Solar Panels are Useless Crap
You want to know why investing in solar panels is for crap? Just look at the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) for solar. There are only two of them TAN and KWT. But right at this moment they are up but there is a reason for that and it won’t last. The US Government has been subsidizing the installations and that is going to expire in 2016 just about the time Obama goes home and a Republicans takes over. The rush by solar believers to get them installed is because the government is going to stop subsidizing them. That has caused the ETFs to go up sharply because demand increased in 2015. But a sell off is going to happen really soon. The companies selling solar panels are even offering free installation to get those panels up and running in fields and on roofs. The problem is they are still too expensive to buy on your own. That’s why the government subsidizes them in the first place.
But here is the hidden thing about solar. After all this hype, our government energy agencies that keep track of where all our electricity comes from, currently have solar at .4%. That is less than ½ of 1% of overall power from solar. The solar companies are saying they anticipate that to grow to 4% by 2020. What? 4% in 5 years when solar cells have been around since 1883 when the first primitive cell was invented by Charles Fritz. He even installed a solar energy system to heat water in his house. In the 1980s, a hundred years later, I installed a water heating system on the roof of my home using a government tax break. I lost money when I sold the house because the whole system started leaking and I had to take it down, redo the plumbing, replace the water heater, and repair the roof in order to sell the home. The tax break was only for the year of purchase. Big deal? Nope.
The system was a couple of concaved sun reflectors that focused on big cylinder-like water tanks laying suspended over the sun reflectors. It worked. But it was ugly and I was the only “idiot” in the neighborhood to fall for the contraption. During the same time the interest rate on my home loan was at 14%. You know, the President Carter era. I had to sell my home at a loss. The solar system added to the expense greatly.
The solar craze began just about the same time the global warming scare started, 1970. So what is the point? We have had solar systems around since then and of course you see solar panels on roofs all over the place and occasionally you see huge pieces of land covered in panels. So 45 years later, our government comes out with data that clearly shows we get .4% of our energy from solar. Wow, that is a huge benefit. And now solar companies are telling us they are on a roll and will be at 4% by 2020. That is a 1250% improvement in 5 years when they have been working on this for 45 years. And if the government is going to stop subsidizing it in two months, what do you think their chances are.
Solar panels are ugly on houses and what is going to happen when they begin to need maintenance. What is going to happen to the roof? The companies that repair these systems are going to have to charge more because they are not going to be making as much money because their sales will have gone down because of a reduction in demand. No more subsidizing causes less demand. Electric companies are already starting to charge an access fee to those who turn electricity back to the electric companies. They need to make up the difference in income so they will charge a fee to recover it. They don’t want to pass increased prices to their non-solared customers. Nice.