Our last article for the year is good news. Amidst an economy that has been said to be in a depression, there’s one industry that’s doing quite well, in a place where it’s least expected — up on the roofs. Solar panel sales are booming. Leading sales and installation companies are reporting a 45% increase in sales, and anticipating creating over 100,000 new jobs each, within the next few years. That doesn’t begin to address the other jobs created in manufacturing and distribution of the panels. Great news, but there is a catch.
Many of these installations are made feasible by government rebates. One job was sold at $66,000, but the homeowner recouped over $40,000 of that, making his net cost about $22,000. Who wouldn’t want a solar electric system for 1/3 of the regular price? But the money to pay those rebates has to be coming from somewhere, and that somewhere seems to be the taxpayers themselves. While we’re glad that people are getting with the program, at least one state has declared that they’re out of funds, cannot afford to issue any more rebates, which could bring the momentum to a grinding halt if more incentive funds and lower consumer costs aren’t sorted out soon.
President-Elect Obama has talked about the government getting involved in rebooting the economy. Most of his talk has involved shoring up bridges and roads, and that may be long overdue, but it would be wise to put a large chunk of that revitalization into things which will increase our independence from foreign fuel while reducing the carbon footprint. If his administration focuses on Green industries, millions of new jobs could be created in producing the technology domestically alone. Pivotal to it all is Alternative Energy proving affordable to install and cost-effective in the long run. Luckily, improvements in solar technology are coming in fast and furious, and cost reductions can be expected right behind them.
As we say goodbye to 2008 and make our New Year resolutions, let’s keep Going Green in mind, make the idea central to our plans. As we welcome the Obama administration into the Oval Office, let’s make sure that he knows he has our full support for economic stimulus and incentives that propel our nation towards a more Green and prosperous tomorrow.
Wishing you all a very happy new year,
Going Green News