Elizabeth Ebinger in Maplewood, N.J., bought her solar panels, while neighbor Tim Roebuck signed a 20-year lease. Both are happy with the approach they took, and both are saving money on energy bills. Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR

A worker installs solar panels atop a government building in Lakewood, Colo. The industry has added more than 80,000 jobs since 2010, according to The Solar Foundation. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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Solar energy panels on a roof in Marshfield, Mass. Stephan Savoia/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Stephan Savoia/AP

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down. Dan Boyce/Inside Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Boyce/Inside Energy

Mark Bortman of Exact Solar in Yardley, Pa., says having leased solar panels on a roof can add an extra step when selling a house. He says typically a buyer will assume the remainder of the lease, but that requires a credit check and some paperwork Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR

Workers assemble solar panels at the now-bankrupt Suntech in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi. Overproduction in the country has helped lower the cost of solar panels. Peter Parks /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Eden Full took time off from her studies at Princeton University to work on her startup full time, after being selected for the inaugural class of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship. Della Rollins hide caption

itoggle caption Della Rollins