Solar Power Becoming More Affordable, Realistic

Engineers and manufacturers are ever-so-slowly getting better at helping you siphon electricity from that massive power generator 93 million miles away. Due in part to technological advances and growing demand, solar power is starting to grow a little more mainstream and practical.

The AP reports solar power installations are expected to double this year after doubling last year. Power companies are getting into the act, harvesting energy with wide stretches of solar panels, and office complexes are supplementing their power use with panels attached to buildings.

The solar movement is still far from self-sustaining, with high upfront costs stifling some from buying in, and government subsidies covering as much as 75 percent of the cost of installation, but plunging prices in solar equipment are presumably lessening the burden on governments and spurring more residences and commercial entities to go solar. The story says the main barrier to getting homeowners to buy in to solar power is a lack of awareness, which is why some companies are teaming with big-box hardware sellers to spread the word.

Solar Power Is Beginning To Go Mainstream [AP via NPR]