Solar Energy Forecast 2018 – Rising Electric Rates will Power up Home Solar Power Sales

Home Solar Systems – Smart Investment

I was driving through a very nice, modern neighbourhood yesterday and noticed two homes had brand new solar panels on the roof. I liked them and I’ll bet a lot of homebuyers would pay a premium for solar-powered homes.

A survey actually discovered that green friendly homes can grab a premium.  All the houses on the street were attractive but these solar homes stood out. I’d say this will be a trend in 2018.

Yet there’s many more reasons why solar still makes good sense.  The future cost of electricity will be the biggest. Check out the forecast of solar energy systems and the rising price of electric power below.

Although new types of power generation are evolving, and natrual gas is cheap, there is no way they can keep up with demand in North America for electric power.

And it’s one thing to generate electric power.  It’s another to transport it to where it’s needed. It must be produced where it’s used. In 5 years when more electric cars are on the roads, the price of electricity will be painful.




As you’ll see in the stats and videos below, home electricity prices are a big concern and homeowners may not realize what’s coming. The forecast is for rising prices. Will home solar power generation provide a shelter to the coming storm?

Hydro Horror Stories

A good example of the electrical power horrors ahead comes from Ontario, Canada where politics at many levels and greed are rocketing power rates. A cycle of political decisions have lead to a lack of new power generation sources and a poor commitment to alternative energy. Power generation is expensive here and the future looks a little anxious.




In California, home owners are going solar before they retire.

The province is heavily dependent on 3 nuclear power plants, however one is going to be shut down. Ecological ideology has closed all coal power plants too. A big gas powered plant in Toronto was abandoned shortly after it was being built. That resulted in a huge loss and debt for Ontario residents. Saddled with huge debt, the Ontario government is addicted to the revenue from power generation. Is it the same in California, New York, and Massachusettts?

The Ontario Power Corporation sold off some jurisdictions where it monopolized power production. It sold pieces to private companies because it needed the cash (the current government is being sued by the people of Ontario). Although the industry is regulated in Ontario, there is plenty of opportunity for scams and gouging of consumers. And they’re happening.

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Here’s a look at power prices in Ontario over the years courtesy of Ontario-power.com:

Screenshot of Chart Courtesy of Ontario-power.com

And these are what typical electricity rates look like:

Screenshot of Chart Courtesy of Ontario-power.com

That’s an average increase in power cost approaching 270% over 16 years.  In some cities, the per kwH electricity rate is around 27 cents during a good part of the day when homeowners including seniors use electricity. That translates to over 300% higher than normal rates.




It’s no cheaper across the US. Here’s the 2015 electricity rates across all states (from the Nebraska state government) including very high rates for New York, New Jersey, Alaska, Hawaii, California and Massachusetts.

Ranking State Avg Electricity Rates
(Cents per KWh)
1 Hawaii 26.2
2 Alaska 17.9
3 Connecticut 17.8
4 Rhode Island 17.1
5 Massachusetts 16.9
6 New Hampshire 16.0
7 California 15.5
8 New York 15.3
9 Vermont 14.4
10 New Jersey 13.9
11 Maine 13.0
12 Maryland 12.1
13 District of Columbia 12.1
14 Delaware 11.2
15 Wisconsin 10.9
16 Michigan 10.8
17 Florida 10.6
18 Pennsylvania 10.4
19 Arizona 10.4
20 Kansas 10.1
21 Ohio 9.9
22 Colorado 9.8
23 Minnesota 9.7
24 New Mexico 9.7
25 Mississippi 9.6
26 Georgia 9.5
27 South Carolina 9.5
28 Nevada 9.5
29 Alabama 9.4
30 North Carolina 9.4
31 Tennessee 9.4
32 South Dakota 9.3
33 Virginia 9.3
34 Missouri 9.3
35 Illinois 9.3
36 Nebraska 9.0
37 Montana 8.9
38 North Dakota 8.9
39 Oregon 8.8
40 Indiana 8.8
41 Texas 8.6
42 Utah 8.6
43 Iowa 8.5
44 Arkansas 8.2
45 Idaho 8.1
46 West Virginia 8.1
47 Kentucky 8.0
48 Wyoming 8.0
49 Oklahoma 7.8
50 Louisiana 7.6
51 Washington 7.4

 

Given that demand will grow exponentially over the next ten years, the rate of power per kwH will balloon.

There’s another reason power rates will jump. Governments are desperate for money and they’ll have to tax electricity at a higher rate. If there’s a drop in revenue from oil and gas, that will have to made up in taxes on electricity. Power is generally a monopolized industry, thus allowing power generation companies to pad their revenue and really put it to power consumers. They’re in it for profit and will find a way to leverage an oligopoly or monopoly. When haven’t companies used the opportunity to take advantage of consumers?  Taxes, debt and profiteers will drive power costs through the roof.

