Scalable Renewables in Berkeley, California

Are clever governments going to encourage more of these in our homes?Microgeneration is the often mentioned as a great way to reduce energy use and dependence on fossil fuels. But looking at the prices of enough solar panels to provide 2-3kW of power is a little bit scary. A loan is possible – but the amount you’d pay back in interest would be frontloaded, whereas the savings in electricity would be paid back in a longer period, say 15-20 years. Wouldn’t it be good if you could offset the cost of the PV panels against future savings on your electricity?

The community of Berkeley is already beginning to offer such a scheme. They offer loans for Solar Electricity with repayments guaranteed to be less than the cost of electricity saved by the panels. Not only does this scheme make Berkeley more attractive to live in, it also encourages manufacturers, installers and testers of the technology to setup in the area. Hopefully this trend will continue in more governments and with more types of microgeneration.

[via Daily Kos, image by roddh]

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