Solar Energy is a longterm answer to our electricity needs. Our nation needs to build a Solar Industry that would lower the cost of solar panels substantially. Currently, the prices of Solar panels are so high that they are cost prohibitive to the average consumer. This is partly due to the high price of silicon. Silicate is prevalent in the U.S., but it is costly to process. But, new alternate materials are being produced. The use of Nanotechnology is showing promise. Currently Solar Panels utilize about 10-20% of the sun's energy. Nanotechnology derived panels could absorb as much as 85% of the sun's energy! New Solar Enterprises are often the prey of venture capitalists who have short term profit in mind. We need to stimulate our Solar Industry to actually "Produce" Solar panels!
With 75% of U.S. homes retrofitted with Solar Panels and Batteries, much of the drain on our Electric Power generators would be lessened. So, we propose a dual system of Solar energy and Hydro-electricity. People could actually sell their electricity back to the grid once their personal needs are met. In fact, electric companies could offer incentives to "lease" solar panels to their customers. The lease payment could simply be the amount of energy the customers use that is generated by the solar panels. However, this money could be written off in exchange for use of the customers property.
This type of approach needs incentives to encourage power companies to work with consumers to help America become Energy self-sufficient.
Currently, electric companies offer rebates for people installing and generating more than 1 kilowatt of solar energy. They also "buy" extra electricity that customers generate, that they do not use.
Installing solar panels can be an expensive venture. To ease the burden on customers who want to go green but may not afford the price, electric companies can install solar panels on their customers rooftops. This would save electric companies from investing in excess land to install these panels, especially in states that have mandated companies generate more electricity from renewable sources.
Under this plan, the electric companies would "lease" rooftop space from customers. The payments would be in the form of credits for excess electricity the solar panels generate that the customers do not use. Therefore, this "lease" plan would have built in incentives for conservation.