Los Angeles Solar Energy
Considering the abundant sunshine over much of California, it should come as no surprise that significant Los Angeles solar energy capability, and use, is in the Golden State's future. As cities like LA grow, the state's population was expected to surge from its current 37 million to an estimated 55 million by 2050. The fact that population is growing, and the state has been mandated under federal energy rules to reduce greenhouse emissions in 40 years to less than those of 1990, means solar energy will be very important in the state's future. Solar energy power panels, in fact, are taking off like nobody's business. The city of LA reported, for example, reported a nearly 1,600 percent growth in the number of solar units installed from 2006 to 2011.
Tax Credit for Solar Energy
From LA and Southern Los Angeles to the Bay Area and beyond, the solar energy industry in the state has significant resources and impetus from numerous sources. Federal tax credits and municipal rebates for those who install solar energy panels at their homes have increased demand. More and more solar energy panels will be in the state's homes in the future.
Cost of Solar Equipment
Another major factor in increasing the use of solar energy in places like LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento is the decreasing cost of manufacturing and installation. So many companies are going green and using solar energy panels that prices dropped by nearly one-third in the last year, according to the Washington D.C.-based Solar Energy Industries Association advocacy group.
Generally, the shape of the future as far as solar energy panels goes, will be through consumers leasing rather than buying and installing solar energy panels in their homes. About half the cost of using solar energy panels continues to come from soft costs like hardware and labor, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratories.
Making Solar Energy Affordable
On the other hand, the burgeoning new market of companies leasing solar energy panels generally requires no, or very little, money down, making the solar energy solution more affordable. Homeowners, or renters, pay a monthly fee equivalent to what they had been sending to the utility company. While conventional electricity costs expected to rise due to the lack of available resources, the already lower solar energy costs are expected to remain consistent or even drop in price.
More than half of the solar energy panel market will be through Los Angelesns leasing the home technology, some analysts say. What's more, solar energy use and solar energy services increasingly will be tied in to other energy-saving measures in total sales packages. Companies will bundle appliances, heating systems and cooling systems with solar energy panels and rebates.
Other future trends in solar energy in Los Angeles include a new solar-photovoltaic facility in the Los Angeles desert that will power hundreds of thousands of homes in the next few years. The state is expected to house the world's largest solar facility as well with the Blythe Solar Power Project.