Wisconsin Behind on Solar Rooftops
Just 0.2% of viable rooftops in state have rooftop solar, far behind national average.
If you were wondering how Wisconsin is doing at installing rooftop solar, a website called Porch, a home services platform, has published a new report with some remarkably detailed information. To wit:
-79.5 percent of all buildings in Wisconsin are solar-viable, meaning they can accommodate at least four solar panels. Nationally 84.2 percent of all buildings are solar viable.
-But just 0.2 percent of solar viable buildings in Wisconsin have rooftop solar. The national figure (1.2 percent) is six times higher than Wisconsin and the top state of Hawaii (12.4 percent) has 62 times more of its viable buildings with solar rooftop installed than the state whose motto is “Forward”.
-Of 900,707 solar viable buildings in Wisconsin, just 1,914 buildings have solar rooftop. That leaves 898,793 buildings to go!
While the big solar states are sunny places like Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida, northerly states like Connecticut (12th highest) and Vermont (15th) are doing considerably better than Wisconsin.
Nationally there has been much growth in solar installations. “Utility-scale solar generation has increased nearly 60-fold since 2010, and small-scale distributed solar PV generation has increased by almost 15-fold over the same time span,” report notes. “There are now more than 81 gigawatts of solar capacity installed nationwide, enough to power 15.7 million homes,” according to data compiled by Solar Energy Industries Association.
The plunging cost of solar is helping drive this trend. “Since 2014, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has dropped by almost 50 percent,” the report notes. “In the first quarter of 2020, solar made up 40 percent of new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S.”
But “price still a barrier to many U.S. households who want to install in rooftop solar,” the report notes. In Wisconsin the average payback period for installing solar panels is estimated at seven years and one month, meaning it will take that long for the monthly reduction in electric bills to pay back your investment. Helping to reduce the upfront cost is a 28 percent federal tax credit you can claim for installing solar. Finally, one study found “a solar home’s selling price is typically 3.74% higher or more than comparable properties without solar.”
All told rooftop solar looks like a pretty good investment.
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