It's the Environment, Stupid.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The right price for solar

An article today in the NY Times business section, "Sunny Side Up" talks about the financial realities of businesses going solar.

The article features a GE facility in California that has recently installed rooftop PV panels - but it was the deal making behind the panels that is the real story. Often times although a company wants to go solar, the upfront costs often aren't worth it - which is where the energy financiers come in.

"The installation, which G.M. expects will provide half of the building’s electricity, cost G.M. nothing... A solar developer called Developing Energy Efficient Roof Systems — commonly called Deers — bought the equipment with money it raised from private financiers. Deers and its investors own the cells; G.M. signed a long-term contract to purchase the solar-generated electricity from them, at a discount to the prevailing rate for electricity in the region."

Of course there are emission credits involved, and the deals are sweetened by tax breaks and other incentives, which (unfortunately) vary by state, as does the sunshine factor. But overall it sounds like a good deal for all parties involved, and similar deals are being made with other big corporations. This would be a good time for governments (fed and state) to take notice and keep renewing and creating those incentives for alternative/renewable energy/fuel sources.

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