California Hippies Save Solar!!
Buried under the giant headlines about Lehman, AIG and Federal bailouts, were little headlines about the Federal government finally extending the solar and wind tax credits. Buried even farther in even smaller font was this headline: Berkeley OKs City-Backed Solar Loans.
I know what you're thinking, "yeah, yeah, big deal, it's still government even if it's city government. How soon could this possibly impact any solar company? And how much impact could it be?"
How soon? The Mayor’s Sustainability Advisor Nils Moe says the pilot program should start by the end of October or beginning of November and if things go well the second, much larger phase could start at the new year.
How big a deal? it removes the high upfront cost of going solar with a large, lump-sum loan, around $20,000
And the payments for the loan are low as they are spread out over about 20 years attached to their property tax.
Here's the story I took the quotes and headline from: earth2tech.com article on Berkeley solar program.
As to our Federal government, they are moving forward. They've finally got a bill put together that has bipartisan support and is supposed to pass as soon as Tuesday.
Negotiators hammered out the extensive tax package to continue investment credits for solar, wind, and geothermal energy. It also creates a new tax credit for purchasers of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
from this Reuters article on energy tax credits
Oh, and my apologies for calling all of Berkeley "California Hippies". I have to say, whatever they call themselves, they've taken quick action that our central government has been unable to do. Even now with the federal tax credits being extended, it's being packaged in part of a much bigger bill that has a lot of other junk attached. Good for Berkeley! Way to get it done!