Solar Water Heating

Solar Water Heating
Its time has come

Friday, December 4, 2009

Climate change and the renewable energy industry

Sunrise Solar has been in business since 2000. We have always stood on the principle that renewable energy must make strong financial sense. The reason is that if it does not work for the bottom line, both businesses and residential concerns will not buy, install, or maintain such systems if it is not cost effective.
Global climate change may be effected by human interaction. That is not why we do what we do. We support the renewable energy industry because it does make financial sense, and has for a very short period of time. The reason I say that is because as little as ten short years ago, energy prices were such that installing solar photovoltaic (electricity) was not a viable option from a return on investment standpoint. It use to be a 20+ year payback. Today the costs of energy, both electricity and natural gas, has gone up to a point that we are either at, or soon will be at, a point of parity with standard forms of energy.
Example; Residential natural gas costs are still very low, so heating water with natural gas is still the cheapest and most efficient way to heat water in the home, however, commercially, heating a large volume of water daily with solar can be done more efficiently than with natural gas. If an organization heats more than 500 gallons of water per day, then solar can pay for itself and do this with a 5-7 year payback. As the price of natural gas fluctuates, the payback can be calculated for a considerably larger savings over natural gas, even in the long term.
The solar power industry has been growing over the past ten years, and now competition in the industry is causing somewhere very close to 8-10 year paybacks. Local utilities are offering incentives now that were not available ten years ago because they need to be able to see the benefit of a reduction of load capacity on the grid. Solar power is also a protection from future cost increases over time and levels the playing field for anyone that installs it on their roof. If you have panels on the roof making power, your meter either runs slower or backwards depending on your habits, therefore, cost increases do not effect you very much, if at all. Today, the Federal Government is offering a 30% tax credit for anyone installing renewable energy. By subsidizing the industry, we are helping the industry grow.
The price of solar panels fluctuates just like the price of energy, by helping boost the industry, the payback will hopefully get better in the future.
Recently in the news, the stories about climate change being a hoax are on the forefront of everyone’s minds. We will not aspire to assume what is really happening or what is truth. For us, it has never been the focus of our business, but a welcome benefit of “being green”. My Grandfather was a farmer. From about 1908 until he died at 99 years old, he was an environmentalist. Farmers have to be, we all have to be. The idea that people destroy the environment intentionally does not make common sense. Fortunately, renewable energy is coming of age because it is now cost effective and an environmentally intelligent option.

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