The Solar Energy Blog

5 Reasons the Cleantech Industry is Stronger Than Ever

As a cleantech CEO who has received $12M in funding from the US Department of Energy, I feel compelled to assure the American public that your money has not been wasted. The cleantech industry has not crashed, as the recent 60 Minutes piece asserted, but rather is stronger than ever. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

1. More Americans use clean energy than ever before

The infamous crash of Solyndra was actually sign of a positive trend for solar consumers: a dramatic decrease in the cost per kWh. The majority of US solar jobs are concentrated in financing and installation, not manufacturing. Cheaper panels has led to a boom in the US solar industry, making 2013 a record year for solar installations. Wind energy now powers over 15 million American homes. During the first six months of 2013, America bought twice as many plug-in electric vehicles as in the first half of 2012.

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Orlando Embraces Shared Renewable Energy Program

Read more...America has long questioned whether or not customers would be interested in renewable energy as a source of energy. This question has found its answer as all around the nation as utility companies and consumers rework the grid to add in more renewable energy sources. Florida is famously known as the “Sunshine State”, so the installation of solar panels in Orlando should be an obviously effective and reliable source of alternative energy. Orlando’s utility provider, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has sold out a total of 400kW of renewable energy in an alarming six days. Solar, wind, and all forms of renewable energy are clearly emerging as a logical next step for energy creation. This progression looks as if it won’t be slowing down any time soon considering many of the obvious benefits I will discuss below.

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Storing Solar Makes Energy Sense... But Not Wind?

Read more...Storing excess energy from wind farms in batteries would use more energy than would be wasted if the excess electricity were not stored. But storing excess power from solar PV makes energy sense, according to a recent study from Stanford University.

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Can utility companies innovate?

Read more...Editor's note: This is the third post in a three-part series

Traditional utility companies know there is a looming threat to their business model in distributed solar energy generation.

The Edison Electric Institute, a utility trade group, has acknowledged similarities between its current position and the crossroads that the telecommunications industry stood at a decade ago. Telephone companies, like Bell Atlantic which evolved into Verizon, thrived after making the switch to an increasingly popular technology that better adapted to the way people's lifestyles

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America's Real Problem with Solar Energy

Read more...Each day, our industry sits down and whittles the unsightly knots off the tree we call solar energy. We, as a group, spend more time than we should pointing to one of a growing number of reasons why solar energy isn't taking hold in America: that perhaps our government incentives were cut too quickly, that our state's SREC program is broken, that the net metering requirements aren't strong enough. Not that those things wouldn't further bolster our industry, but go out and ask your friends and family about solar energy. The problem with solar energy in America isn't a result of the deficiencies of the incentives (although improved incentives would set this industry on fire), it's with the astounding lack of knowledge about a technology that can transform the lives of everyone in our nation and around the world.

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