In response to Michael Cosman regarding the claims of solar energy being uneconomical ("Problem of solar energy," Readers' Forum, De. 19). He states that the cost of installing solar energy is roughly $8 per watt installed. He must be using old data as costs are substantially less than he cited.

I am involved with developing solar energy, mainly in high energy-cost areas, such as Hawaii. We are developing solar energy for roughly $3 per watt total and selling the energy to the utility at rates cheaper than it costs them to generate it using imported petroleum.

The time period to recover our investment is roughly 8 years without factoring in government incentives, and much shorter when utilizing similar incentives available to all energy developers, including fossil fuels.

To solve our country's energy woes, both sides of this debate must work together. We must allow for further fossil fuel development as well as invest in developing newer technologies which hold immense promise for the future.

Richard Ferguson

South Jordan