incorporate solar or any alternative energy into their environment.

The soft costs subprogram works to develop solutions that reduce the non-hardware costs of solar, helping to ensure that U.S. consumers have access to affordable energy choices and to reduce regulatory burdens on American families and businesses. This includes programs that prepare the workforce to meet the solar energy industry’s growing needs across the country. DOE-led initiatives build networks to support the development and diffusion of best practices that establish clear pathways for sustainable solar deployment across the U.S., for the benefit of all Americans.

Learn More aboutThe Department of energies soft cost program

Hybrid Wind and Solar Systems

Wind by itself is usually not a consistent power supplier and solar by itself is not a constant supplier of energy. That is unless you can afford huge wind or solar farms. For the average person or business this is not realistic. So enters the hybrid system.

Let's Combine The Two

In much of the United States, wind speeds are low in the summer when the sun shines brightest and longest. The wind is strong in the winter when less sunlight is available. Because the peak operating times for wind and solar systems occur at different times of the day and year, hybrid systems are more likely to produce power when you need it.

Most hybrid systems are off the grid and operate independent from the electrical grid. They usually have a battery storage system and/or a generator to provide consistent power for the user.