ENERGY MATTERS --- with “The Solar Guy” JEFF DAVIS

The Sun 3x’s !!! Yes the sun is the blessing from the universe (take your pick ), God , ( you name it ) Has been the focus of civilizations just about forever --- Using the suns energy to make electricity is a science, approx. 100 years old.

Common application of “solar panels” dates back over 30 years. Many countries have already incorporated solar energy to large percentages of their energy portfolios.

The Philippines is on a steep upward curve toward this achievement!! Understanding the economic number, (the return on investment), is crucial to a solar investment. Let’s look at some important aspects.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT – CURRENTLY – at the cost of electricity from your CO-OP, relative to the cost of investment $$$...Solar- grid tied –net metered installation takes between 4 – 4.5 years to break even and recoup the investment capital. The lifespan is 45-50 years of production. Solar panels of commercial quality “degrade” at approx. ½ % per year. “Top tier” panels (export quality ) have 25 year “power output” warranties that are underwritten by large insurance companies such as A.I.G.

NO MOVING PARTS – One attraction of Solar, is the low maintenance. No added oils or fuels, no belts or gears to control, just clean with water and soap annually.

GRID-TIED –NET-METERED - There are NO BATTERIES People often associate solar electric with batteries. NOT SO with grid tied systems. These systems are connected to the local utility. When the sun rises the system will power the property and “push out” the utility electricity. When more energy is produces than needed “ the excess is “exported” to the utility” . The newly installed “NET METER “ (installed by the co-op) counts exported energy and “ CREDITS “ that energy for the properties use in the future. Night time or rainy weather are a good example.

The utility will credit approx. 60% of the exported energy back to the property as stipulated in the legal agreement signed with the local utility. This is a nationally mandated program that the utility is happy to accommodate. It’s a win-win for both utility and producer. NO BATERRIES – by counting the energy exported, the producer (you!) are storing your energy in the grid. Yes you don’t receive all of your over production, but you have avoided the cost and “replacement cost” of today’s battery technology. IN THE FUTURE, these same panels can be switched to battery storage, when the price and longevity of the battery are economically attractive- I give it 6-8 years. TO REVIEW– money –spent monthly to pay never ending electric bills is similar to renting a home. You never own it. Purchasing – or financing a solar electric system resembles am investment or “mortage”. Same money, but an end of payment’s in sight!!
With annual returns of 23% - 25%, this investment is safe and secure. The only factor is the cost of utility electricity going UP OR DOWN. Thats the risk. Up or Down. THE OBVIOUS TREND IS UP!!!

PARTY OVER – where does it end? At some degree of “saturation” of any circuit, ( an area of the grid tied to certain transformers etc.) When a circuit has a certain amount of Solar on the rooftops of the area, the utility can stop further expansion due to “safety and reliability” issues. Example: let’s say a shopping mall or university installs a large project, that could trigger the closure of the “circuit” in that area, therefore other properties could be denied a “net metering agreement”! I was involved in this happening in Hawaii, where the entire state was denied any further grid- tied connection. Those who “net-metered” were “grandfathered” into their contracts with the utility, while everyone else was told to install batteries. Regarding solar electric worldwide. The early adopters were the big financial winners.

Climate change – Yes it’s true. Our planet’s health is tied to fossil fuel energy reduction. Solar P.V. (photo voltaic) is certainly a renewable energy. However, the huge “world-wide ” push to solar is being driven by economics. Money drives science. Ask “THE SOLAR GUY” any and all questions re: all forms of energy matters. Emails and questions can be sent to -