Where is the Demand for Electrical Power?

Industry draws most of the power and as economies rev up, more power is drawn. And electric vehicles draw huge amounts of power.  As more people buy electric cars, e-bikes, and ride in electric buses and taxis, the power rates will jump. Donald Trump is reviving coal powered power generation and that will help reduce the danger ahead. Yet it won’t be enough. It wasn’t enough to stop the rise before.

Is There a Solution?

Right now, it’s in expensive coal powered plants, marginally productive wind powered turbines, gas powered plants, solar farms in the desert, and nuclear power plants. Will nuclear plants save the day? Almost no one wants nuclear power (Fukujima). The potential for disaster is proven, and these plants leak out radioactive wastewater accidentally on a frequent basis. Geothermal is another big potential generator but the power plants are very expensive and politicians such as Trump are against more debt. America has trillions of debt already.

Mega-sized desert solar plants are the first savior to come to mind, yet they won’t be able to produce enough power for a nation. It’s not enough

The real solution will be to keep gas powered vehicles on the road. Because electric cars consume huge amounts of power, the actual demand for power across the U.S. is mind boggling. How many terrawatts will be needed?
For homeowners, the savior is home solar power systems, yet people in Northern climates will be challenged to produce enough via solar.  They’re more or less prisoners to traditional electrical production and its prices.

The Rise of the Electric Vehicles

We all enjoy the romantic picture of zero emission electric vehicles. So alluring to think of New York, Chicago and LA with no choking, health killing smog. Yet electric power vehicles, trucks, golf carts, bicycles and seniors scooters must draw power in big quantities. Someone is going to have to produce that power and transport it to places like LA, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Vancouver, Denver, and St Louis.

A recent post on Bloomberg.com tells of a coming crash in oil prices due to the rise of electric vehicles. It’s a fascinating article, however, it doesn’t discuss where all the power is going to come from to fuel these cars and trucks.

This graphic shows battery cost is falling which will accelerate sales of EVs.  That’s when the demand for electricity will rocket. The power companies will become cartels able to get whatever price they want.

Power transmission is a huge problem. Moving electricity across huge grids is expensive and there are huge power losses during transmission. And building power grids is very expensive.

Instead, consumer will need to create their own power via roof solar panels. But hold on, people living in giant condo towers won’t be able to generate their own power. They will burden the demand more.

Residential power users will need to shield themselves from fast rising electricity costs and they can do that by installing home solar power systems. That will solve their need for home electricity. But for their new electric vehicle (which are selling like hotcakes right now), the power rates will rise higher than gasoline. It takes a lot of power to move a 5,000 lb electric Porsche or a Chevy Bolt EV.

This post on Edmunds.com shows the cost of recharging an EV.  Right now, it’s a reasonable price and much better than gasoline, but down the road is where it gets pricey.

So while the EV revolution promises to rid Americans of dependency on Middle East oil, it creates another dilemma.




Solar PV Power Installation Growth

The growth in Solar power installations is impressive as you can see in this graph below. Commercial farms don’t do much for most residents who will still be prisoners to high prices.

Solar Jobs

Here’s an indutstry to working in. Tell your kids and nephews and nieces to check out the solar industry.  It’s a great way to launch their own business and do very well.

Chart courtesy of s-sparq.com
Graphic courtesy of CNNmoney

In times of crisis, opportunity appears. Homeowners without their own home solar power system will be vulnerable to very high electricity rates. There are business opportunities and money saving opportunities here. Take a closer look and perhaps you won’t need to worry too much if you’re retired in Costa Rica.

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2018 Electric Vehicles – Tesla BMW Chevy Mercedes Toyota Buyers Guide

Best Electric Cars for 2018

The bst new electric cars of 2018 will have features and benefits you might never have expected, but be delighted with. They’re great in the winter, have the best driving mileage you can get, and best of all, the car heater heats up instantly!

Dispel all the myths about EVs, because they are all the rage for car enthusiasts.  All those Teslas that pass you on your commute are performing very well.  It’s not an illusion. Tesla isn’t the only EV manufacturer although Tesla’s are exceptional vehicles.

Please bookmark this page as it will be updated with new models as they are released. Sharing is good for your social health!




It wasn’t long ago that the electric automobile was just wishful thinking for commuters stuck in heavily congested traffic watching their money burn. Many of us can remember the choking commuter smog at its worst and pondered the implications for our long term health. The demand for the electric vehicle was born with that along with lower wages and the high priced gasoline that drained our bank accounts.




Perhaps electric vehicles won’t lower our auto insurance rates much for 2018, but the savings on fuel is something to consider (estimated 1/5th of gasoline cost). The matter is more prounounced for California drivers is more pronounced because of the state’s demanding emissions restrictions.

