It's not all about low cost. All PV panels are made very well and have 25 year warranties. I bought solon panels made in Tucson AZ since I live in Chandler AZ and the panels have the best warranty output for 25 years ,local made and work great.
The First Solar panels have cadmium in them and have to be recycles at end of life. They are thin film technology which doesn't always hold up the best over time. They are ok but I think others are even better at a slightly higher cost.
we need to phase out these subsidies slowly so we don't crash the economy. Many have been in place for over 40 years. As soon as we start it will help a lot.
We also need to start taxing pollution with Cap and Trade or other means. As we get to the true cost we will see clearly how low cost Renewable Energy is but we still can't waste it so being more efficient helps everything.
I use only LED lights, I made my home much more efficient by using Passive Solar, like solar screens, radiant barrier, inflector window covers on the inside, solar tube lights and high efficiency appliances.
Our 4Kw GRID tied solar system, runs our home, LEAF 100% electric and I still get credits back from the utility all year long. It was affordable and is paying off each sunny day.
bicycles are the most efficient and cost effective transportation. PLUS it helps your heath. An electric assist is very helpful if you go a little too far or are going against the wind. Some even have regen braking so you can add power back.
Stop OIL subsidies and imports(we import 50% of our OIL at $1 Billion a day)
Electric Vehicles like Cell phones and PC's will come down in cost. Also great is the new EVs are being made in the USA providing US jobs. Tesla in CA has sold 100 Million in Technology to Toyota to make the RAV4 electric again. Nissan is making the LEAF in Symrna TENN and next year may be able to make 150,000 vehicles a year. Also GM is making the Spark EV with A123 batteries in MI. For the Focus EV and a few others coming up soon.
The new advanced battery EVs can provide V2G Vehicle to GRID storage, regulation and back up power since they sit unused 20 hours a day. What a great resource. look on line to see how at v2g-10.com a few trials are being run right now.
I don't see any progress on cutting the Subsidies ! Congress fails to stop anything except the Solar subsidies that they seem to worry about.
We need to educate them to the dirty subsidies that have no end in sight. Nuclear is the biggest of all.
We really have to start awarding more prizes for things like this and Science for our children. There are far too many rewards for sports and auto racing yet hardly any for real substancial achievements like Renewable Energy.
cost, waste, danger and water use all make Nuclear a loser.
They also suspended their Solar incentives Oct 2011 to May 2011
They felt it was too popular and would go over the 1.6 million budget
At the same time they spend 110 Million to expedite the Springerville COAL plant.
The COAL plant imports 60 train loads of 100 cars each from Wyoming daily. It ran $900 million from a $500 million budget. almost $1 Billion.