Even with the higher cost of solar panels, there are obvious environmental benefits to anyone who can choose to install them on their rooftops. New research suggests that the costs may be coming down.
An article from Renewable Energy Access reports that Spectrolab, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing) has developed a new process to make photovoltaic solar cells with more than double the efficiency of current cells. If commercialized, the 40.7% efficient cells could reduce the installed price to about $3 per kilowatt.
To find out about the incentives available on your state, go to the website for the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
To find out more about PV solar cells, see the Wikipedia entry on Photovoltaics.