I recently read a blog about a company called SolarCity, which enables homeowners and businesses to begin using solar energy to power their homes and buildings. Google says it's investing $280 million to create a fund that will help SolarCity finance more solar installations across the country. This is Google's largest clean energy project investment to date. Google has also launched a partnership to offer SolarCity services to Googlers at a discount.
In SolarCity’s financing model, the company covers installation and maintenance of the system over the life of the lease. You can prepay, or pay nothing upfront after which you make monthly solar lease payments. The blog gives one example of a homeowner who will save $100 per month on his energy bills this year, and more than $16,000 over his 15 year lease, after factoring in his lease payment and lower energy bills.
"We think “distributed” renewable energy (generated and used right at home) is a smart way to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to improve our power system since it helps avoid or alleviate distribution constraints on the traditional electricity grid," says Rick Needham, director of Green Business Operations at Google.
Do you think residential solar will continue to catch on in the U.S.? What obstacles could hinder its growth?