John with Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley shared some interesting Tesla Solar news for those who plan to take a loan to install it. He discovered that Tesla has launched better rates on solar loans. Previously, the loan option was for a 20-year plan with 10% down and 5.99% APR.

Recently, Tesla made the loan option much more affordable with a new 10-year plan, 10% of the cost down, and only 0.99% APR. John tweeted that this was a complete game changer and that Elon Musk is making solar more and more affordable.

In a Twitter direct message, John told me, “I had the solar loan for 20 years at 5.99%. Then I saw on the website that it changed to 0.99% for 10 years. It literally will take me half the time to pay off the same rate.”

John also shared a screenshot, and looking at his details, the loan is cheaper on a monthly basis than my own electric bill. This is with 4.08 kW of solar panels and one Tesla Powerwall. After the federal tax credit and California’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit, his total cash price goes down from $20,292 to $14,835. His estimated loan payment is $160 a month before the incentives — and afterward, they drop down to $112 a month. This is for 120 months with a 0.99% APR.

Image courtesy of Tesla

Elon Musk Explained Tesla’s Low Solar Cost In 2020

In 2020, Zach Shahan wrote an article for CleanTechnica after having a short chat with Elon Musk about the low cost of solar Tesla is offering.

Zach asked Elon Musk how it was that Tesla got the cost of rooftop solar so low, lower than seemingly anyone else in the industry. Elon said:

“Solar panel cost is only ~50 cents/Watt. Mounting hardware, inverter and wiring is ~25 cents/Watt. Installation is ~50 cents/Watt, depending on system size.

“The other solar companies spend heavily on salespeople, advertising and complex financing instruments. We do not.”

This info came soon after Tesla announced rooftop solar would cost around $2 per watt across the country, $1.49/watt after the US federal tax credit. However, all of that just covers the cash cost. When financing, as many do, you also have to pay interest. This is where the news this week comes in. Offering 0.99% APR instead of 5.99% means further savings (dramatic savings) for people who go solar with Tesla.

U.S. Solar Installations Rose By 46% In Q1 2021

Solar installations in the U.S. rose by 46% to over 5 gigawatts in the first quarter of this year, CNBC just reported. The article cited a report by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Here in the U.S., we are on track to install 24.4 gigawatts this year, which will be an increase of almost 24% compared to last year.

Technology costs have also declined to the point that solar is now competitive with power generated from fossil fuels.

Almost three-quarters of the total solar segment in the first quarter came from projects for utilities and other big customers. Much more is planned, too. This part of the market has almost 77 gigawatts worth of projects in the pipeline.

The demand for clean energy, especially solar, is high, and with more competitive costs and interest rates, it will only get higher.

So far, almost 100% of new power capacity added to US grids is coming from wind power and solar power. That led to 25.5% of U.S. electricity coming from renewables in March.

The Biden administration wants much faster growth, though. “The sector’s growth has also benefited from a long-standing generous federal tax credit for solar energy systems that the administration of President Joe Biden wants Congress to extend by a decade as part of its push to address climate change by investing in clean energy,” CNBC writes.

A combination of extended solar tax credits, more state & federal support for solar, lower solar costs and interest rates, and rising consumer awareness should lead to many more record quarters for solar power installations and for solar-generated electricity. Whether from Tesla, Sunrun, SunPower, Vivint Solar, or others, many more solar panels are getting installed on rooftops every day of the year. Large solar projects are also being built in open fields. Stay tuned for more sunny solar news.

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