December 6th, 2010
Solar roofs make sense in many ways. They cut down on greenhouse gases, create local jobs, protect home owners from electricity rate hikes and provide the best, personal “energy security” money can buy.
Yes, solar panels are the answer, or would be the answer, if they didn’t cost so much. If these glimmering technological wonders were affordable, Americans would be slamming down the doors of Walmart (which would surely be selling them if they were cheap) to grab some. Instead, we are perpetually scratching our heads about solar power, wondering: When will it be affordable? If I buy now will I miss the next wave of innovation and the price declines?
To try to sort out what’s possible, we took a look at one neighborhood in Fremont in the Bay Area where solar entrepreneur Klaus Feldmeier, a Silicon Valley microchip exporter, and his son Erik, shared the details of the solar installations they did for themselves and two of their neighbors.