English paper #3
With the planets rise in population reaching above seven billion there is a greater demand than ever to find a clean renewable source of energy. China, India and other emerging countries are all taking steps to become technologically advanced nations, massive amounts of energy consumption goes hand in hand with their strides out of the third world status. The United States gets 92% of their energy from nonrenewable sources; petroleum, natural gas, and coal are ranked the top three with a combined total of 83% of the nation’s energy expenditures. The damaging effects of these fossil fuels are impacting the country’s citizens and habitat, a new clean energy is in a dire need. With advancements in solar cell technology solar power has become more appealing to residential home owners today. There are many factors a consumer needs to weigh when deciding between solar panels and energy from fossil fuels; cost, global impact and availability are three major issues that show that solar energy is a smarter choice for consumers.
Solar panels can be very affordable for a residential house hold, prices can vary from 2,400 to 79,000 dollars for a solar panel system. A major factor in the cost is affected by state/local rebates, and tax credits. Tax credits as of 2009 are now available up to 30% of a systems cost with no limit or cap, meaning that on a 40,000 dollar system a consumer would save 12,000 dollars via text credit making the total system amount 28,000 dollars. Arizona, California, and Colorado all have local rebates that can be even more help full then the tax credit, for example Colorado gives anywhere from 2 to 4 dollars per watt used from solar energy. Without the local state rebate the average time it takes for a system to repay itself is between 15 to 25 years, making the upfront capital a draw back for some people. A smart decision for most consumers is to not totally unplug from the “grid” a solar system is a...