The cost of solar power has gone down 60 percent since 2011 according to U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association—article. Across the market it is becoming cheaper to install solar panels. One new solar panel rooftop is being installed every four minutes.
What about NYC?
In January of this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged to tribute one billion dollars of new funding to solar energy projects. Administration hopes increased production in the market of solar energy will drive down the cost and provide incentive for other energy corporations to invest in solar.—link— New York ranks 12th in the nation for installed total solar capacity. However, the increase of solar power generation will still be less than one percent of total energy production in the U.S.
Some NYC residents and businesses are going completely solar, here is a map of all the solar installations in NYC—CUNY’s solar map of NYC.
How much does it cost?
Although its cheaper at the business level to install solar power it is still expensive on a residential consumer to install solar panels. However, New York City is one of the cheapest states in the country to install solar energy— just under $10,000 dollars on average. Over a 20 year period this could save you up to $30,000 dollars on your bill. link to a solar energy consumer benefits study.
Why should you care?
Solar panels produce clean renewable energy from the sun. Transportation, excavation, or locating fossil fuels is not required when using solar energy. Solar power is advantageous for saving on your utility bill over a long period of time. Solar panels do not create air or water pollution and do not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Environmental Disadvantages of Solar Power…
One disadvantage to solar power is the amount of land it uses. Land degradation and habitat loss can occur when compiling the necessary elements to install solar panels. Land area requirements depends on the topography of the site, technology, and intensity of the solar resource. Other disadvantages of solar energy are Water use, hazardous materials and life-cycle global warming emission according to this article from the Concerned Union of Scientists.
New Solar Energy Research!….
A new research study Agave plants can grow underneath solar panels. Photovoltaic solar panels need water to clean off dust and dirt so the panels run at maximum efficiency. Water also dampens the ground to prevent dust buildup. The agave plants don’t require a lot of water and can prevent the dust buildup of the solar panels, essentially creating a 2 for 1 energy payoff. Explore this more comprehensive link.