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SolarCity: Satellite TV’s History Predict Residential Solar Future


SolarCity – It’s a fact proven by history. So, could it be just a short time before solar goes mainstream? Could it be just a few years before you see solar panels on a house—anywhere—and don’t give them a second thought?

Thomson-Reuters predicts solar will be the planet’s primary energy source by 2025, and futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts solar could provide all the world’s energy by 2030.

Especially outside of a solar early-adopter state like California. Nationally, about 600,000 homes and businesses have gone solar. But that’s just a small fraction of American rooftops.

Solar is the fastest-growing form of renewable energy in the U.S. The growth is driven partly by the plummeting cost to produce solar energy. It’s also driven by new options that let homeowners and businesses sidestep the full, up-front cost of equipment, installation and maintenance.

Before the 1990s, satellite TV providers like DIRECTV® didn’t even exist. The idea of receiving TV signals from space was unknown or “exotic” to most people. Limited satellite programming was indeed available. But the level of know-how and cost of equipment needed to receive it was beyond the average consumer’s means.

Yet, within just a few years of companies like DIRECTV starting to offer service, satellite went mainstream. Today, nearly one in three pay TV subscribers has a satellite service. DIRECTV is the largest provider—its dishes adorn millions of rooftops across the country. Those homeowners enjoy an affordable alternative to other pay TV options.

Satellite caught on because providers cracked the code for the consumer experience. Companies like DIRECTV boiled down all the know-how to a simple question: Does your home have a clear view of the southern sky? And, they took advantage of new technologies to offer more programming choices at a level people could afford.

Consumers now have a cost-saving, easy-to-use, green alternative to the traditional utility company. The code is cracked, and the trend is beginning to take hold. Potential solar customers will soon benefit from DIRECTV’s expertise.

It took 46 years for residential electricity—introduced in 1873—to be adopted by a quarter of the U.S. population. It took 26 years for television—introduced in 1926—to achieve the same milestone. It took the World Wide Web—introduced in 1991—just seven years. It’s just a matter of time before solar is mainstream. In a few years, you won’t give those panels a second thought.


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