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The sad fact is that it simply comes down to cost. That is why expensive solar options which are better fall to the wayside for mass produced less efficient alternatives. Latest example; Solyndra vs. generic solar panels.
As someone who is working on an alternative energy project, I find that I will go with whatever works at whatever the cost. I can reduce the price later.
I agree with Cabe,
While I am aware of energy harvesting products, it still comes down to the issue of cost or cost return with use. The solar installations I have seen still intail a fair amount of care and feeding to keep them operating at peak efficiency.
I have seen some interesting products advertised, but I have yet to see an objective installation with good data provided after each month of use.
The marketing information is mostly propaganda with unrealistic claims and unverified ROI.
So if you want more people to transition to energy harvesting products, I suggest that you put up engineering models with engineers living in them with the freedom to report their experience each day based upon real use. Until you can win over engineers, the rest of the population, other than those that feel they have to have it, need to see real data over time.
Remember, this is all new. People hate change. You have to entice them in with real results, not salesmanship.
Just my Opinion,
I agree with the point most of the Solar products are expensive but Many industries have a great deal of interest in obtaining technology that can be used to monitor the health of machinery and structures. As you can see the need for autonomous monitoring of structures has been ever-increasing in recent years so this need to be adapt by the engineering.