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SunPower steps up to make solar more affordable

22nd Aug 2013

Solar power installation rates are typically driven by two factors - a duty to help create a sustainable world and financials.

Though noble, the first of the two reasons most likely isn't nearly as strong an incentive to go green as the second. This is the case in Australia, where solar power has truly flourished as installation and module prices have fallen significantly.

But it seems SunPower Corp. thinks these systems are still too far out of reach for too many homeowners. To help address this problem, the company recently joined up with Community First Credit Union to develop and offer a low-interest solar loan program for anyone in Australia.

The SunPower Solar Loan will be available to anyone, regardless if they are a member of Community First Credit Union, and will offer an unsecured loan to anyone who meets a set of simple criteria.

The top loan that can be taken out is $35,000, with tenure of up to 10 years. Interest rates will start as low as 6.9 per cent, however these will fluctuate depending on the specifics of the loan.

Good for Australia, good for SunPower

SunPower said one of its biggest hopes for the program is that it will help Australia's booming solar power industry continue to grow even more. As the sector grows, not only will it help the federal and state government meet renewable energy targets, it will also bring down the total cost of electricity.

With up-front costs the largest deterrent of solar installations, SunPower says if it can help homeowners pay for this, they'll see huge electricity savings in the long run.

Zacks Equity Research agrees that by offering the loan, it will help both itself and communities around Australia.

"We consider the low-interest-loan-offering as a positive move for SunPower," the group stated in a release.

"Currently, the demand for solar products is high in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region primarily due to growing awareness about its emission-free nature. SunPower’s second-quarter 2013 revenues from the APAC segment increased 110 per cent year over year to $101.2 million."

If all goes to plan, SunPower hopes to spur greater demand for solar modules and installations, helping the country's entire market grow more.

This shouldn't be too difficult of a problem, considering experts peg total global solar installed capacity to soar above 200 gigawatts by 2015. 

Posted by Mike Peacock

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