When will solar panel systems become affordable? Apparently in San Diego and NYC they already are... With credible data and animated maps, John Farrell, blogger at Energy Self Reliant States, is getting good cred for his ongoing efforts to answer this important question. See the report that made John famous here.
In December John's extensive research showed that "within a decade, 100 million Americans could get cheaper electricity from rooftop solar – without subsidies." He updated that statement this week by releasing a with subsidies model, which assumes that the federal government's 30% solar tax credit continues after 2016, as do current state and municipal incentives for each city shown, as do current solar pricing trends. Here are a few select years (click to enlarge):
New York & San Diego already there.
Austin and others in 2016.
Over 40 large cities by 2024.
More background and a quick explanation of the without subsidies models here.
Solar "parity" is that moment when installing solar panel systems has comparable costs to installing other electricity producing technologies (clean or dirty). Today, many Americans are resistant to, or unable to make investments in, installing solar panels because of the substantial upfront expense and slow ROI. . .
Is this what we want America? Affordable solar?