As the world is pushing for more ecologically-friendly energy sources, the people of Boston are responding by increasing clean, renewable, and sustainable energy sources, such as solar energy panels.
Solar energy panels work because of the photo-voltaic process, which is a chemical phenomenon that occurs when an electrical charge, or voltage, is generated when sunlight meets a certain material(s), such as the ones in a solar panel. When sunlight hits these panels, the energy created then travels to the circuitry of a home or business which can then be used as energy in lieu of energy bought by one’s electrical grid system.
Within Boston itself, the city has been creating incentives for people to switch to this renewable energy. The benefits associated with creating one’s own energy can be offset by the negatives of the high initial costs of installing the solar panels, along with other negatives such as permitting and zoning. With the Renew Boston Solar program, the city, aided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, has been encouraging residents of Boston to adopt this new energy system; the program aims to ease the permitting and financing of the solar panels, and to “work with local organizations to maximize Boston’s participation in state incentive programs and innovative financing initiatives.”
In Massachusetts, the benefits associated with solar energy can be reason enough to outweigh the negatives and to join the bandwagon. The State is offering a 30% tax credit, and after about five or six years, the solar panels begin to pay back their owners with extra, sellable energy. Furthermore, the addition of solar panels and other green energy sources can seriously augment the resale value of one’s property, as the general rule-of-thumb is that for every 1 Kilowatt (kW) of solar installed, one is looking to add about $5,900 to their home’s value. That means that, for a medium-sized home working off roughly 5 kW of solar panels that property can expect to be valued at an increase of about $29,500.
With Massachusetts having the goal of reaching 250 MW of solar energy sources installed by 2017, it is well on its way; with a large amount of solar panels being installed in the Boston area, the state continues to become greener. Investing in solar panels is good for one’s property value, as well as for one’s long-term planning, as the energy can start to become profitable after a few years.