With more electric fueling stations,  better EVs, a much lower price of electricity, and less money leaving the country to Saudi Arabia, we’ll have more reason and cash to buy an electric car. There are 14 fully electric cars for you to consider below and 14 questions you need ask before buying.




What a fun topic electric vehicles, solar shingles, and home fuel cells are. There is so much potential for launching new types of businesses serving the alternative energy market such as solar power installation companies. You’re limited only by your spirit and imagination.

teslamodel3
Image courtesy of Tesla

The new Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Prius vehicles have dispelled our myths about acceleration, speed, and distance. The Tesla’s 200+ mile distance is eliminating many of the barriers to electric car adoption.

And future electric powered vehicles will offer more impressive cost savings, price, and performance for drivers from Miami, to Toronto to Los Angeles. The much awaited Tesla Model 3 has some outstanding features which you can hear in the video below.

Tesla will be producing their lithium ion batteries in Nevada at their Gigafactory location.

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. To achieve that goal, we must produce electric vehicles in sufficient volume to force change in the automobile industry. With a planned production rate of 500,000 cars per year in the latter half of this decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support our projected vehicle demand.” from the Tesla website.




No one has pursued the dream of the electric vehicle with more passion than Elon Musk. Now here’s a US start up entrepreneur that’s caught everyone’s imagination and his comments and business goals carry a lot of respect from drivers, scientists, investors and eco-conscious legislators.  Musk is making us believe in the electric power dream so many have had for decades.

Musk’s company just purchased Solar City, a solar shingle manufacturer headquartered in San Mateo CA, thus positioning Musk’s company firmly in 3 fast growing manufacturing sectors: electric automobiles, power storage, and solar power generation.

Much of the success of Musk’s growing empire may hinge on the development of batteries with massive storage capacity. Batteries have come a long way of recent and there’s no doubt the pace of research and development will continue. Money always launches creativity!




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What to Consider When Buying an Electric Vehicle

  1. Can you power up the EV at your workplace?
  2. how long does it take to power up the car batteries?
  3. does it have enough acceleration to get safely up to highway speed on a highway onramp?
  4. how much does the power actually cost per month compared to gasoline?
  5. how much more does the electric vehicle cost?
  6. how far can you drive till you need to recharge?
  7. should you buy a hybrid vehicle to extend the distance?
  8. will electric cars perform well in very cold climates in winter?
  9. how long will the batteries survive before needing to be replaced and what is the warrantee period?
  10. should I wait until Tesla has all the charging stations in place in my city?
  11. how long do electric car motors lasts?
  12. what rebates and incentives are available in my city or state?
  13. what will need to maintained and repaired on the vehicle through the years ahead?
  14. where will the charging stations be in all states?

That’s 10 key questions to ask before you buy your electric vehicle. Check out the top rated EV’s and how many miles they get on a charge. Tesla model EVs are well ahead in performance.

electric cars compare
Graphic Courtesy of HowtoGeek.com

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Electric Car Purchase Incentives

The US federal government offers a generous $7500 rebate for electric car buyers. You can read more about incentives in your state here.

In Ontario, Canada, the provincial government launched an initiative to help those in Toronto and other Ontario cities to purchase electric vehicles. Ontario’s first Electric Vehicle Incentive Program was launched in 2010 but has recently been upgraded by the current regime. Here are the upgrades that were announced:

  • Increase the current incentive range for EVs from $5,000 – $8,500 to $6,000 – $10,000
  • Provide an opportunity to receive an additional $3,000 incentive for vehicles with larger battery capacities
  • Provide an additional $1,000 incentive for vehicles with five or more seats
  • Continue to provide incentives linked to battery capacity of more than 5 kilowatt-hours

Although these vehicles are priced a little higher, these incentives can really help make a difference.

Car and Driver Magazine Review of Electric Cars

You can check out Car and Driver’s review of electric cars online. They have reviewed the top 12 EVs which include:

  1. Tesla Model 3 – $35k – Driving distance city: 200 miles
  2. Kia Soul EV – $33k to $37k – Driving distance city: 120 miles
  3. Volkswagen e-Golf — $30k to $36k – Driving distance city: 126 miles
  4. Chevrolet Bolt eV — $37k to $41k – Driving distance city: 128 miles
  5. Fiat 500e – $33k – Driving distance city: 122 miles
  6. Ford Focus Electric – $30k – Driving distance city: 110 miles
  7. Honda Clarity – $60k (powered by hydrogen) – Driving distance city: N/A
  8. Hyundai Tuscon Fuel Cell – $51k – Driving range city: N/A
  9. Mitsubishi iMiEV – $24k – Driving range city:  – 126 miles
  10. Nissan Leaf – $30k to $37k – Driving range city: 124 miles
  11. Smart 42 Electric Drive – $25k – Distance city: 122 miles
  12. Toyota Mirai – $59k – Distance city: 67 miles
  13. BMW i3 – $43 to $47 – Driving distance city: 127 miles
  14. Mercedes Benz B Class Electric Drive – $43k Driving distance city: 85 miles

Who won the battle of the electric cars? The Chevy Bolt EV.

