How much of the electricity in the U.S. comes from rooftop solar panels and solar power plants? If you guessed less than one-tenth of a percent, you’d be right.
A solar industry veteran from a leading solar panel manufacturer described a not-so-scientific method of assessing solar power penetration. He called it a “rooftop survey via neighborhood stroll” and even when performed in his sunny California neighborhood, yielded only the occasional sighting,
Why hasn’t solar caught on in the U.S.?
To the average power user, solar is too expensive or too complicated to install. And it often doesn’t make economic sense. The payback might take eight, ten or even 14 years after rebates.
In order for solar to reach the average consumer it has to get simple, it has to get cheap and has to be easy to finance.
Financing: When you buy a new car — you can obtain financing within twenty minutes. Solar doesn’t have an equivalent. Some organizations have come up with novel programs in which consumers lease panels, or sell consumers power from the solar panels on the roof that the solar power provider technically still owns. States passed PACE programs that would have let homeowners pay for their solar systems as a supplement to their property tax, but rulings from Freddie Mac and Fannie may have put a kibosh on that for now.