These may be tough economic times, but there is a bright spot when it comes to renewable energy. With wholesale prices dropping, there may never have been a better time to install solar panels.
Until recently, solar installations cost too much for most people. But Spain and Germany recently stopped incentive programs for solar panel production. That reduced demand and now we have an oversupply. USA Today reports prices are down 15 percent since October - which may mean discounts as dealers look to sell off their rising inventory.
At the same time, a change in tax policy is making it even easier for homeowners to install solar systems. Previously, a federal tax credit saved consumers up to 30 percent on wind and solar installations. But that credit was capped at two thousand dollars. As of January 1, that cap has been lifted.
Some analysts forecasting as much as a 50 percent drop in the cost of installations this year, giving 2009 a sunnier look - at least, when it comes to solar energy.