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Solar Power Making Its Way to Your Home

Though the numbers are still relatively small when viewed in the context of the entire country, solar powered electricity is beginning to be an actual option for homeowners in pockets of the U.S. With solar companies willing to pay the upfront costs of installing rooftop solar cells ($30k-$70k) in exchange for homeowners signing long-term contracts to buy the (cheaper than utility) electricity produced from them, businesses are finding new markets and homeowners have a realistic alternative energy option. The industry faces hurdles, primarily fears of manipulation of the solar cell market by China, whose cheap imports are making these new programs viable. But jobs are being created as local companies ramp up to provide installation services for the panels. Thus far, the solar option has primarily been made available in the Northeast, California and and Hawaii. Hopefully it will make its way to the Sunbelt soon; given the solar energy boomlet happening in the Atlanta area thanks to Georgia Tech, many of the benefits would seem possible to be reaped locally. [NYT]