How To Get Solar Power Grants
An Overview Of Solar Incentives In Different Countries In 2011
Getting grant money for solar power installations or for solar vehicles is a great way to reduce the total cost of your renewable energy investment, and solar power grants are available to some degree in almost all western countries including the United States and Canada.
Most solar powered systems are still more expensive to install than traditional electricity or heating systems. And the same goes for solar vehicles; more expensive than traditional vehicles. But many times a significant part of the costs can be covered by various rebates, tax credits and grants.
These rebates will be given under various forms like solar energy tax credits, installation rebates or by providing subsidized solar panels and others equipments. Solar power grants will vary country to country and even between states or local governments within a country. So do your homework and make sure you have up to date information on what types of rebates you are entitled to.
Below you'll find general information about solar power grants in different countries, as well as links to where you can find more information.
Solar Power Grants In Different Countries
Solar Power Grants In United States
In the US, there are a lot of different both federal and state dependent initiatives to encourage the use of renewable energy. You can for example get tax credits, grants and something called energy efficient mortgages to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
The trick is to keep track of what is available where, when and how. Not always easy as the rules tend to be changed all the time.
A good starting point is the DSIRE database, where all solar initiatives are listed, both federal and by state. In addition, I would certainly recommend that you contact a local solar installer, tax professional or vehicle dealer to be updated on the most recent initiatives in your area.
At present, and at least until December 31, 2011, there will continue to be a federal solar grant program available in the US. Originally it was meant to end on December 31 2010, but in mid-December 2010, the Congress voted to prolong it for one more year. This means that if you start on a solar power project and apply for investment tax credits during 2011, you will be able to recoup 30% of your costs.
Another possibility during 2011 is the solar vehicle grant, which is available for for example solar golf carts in many states, but not all.
To get any rebate at all, you need to file the correct application in the right way. For example, for a solar system installation in your home, you will have to describe the system in detail, specify the installation costs, and mention your monthly income and the total number of family members.
But again, get professional help with this, really. It is not worth losing out on any grants or tax credits to save on a few hours of consultation.
Click here to see more information about solar energy grants in:
Solar Power Grants In Canada
In Canada, there are grants and incentives channeled through the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) as well as through selected provincial, territorial, and municipal entities. Solar water heating rebates are for example available in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Yukon.
In some places, to be eligible for the grants and rebates, homeowners must go through a home energy audit both before and after their solar hot water system installation.
The Office of Energy Efficiency website is a good starting point.
Solar Power Grants In United Kingdom
In UK there are significant solar grants to benefit from as a home owner. The government solar grants are Feed In Tariffs, which mean that the government will pay you a fixed amount for every Kwh produced For PV electric solar power, the payment is currently 41.3p per Kwh, while for solar heating the payment is 18 per KW.
The Feed In Tariff for solar electricity will be guaranteed by the government for 25 years, and for solar heating for 20 years, if installed before 2013.
More information about the Feed In Tariffs can be found here.
Solar Power Grants In Australia
In Australia there are a few different solar related bonus schemes. One is the Solar Hot Water Rebate. This rebate is available for eligible home-owners, landlords and tenants to replace their electric storage hot water system with a solar hot water system.
Eligible households can claim a rebate of $1,000 for a solar hot water system as long as it was ordered and purchased after February 20, 2010. You have 2 months after the installation to apply for the rebate, not more.
Learn more about the Australian solar hot water rebate here.
There is also a possibility to get so called Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) if you invest in a "Small Generation Unit", which would be a small-scale solar photovoltaic, wind or hydro unit.
Depending on the size of the systems and whether it is off or on-grid, you will get a number of these STCs. You can then get a benefit from a SGU agent (usually a power retailer) in term of an up-front discount or a delayed cash payment.
This rebate system is new and not very clear with regards to how big a cost relief it will provide. Make sure you talk to an installer and your local government about this before making any investment decisions.
Finally a few cities in Australia are so called Solar Cities. In these cities, there are several initiatives going on to promote the use of solar energy. If you live in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Blacktown, Central Victoria, Moreland, Perth or Townville, make sure you contact your local authorities for more information.
Solar Power Grants In India
In 2009, India's government launched its ambitious "New Solar Mission", according to which, India aims to reduce the price of electricity generated from solar energy to match that from fossil fuels by 2030.
The ambitious mission hopes to generate 20 GW of solar power by 2020, to be upped to 100 GW by 2030 and 200 GW by 2050.
This is a US$19 billion plan and it will be implemented amongst others by creating a solar fund using fossil fuel taxes and then subsidize solar electricity production through this fund. Net metering will be implemented, as well as a 10 year tax relief and priority bank loans.
For consumers, it is possible to get subsidized loans for solar home lighting and other small solar systems for lighting, powering fans and small portable TV sets etc, in villages/ areas where the power supply is un-reliable. The program was recently extended until 2011. Another recently extended program is the Solar Lantern Program", aiming to reduce the usage of kerosene lanterns in rural areas by subsidizing solar lanterns. There are also other solar related incentive programs in India.
For an overview of available programs click here.
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