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Solar Panels: Even with New Developments, The Time Is Now

If you follow the news about renewable energy, you’ll see developments on the horizon that promise to make solar panels thinner, less expensive and more efficient. This is part of a trend that’s been going on since the 1950s when the first solar photovoltaic panels were developed. Since its inception, solar technology has only gotten better…and cheaper.

Since the introduction of thin-film solar technology and the growing popularity of residential solar arrays, solar technology continues to drop in price. Between 2007 and 2009, according to this article published by AOL’s Daily Finance, solar PV panels dropped in price by about half, and they continue dropping.

Federal, state and local incentives, plus options like no-money-down financing and solar leasing, make solar panels more affordable than ever.

Should You Invest Now?
These trends — improving technology, more efficient panels, and lower prices — might make you think about waiting for your solar installation. Panels are only going to get better and cheaper, right?

But let’s look at it another way: When the iPad or the new iPhone 4GS came out, did you wait to buy it because you knew in a year Apple would just introduce a new one? Or did you want your technology NOW, to use and enjoy?

Smartphone manufacturers come out with new models every year. If you kept waiting for the latest and greatest, you might still be using a flip phone with no Internet access and missing out on all those apps!

There’s one major difference between an iPhone and solar panels: the solar panels will start saving you money on your electricity the day they are installed. Maybe your iPhone will save you time and money too, if you use it for productivity tasks, but with solar energy, it’s a given!

Future Incentives?
There’s one other difference between your smartphone or tablet and your solar PV array. No one is giving you free money to buy an iPad! With the recent shake-ups in the solar industry, no one can guarantee that the generous solar incentives available today will be around forever. They could increase. They might decrease. They could disappear completely.

Right now, depending on where you live, incentives and tax credits could cut the price of your solar panels in half. Meanwhile, you’ll be saving about 30 to 40 percent or more on your electric bills (which, by the way, are only going to rise over the next decade).

You can’t lose by investing in solar panels right now, but if you wait, you’re just giving money away to the electric company — money you could be saving to buy that iPad 3 when it launches!

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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