Let’s take a look at an investment in a low-carbon power or heat source for your home or business. Both biomass thermal (e.g. wood pellets) and solar PV (photo voltaic) can be looked at as investments, like an investment in stocks, bonds and real estate, only closer to home (literally) and with direct benefits to you.
If you live in an area where you have cold winters, heating demand is high. An investment in biomass thermal is likely to be the better investment because the dollars you spend per kW received is favorable. On the other hand, if you live in an area where there is less demand for heat and perhaps more demand for air conditioning, an investment in solar PV is probably better.
The same logic can be used by looking at the property’s coordinates on a map. Locations at higher latitudes have sunlight that is weak for half the year. This weighs against solar PV as an investment. Locations at lower latitudes, thus more consistently strong sunlight through the year would be a more favorable location for solar PV.
Over time, both investments make sense. Both biomass and solar technologies are better for the environment than the traditional choices that have been available for many years, and both investments will save you money over time. For the fastest payback, a lower $ invested per kW received is better.