Are Solar Panels Worth the Cost?

ABSOLUTELY NOT FROM A PURELY MONETARY PERSPECTIVE.

This is mainly because of the fact that the initial investment you placed in the solar panel installation could had been invested in the stock market.  This is what’s called “opportunity cost.”

You can’t simply look at the break even point of solar panels, but you have to look at the break even point versus investing in the stock market.  Unfortunately, they never meet.

The cost benefit analysis clearly shows that the gap between payback period is HUGE, even if you want to consider in minor other variables.

For example, an initial investment for $20,000.00 in solar panel with a 9 year break even point and 7% average return (post-tax) would result in cash value displayed below.  At the 9 year break even point for the solar panels, your stock investment would be valued at $36,769.18.  The spread between solar panels and your stock values only grows exponentially larger from there.

You can click this link to see the spreadsheet I used to make the calculations here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar8ivt6iydY7dFYyWDM0QlNRb1d4Z2c1eHoyQXAwV2c#gid=1

Now if you want to argue all the extra “green” benefits items, I guess that’s your prerogative.  From a strictly monetary “return on your investment” perspective, the data greatly favors alternative investment options.