DIY Solar Power and The Inevitable Pressure of Innovations
One of the unmistakable aspects of the traditional v. green energy argument, no matter which jurisdiction you are talking about, is how time and advancement necessarily does funny things to the entire dialogue.
Basically, it is not that much of a stretch to compare what is going on with alternative energy technology to what went on with the advent of the automobile over a century ago. On one hand, you have the reality of the moment that there are significant cost and availability gaps in the technology.
In other words, the ability to make it available to the everyday consumer at a cost comparable to the standard fossil fuel driven power sources, is always an issue. In a capitalist market-driven economy, the cost-effectiveness of the technology and how it can be made profitable is without question a driving consideration for whether it survives or disappears.
This issue of how solar power, hydro electric power, wind power, or any other emerging green energy technology competes in a market economy is a sword used against these technologies by those opposing ballot measures, subsidies, tax breaks or any other incentive for more green energy. There is little doubt that any progress made on any front to make any of the leading green technologies available on a mass consumer scale with a legitimate profit potential behind it will be front page news and take the spotlight. It will also probably be the basis for it's rise.
Earlier this year, Carlos Medina from Ocala.com explored the costs of solar energy currently v. the many attempts dating back to the 70s which have largely failed on a mass consumption basis.
"Solar electric back in the '70s and historically has not been cost effective," said Tim Anderson, the director of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) at the University of Florida, told Mr. Medina. "There needed to be improvements in manufacturing and in cell efficiency. Since 1980, every time the installed capacity has doubled, prices decreased 22 percent. Right now, the cost of (solar) electricity is competitive with the residential (electricity) prices we pay."
So What Then Is The Problem with Do it Yourself or DIY Solar Power?
Simply put, the up-front cost of home solar technology must be affordable to the private property owner and this is where the interesting next piece of the puzzle for more prevalent green technology in our power sources kicks in.
Article continues at ENN affiliate, Clean Techies
Solar Panel image via Shutterstock