An Incentive for Solar Energy Investments

You have to give the state of California credit for providing incentive. Its plan represents the most comprehensive solar energy policy within the United States today. The state recently announced an 11-year, $3.2-billion incentive program aimed directly at getting people to purchase and install solar panels on their homes. I can’t think of a better policy initiative.

Over the next decade, you are going to hear a lot about the solar energy industry. I wouldn’t be surprised someday if solar energy production doesn’t become part of builders’ codes for new home construction.

Previously in this column, I told you about Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ/ESLR), which is perhaps one of the hottest smaller companies producing solar panels right now. This company is doing a lot of business in Germany, which is a country with some of the greatest incentives available to individual and businesses for the installation of solar panels.

Solar energy is a technology that’s been around for a long time now, but the production of the panels themselves hasn’t been economical for individuals. The good news is that the technology has improved exponentially in recent years, and costs have come way down, while the amount of energy produced has gone up.

At this time, you probably won’t be able to purchase enough solar panels for your home to provide power for all your energy needs, but solar power certainly can help supplement your energy costs.

California is doing a great service to the country and to investors by initiating new incentives for the use of solar panels. The more people think about solar energy, the more capital is allocated to innovative companies like Evergreen Solar, and the better and more cost efficient the technology becomes.

The future definitely looks bright for the solar energy industry over the next 20 years.