In response to “More power lines, or rooftop solar panels? The fight over energy’s future” [July 11, Business], I have the following suggestion.
Why not require all new residential construction to include solar panels wherever practicable? I looked into this for my home several years ago, and the cost for a system that would provide the majority of my annual electric consumption was on the order of $30,000. Even if costs have since gone up, it would be a trivial additional cost considering the price of new homes being built in this region, and the payback period would likely be 10 years or less. If connected to the grid, one could generate all of the electricity needed in the summer and likely even feed some into the grid.
This would be especially beneficial at times like we have recently experienced when the grid is pushed to the limit. Storage batteries are not necessary but could be added later. Even if solar panels were not installed initially, at a minimum home designs should include roof orientations such that solar panels could be added in the future.
Lawrence McCrone, Bellevue