April 18, 2014

Shining the light on solar power benefits

Solar power advocates, manufacturers, as well as officials from Wisconsin municipalities and utilities, talk about ways to grow use of the technology in their communities.  The keynote speaker at the Madison conference says for too long the technology has been sold as something that will cheaper down the road.

“What big good do you buy thinking in terms of payback,” asks Paula Mints with Navigant Consulting. “Do you buy your car and go ‘geez how many miles do I have to drive before I break even here’?”

Mints says solar technology should be touted as worth the initial investment as it’s a high quality form of energy independence with a free power source.

Neils Welter, who runs Grow Solar, the coalition sponsoring the event, talked about members’ participation in the Department of Energy’s Solar Rooftop Challenge. The federal agency wants to reduce the costs of solar power and increase usage to meet 14 percent of overall power needs in the U.S.

The Solar Powering Your Community conference took place Thursday at Monona Terrace.