2008 CALFORNIA SOLAR BOOM
Solar panel installations in California through the roof in '08; Homeowners and businesses had a record 158 megawatts of photovoltaic panels put on despite the recession.
Marla Dickerson, January 28, 2009 (LA Times)
“Despite a credit freeze that's stunting renewable-energy projects throughout the country, 2008 was a hot year for solar power in California.
”Encouraged by state rebates, Golden State residents and businesses last year installed a record 158 megawatts of photovoltaic panels on their rooftops to turn the sun's rays into electricity, the California Public Utilities Commission said…That's more than double the 78 megawatts installed in 2007.
“Residential demand appears to be hanging tough in the face of the shaky economy.”
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“December saw the largest volume of homeowner rebate requests since the state launched the California Solar Initiative program two years ago…
”Funded by utility ratepayers, the program offers rebates...[of] 20% to 50% of a system's cost.
“Solar modules would seem a luxury in the current dismal economy. But experts said new federal tax breaks, on top of already generous state incentives, are encouraging some Californians to take the plunge. As of Jan. 1, homeowners are eligible for tax credits of up to 30% of the entire cost of their projects…
”Others have concluded that putting solar panels on their roofs and cutting their power bills is a safer bet than the stock market or real estate…”