DIY Solar Power

sunLowes is going to begin offering install-it-yourself solar panels beginning next year. The $893-panels, made by Akeena Solar, easily install on the roof with two bolts, and weigh about 40 pounds a piece. Installation is only the first step, however. Permits usually need to be acquired for installation (even for do-it-yourselfers) and hooking the panel up to your in-house electrical grid should be handled by a licensed electrician.

One panel will produce enough power to keep a large-screen television running, so we’re not talking about a lot of power here. I think the real value is that by making solar so easily and readily available, it levels the playing field a bit. If solar is available easily to the common man, then who needs all the overhead of hiring a firm to do the work for you? An advanced do-it-yourselfer could potentially handle the installation easily, making a nice dent in their electric bill. When alternative forms of energy can be acquired easily and within a reasonable cost, ultimately they become affordable for a much larger part of the population.

Ultimately, our survival as a planet depends on finding alternative sources of energy. Every little step towards that future is something to be cheering on.

3 thoughts on “DIY Solar Power

  1. This is a great step forward and will probably spur price competition and better efficiency, much like the market for LCD/Plasma TVs. Now we just need to be able to sell the energy back to the grid at the same rates we are charged (even if we exceed our own total use). Don’t you think the entrepreneurial spirit of people would cause a cottage industry in green energy?

    Let the people make money with the sun’s power and soon there will be far less coal-burning plants going at full steam.

  2. Thanks for this post. I will check out this solar panels by Akeena Solar. The main reason I’m interested in it is because my husband is from Africa where constant electricity is not available.

    I believe with 3 or 4 of those panels, we could run the most basic gadgets in the house including a few light bulbs.

    Thanks again, I will check them out now :)

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