Let the Sunshine in: Make & Save Money With Solar Energy

Mon, Jul 13, 2009

Green Energy

In the past, many religions worshiped the almighty sun, whom they believed watched benevolently over them and decided their fate and destiny. Now we worship the almighty dollar for many of the same reasons, but who says we can’t go back to our roots and do both?

In the context of today’s energy crunch, many have been looking to the sun for a good source of sustainable energy with increasing urgency, and not only for use with earthly solar panels, but also as a propulsion system (see NASA’s solar sail project) and even as a water purifier. Maybe you’ve looked at some application of solar energy for your business, but have been quickly discouraged by solar’s high price and low popularity. Your wariness is well founded – it frequently doesn’t pay to be an early adopter of a (relatively) new technology, but in this situation you may want to be ahead of the curve.

Although the initial investment required has been a major deterrent of people considering implementing solar energy solutions in their business or residence, most people aren’t aware of the large amount of rebates and tax credits that are available to those who choose to switch to a sustainable power source like solar energy. Why are these rebates available? Most of them were created when solar energy was a new technology and lawmakers were looking to create an incentive for what they knew was going to be a small segment of the population who chose to adopt the technology. Take advantage of the small time you have left before the inevitable end of these rebates, and you will have a great way to pad the blow to your wallet from the purchase of the equipment. You can find a list of rebates available to you by state here.

Now you have the equipment you need to start yourself as a harvester of the sun’s powerful energy rays and save a lot of money on the energy you won’t need from the energy companies, but did you know that you can even make money by selling your energy back to them? Check to see if your state has a law that forces energy companies to invest in renewable energy credits, or RECs, and you may be eligible to sell the energy you create from the sun back to the grid, in addition to powering your business. This article has a few success stories.

If you’re daunted by a large personal investment in solar energy for your business, don’t worry, you can still hop on this gravy train! Analyst Jesse Pischel, a senior researcher for the investment bank Piper Jaffray has put his money on Sun Power solar panels, which is the leading solar power equipment producer in the world. Incidentally, it’s also down 74% in stock value since the crash in April of 2008. Now this stock is valuable for obvious reasons, such as the influx of cash going in to production of green energy in this country from President Obama, but it’s also valuable because of a demand in the Middle East that will begin in 2010 or 2011 that has been basically undiscussed up until now. In fact, Qatar is considering building one of the world’s largest solar power plants on the planet.

All of these facts make for a very sound investment. That is, it will be sound until the year 10,002,009, during which time I predict a sizable dip in the market price for solar power due to the explosion of the sun.

By Thomas Sabino-Benowitz.

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