Robert Bryce explains in an editorial at the Wall Street Journal on 4/18/17 the lousy economics of rooftop solar panels: Thanks for Giving Me Your Tax Money.
Mr. Bryce appreciates each of us for giving him our money. Of course, it was done through the tax system so it wasn’t much of a gift. Anyone who did not go along with funding his lark would have to spend some time in jail.
He explains he installed a 8,540 watt solar system on his roof. That means the 28 panels generate 301 watts each.
I have been wanting to see financial results from an actual rooftop installation. Mr. Bryce provides a set of actual numbers.
Here is the breakdown of the actual cost:
- $7,758 – federal tax subsidy
- 6,593 – subsidy from city owned utility
- 18,100 – his out-of-pocket costs
- 32,451 – total cost
That means you and I covered 44% of the cost.
He says his system is generating about 12 mWh of electricity a year.
Hmm. That would be about 32.9 kWh a day. For a system with 8,540 watt capacity, the potential, or faceplate capacity is 205.0 kWh each day. So what’s the capacity production on his system?