It’s considered the greenest of green technologies, completely renewable and the perfect solution to the threat of climate change. It helps alleviate fears about the dangers of nuclear energy, and there’s evidence that it increases home values. Oh, and the business is booming.
So, what's not to like about solar technology and why hasn't it been adopted by the masses? Is there something wrong with the technology, or does solar just suffer from bad PR?
A recent survey (by solar industry advocate SolarTech and San Jose State University) suggests the latter. A perfect target demographic for solar power — well-off residents of California’s Silicon Valley — have a rather sour perspective on the industry.
According to the survey, only 39 percent of those surveyed saw solar energy as ‘reliable’, and only another 11 percent see it as affordable.
"A lot of advertising dollars are not reaching consumers' ears,” says David McFeely, a director at SolarTech.