Very nice to have, which many will use even at the current high prices, but really good for public energy usage if it can ever become cost effective.
Giving solar industry a spark
Initiative's success will depend on making power cost-competitive
By Craig D. Rose
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
December 11, 2006
If California's $3.4 billion solar initiative succeeds in promoting 1 million more rooftop, solar-electric systems, it could still be considered a failure.
That's because the 10-year program, set to begin next month, aims to do more than just subsidize installations. It's also intended to make solar electricity's cost comparable to the power provided by utilities. Today it costs twice as much.
If solar costs could be made competitive, the impact would be profound.
Most conventional power is produced by burning coal or natural gas, making the electric-generation industry a leading source of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Cheap and readily available solar electricity, or photovoltaics, would significantly reduce the need to burn fossil fuels for electricity, as would the further development of wind power and other renewable energy sources.
The California Solar Initiative will provide subsidies to homeowners, businesses and nonprofit organizations for solar-electric systems on a schedule that will progressively shrink.