The Chevy Bolt EV’s provided the acceleration and driving experience that Car and Driver believes consumers want most.  They found it’s battery powers a 200-hp electric motor for 96 MPGe and a 75-mph highway range of 190 miles.  Wow, that is impressive and it makes anyone thinking about cross country drives thinking they can do it in an EV.  It rides well over rough roads and acceleration an acceleration of 60 mph in 6.5 seconds is noteworthy.  Top speed is 93 mph.  The price is about $37,000 for a 4 door model. In the US is there is a $7500 tax credit available.




How does that compare to the expensive Tesla Model 3?

 




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Business Opportunities: Home Solar Power

Exciting Trends and Business Opportunities: Solar Power

What’s so exciting about residential solar power right now is not that solar panels are becoming inexpensive. It’s that homeowners can generate their own electrical power. As you’ll see in the video below, this wise entrpreneur is making a good amount of income from his installation ($5000 from 7000 kw produced).

Do you like earning more money? I’ve pointed out some of the hottest trends going: digital marketing agencies, Keurig coffee distribution, wineries, art, health and wellness, and organic foods. Solar power is a legitimate, sustainable business. Take it seriously.

solarhouse3
Solar power installation by a Canadian Solar Installation Company

Those who own a system can sell their excess power back into the electrical grid at 80 cents per kilowatt. With so few ways for the average person to make extra income, this idea of passive income is appealing to retiring babyboomers, entrepreneurs, or young couples wanting to ease up on their growing mortgage payment.

Solar power installation companies could be entering a very profitable decade ahead. Take a look at Pure Energies Inc. of Toronto (who rank well in Google. Nice work). That’s because materials and systems are inexpensive and ROI is improving, yet companies actually make most of their money on the installation.  These startup companies could be worth a fortune.

Not many homes have solar systems, but you’ve probably seen them around. Where I work in Markham, they are appearing on a number of office buildings. Solar is going to be huge.

Money Making Potential

With homeowners switching to gas clothes dryers, gas kitchen ranges, gas furnaces, and LED lighting, traditional demand for electricity will drop. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? However, another source of demand (electric cars) will keep demand for electricity high. Electricity is expensive and homeowners want to cut their bills anyway possible.

When natural gas prices return to normal levels they’ll have even more cost added to their outrageous cable bills, internet bills, and cell phone bills.  Solar panel systems may be the only way homeowners can cut their costs and get a sense of relief from all the economic vultures prey on them.

It’s Cool to Be Eco-Conscious – And Solar is Really Sexy

solarhouse2
Solar panels on roof of home in Aurora Ontario

Home solar power systems make homeowners look modern, eco-conscious, and it’s one way they have of feeling unique and special in their community.  People like the feeling that they’re getting attention. And the solar system is a great conversation starter. Now they can throw away the old 62 Chevy that’s been taking up space in their garage. Solar power is much more interesting to most people, especially millenials.

microfitprogramsolar
Ontario’s Microfit Program – See How it Works here.

How Here’s someone in London who has a good sized solar power installation and no hydro bills..

Will governments support home based power generation? In most cases they will. They’ll have to. Increasingly, voters don’t want to agree to billion dollar nuclear or coal fired power generation. It’s dirty and potentially lethal to human beings.  The introduction of LED lighting and LED displays will reduce power demand by 20%. Taxpayers will breathe easier when governments give up on billion dollar power plant debt projects. This article discusses the solar power situation in the US.

solarhouse
Directional solar panel units on ranch home near Stouffville Ontario
Battery technology has grown faster than anyone dreamed of. Here's another business opportunity for smart entrepreneurs.
Battery technology has grown faster than anyone dreamed of. Here’s another business opportunity for smart entrepreneurs.

The eco-conscious consumer segment is rising. As more homeowners and property owners recognize the potential in solar power, they’ll jump on the bandwagon. The economic spinoff of this homegrown industry is staggering.

There are batteries, transformers, panels, electronic controllers and many more accessories that will create jobs.

solarpanelfarm
A great use of scrubland near Keswick, Ontario, is a solar farm which produces 10 Megawatts of power.

Although the price of oil and natural gas has dropped recently, it’s expected to rise back up in a couple of years. The electric powered car is coming into vogue and they will require huge amounts of electricity — creating demand for homegrown electrical power generation.

solar_home_system_en

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