February 9, 2007

Alternatives to Grid Electricity

The solar option for homeowners has a long way to go before an economic case can be made that's competitive with grid supplied electricity. Generous tax incentives will inch it along, but with payback periods in the 16 year range, even with incentives, it's not attractive in areas that don't get much sunshine...like Vermont.

"This means that buying a solar system can yield homeowners a 6% return on their investment. It would take about 16 years to pay the initial investment, though the payback period can vary depending on peak electricity rates in the region, the report's authors said in an interview. If homeowners are generating power during peak daytime demand when electricity rates are typically the highest they will save more money."

Nuclear energy is the best alternative for grid electricity and will become more so as plug in electric cars (which will want electricity at night) enter the mainstream. Unless we overcome the resistance to nuclear generated electricity, we will pay much more than needed for it.

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