Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Demand for Solar Power Continues to Grow

"The worldwide demand for solar has gone through the roof in the past year or two," said Dennis Pottratz, owner of GoSolar in Decorah, Iowa, which sells solar equipment and panels. "The interest is growing," he said.

The demand has increased mostly because of the ambitious 100,000 rooftops program launched in Germany to have that many homes equipped for solar power. Germans are offered incentives to install the solar panels.
Because of that program and others that are similar, it's hard to get equipment.

"It's a good time to get in line because of the lead time on the equipment and the credits are kicking in," Pottratz said.

Starting Jan. 1, people buying systems will be eligible for incentives -- 30 percent of the costs with a $2,000 cap for residential installment.

Systems come in different sizes depending on the need, Pottratz said. The standard size he installs is a 1 or 2 kilowatt system that hooks into an electrical grid, which costs about $8 per watt. A battery-based system costs about $10,000 or $11,000.


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