The Solar Energy Blog

Opinions and viewpoints concerning renewable energy

Orlando Embraces Shared Renewable Energy Program

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?

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?

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

Net Zero HomeEach 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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NC’s solar business threatened by new legislation

A solar installation in North CarolinaThat’s the word from the North Carolina Solar Energy Association, which says that House Bill 298 jeopardizes energy business stability. According to the solar advocacy organization, the new bill would unravel clean energy legislation enacted in the state in 2007 that has allowed its clean energy industry to take off and is saving ratepayers millions while generating nearly $2 billion in revenue and thousands of jobs in North Carolina.

The newly proposed legislation, introduced by a group of Republican Representatives: Mike Hager, Jeff Collins, Marilyn Avila, George Cleveland and Justin Burr, would allow for more monopoly control of utilities in the state while essentially gutting the legislation that created a renewable portfolio standard in North Carolina. The bill, titled "The Affordable and Reliable Energy Act" said it is: “An act to reduce the burden of high energy costs on the citizens of North Carolina by eliminating renewable energy portfolio standards; and to provide for cost recovery by public utilities for certain costs of compliance with renewable energy portfolio standards.”

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