Washington is blessed with cool long summer days which results in more efficient solar production. The cooler temperatures we experience allow solar panels to perform at higher efficiencies than they do under hot dessert sun. With Washington State’s adoption of a net metering program in 1998, solar system owners are able to bank their summer production and pull upon the credits during the winter months. The rain for which Washington is so famous also plays a role in keeping solar systems free of dust throughout the year.
In addition to the ability to net meter your annual solar production, Washington State’s incentive program for locally built products is one of the most robust in the nation. With current state incentives, system owners can make $0.54 for every Kilowatt hour they produce with solar. It is this ability to make money on your energy rather than continuously spending money that allows system owners within Washington State to pay off their solar systems in as little as 6 years!
One of those most convincing pieces of evidence supporting solar energy’s potential within Washington State is the case study comparison between Washington and Germany’s annual solar potential. Hamburg Germany has an average yearly solar potential of 2.96 kWh/meter^2/day whereas Seattle has 3.64 kWh/meter^2/day. Despite having less of a solar conducive climate than Washington Germany has been the world leader in installed solar capacity between 2000 and 2011. Proving for those folks who ask about “How Solar Works in Washington” that there is a positive and informed answer.