When will it be as cheap to put solar panels on your roof as it is to just buy power from the local utility company? The point where solar energy and electricity from the utility companies equal each other in price is known as “grid parity” and it may be closer than you think. Analysts predict the entire nation will reach grid parity by 2020, based on the tax credits and government incentives in place right now for solar power.
The good news for California is that much of the state is already in the vicinity of grid parity. Grid parity across the state, of course, isn’t an all or nothing thing. Some areas of California pay more for retail energy, making solar energy and other alternatives more financially appealing. The installation costs of rooftop solar vary by region too. In some parts of California it is simply more expensive to install solar equipment on your home’s roof.
Still, California is leading many states in implementing solar power. At this point more than 10 percent of residential and commercial electrical power in the state is generated on rooftops. Some states, like Hawaii, are ahead of California, due in part to the high cost for utility provided electrical power.
Nationwide, almost 350,000 megawatts of rooftop solar capacity could be feeding in the grid less expensively than power bought from a utility. By its status as a leader in renewable energy, California is helping educate consumers across the country – keeping our country moving toward a renewable energy future.