Solar energy is thought of as an industrial size production industry, inaccessible to the average American. Buying wholesale, using rebates, and competition within the industry has created more opportunities for the U.S. population than ever before. Many companies are saying that they’ll meet or beat their competitors, and now that we’re competing against China in this market, they have to go even lower. This is causing many companies to go out of business, but on the upside it’s currently a buyer’s market.
“The term SREC stands for Solar Renewable Energy Credit and is a tradable credit that represents all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from a solar electric system. Each time a solar electric system generates 1000kWh (1MWh) of electricity, an SREC is issued which can then be sold or traded separately from the power.
SRECs are purchased by electrical utilities or energy suppliers who need to meet a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The value of SRECs are quantified by three major factors”:
1. State RPS requirements
2. Value of the state’s Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP)
3. Supply and demand of SRECs in that specific state
“A couple weeks ago, half of Germany was run on solar power. The renewable energy sector is one of the few to have added jobs even through the recession. Germany is about as sunny as London, so if the U.S. were to implement it as much as them, it would be far more effective. We’re four times as big, and twice as capable regarding sun, so that’s creating an estimated 2.5 million jobs being created.
Solar is a 6 billion dollar industry with a 300% growth in the past four years.” (http://www.slideshare.net/risoprinter/power-consumption-the-hidden-costs-of-copiers-and-printers).
To run the average house on solar would cost around $16,000 initially, since all electronics average 600 watts on average x 24 hrs + 14,400 watts per day. You can reduce this by up to six percent when using more energy efficient products like a laptop instead of monitor, fluorescent lights instead of incandescent, or a small television and refrigerator. “The thing to remember, however, is that 100 watts per hour purchased from the power grid would only cost about 24 cents a day right now, or $91 a year. That’s why you don’t see many solar houses unless they are in very remote locations. When it only costs about $100 a year to purchase power from the grid, it is hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a solar system. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/question418.htm”
This means that for those who can’t afford this large down-payment, can still support this cause by paying for their electric bill with solar power, they just purchase the renewable energy credits as listed above. However if you have a small business that can meet these needs, you can not only save on your own energy bill, but profit by selling your renewable energy credits to others.
The newly installed solar array at Savage River Lodge in Cumberland, MD, a GAP SBN member, was made possible largely from state and federal assistance.
“Grants from both agencies help to offset the capitol investment needed to help small businesses with endeavors such as these.” The SRL electric usage is 261,000 KWH per year, (main lodge: 130,000 KWH)=Total spent $33,400 per year. Solar energy produced is 84,672 KWH per year, with 84 SREC credits=$44,600 total earned. Therefore, they actually profit $11,200 every year by outsourcing their extra energy to those who don’t have the means to create solar energy themselves. Although the thought of switching to solar energy may seem intimidating, it is quite plausible by either purchasing solar energy credits, or funding a solar arrangement with state and federal grants. Here are some beneficial websites to get started: