reply to fifty nine
Re: I've gone and done it ... solar install
said by fifty nine:There are incentives because it is not a viable expenditure. Whether paying up front or on time pay. The only way most people will install solar is if they can get someone else to bear at least 2/3 of the cost. said by nunya:
But, back to the solar situation. I stand by my assertion that it rarely is cost effective to use solar panels in residential situations. It just isn't cost effective yet. That's why we have to *pay* people to do it. If the technology were ready for mainstream, we wouldn't have to pay people to buy a product.
Also, much pollution is produced in the manufacture of solar panels. A lot. Solar is a "dirty green" solution, much like CFL lamps.
There are incentives because the up front cost is high and most Americans prefer to pay over time instead of saving up and paying cash. This is why solar leases are becoming so popular.
OP's 7kW system cost $30K without incentives so in New Jersey at $875/yr break even will be in 34.29 years, in Houston in 32.29 years. Meanwhile the person with the cells actually gets no savings during the years it takes to pay off the initial investment. With a payback that long one really can't say it's worth it.
As for it being "worth it" a 7kw system here in New Jersey according to PVWatts can produce $875/year worth of energy. This is taking into account seasons and weather.
The same system in Houston, TX would produce $929 worth of energy using the same rate, or less than $100 difference.
It is not a myth. Just because it mechanically and electrically works doesn't make it viable.
So the myth of solar being "not worth it" for more northerly places is, well, just a myth. Solar works quite well up here and they are popping up all over. In some areas there are solar panels on every electric pole.