is solar power worth it? an analysis 12 years after installation

Is solar power worth the cost? Our photovoltaic array has been operational for 12 years, and I have “real world” data on its performance. In this video I explain the system components, how much it cost to have installed, how much electricity it has made and how long it will take to recoup the installation costs. I also cover maintenance of the system and the expected lifespan of the components.



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  1. Where is the best place to go to purchase a home solar power system? We had someone come out to sell us a system and their markup was ridiculous!

  2. Great explanation …your knowledge is invaluable… your values are what everybody needs…keep up the good work !!!!

  3. Excellent information! I've just started buying 100 w panels and will eventually get a small system hooked up to deep cycle batteries for emergencies. What I've always wondered is why not just put a few panels in the greenhouse? They won't get weathered, or damaged by hail. Of course that wouldn't work for a big system like yours, but couldn't this work for emergency use? It makes sense to me, but I'm not a solar system designer!

  4. We have a grid pv system but are now looking to buy batteries because the City of Los Angeles are a bunch of crooks.

  5. Except YOU didn't make $8500.00. Over 12 years it produced 8500 KWH. Did you break even each year? Or did you pay a bit on electric bills? 6KW will not run a house alone. Most houses need 20KW to run most of the house. (20 KW is only good for 85 amps at 240 volts). I'm all for solar feeding the grid over coal or gas but this post is somewhat misleading

  6. Pete, if you were not a small acre farmer you would make a terrific school teacher. You make every topic so interesting and informative.

  7. One of the problems with the LEASING an option is if there is a death in the family causing sale of the house and the next owner does not want the system or want to pay off your lease then who pays or sale is cancelled?

  8. You clearly prove the Solar Panels are a failed investment. Your numbers are clear that the system does not pay for itself. And without my money from the Federal and state governments, your system can never be successful. Thank you for stating your numbers (System cost versus power generated). Too many in your religion try to hide those facts. There is a fact you gloss over: the solar panels you installed are deteriorating and leaching chemicals into your soil. Even the newest panels can not last 25 years as the sun destroys everything over time. So you’re losing big money, and you’re polluting your farm.

  9. I live just north of Syracuse, NY. National Grid is sponcering the installation of solar panels all over in my area. However, they are installing them on the ground with no plan for winter. Sometimes we get as much as four feet of snow in just one day. The temperatures stay quite cold so the snow stays. These panels are buried. The we get more snow. Where is the value if the sun can't hit them? Not much!

  10. For context in Australia I paid 3,200 for a 5.2kWh system and i pay an interest free loan from government back over 4 years totalling 1,888, so about 5k

  11. I can’t believe you me electricity rates are 10 cents per kWh including daily supply charge, that’s so cheap. Is it still the same rate 12 years later?
    We have it bad in Australia!

  12. I would imagine in upstate New York, the payback time is about 8 years if you bought your panels at today's prices. I'm in Texas now, most people are paying back in less than 5.

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