Solar Energy News | Clean Energy News http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/ Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:44:22 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Future for solar not so bright in the Sunshine State http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/future-for-solar-not-so-bright-in-the-sunshin-state-082114 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/future-for-solar-not-so-bright-in-the-sunshin-state-082114

If you ask people who don’t follow the politics or news about the solar industry which US states they think have the most solar panels, they probably wouldn’t guess Massachusetts or New Jersey. Sure, they would probably get California and maybe Arizona. But they’d also probably expect the Sunshine State to be at the top of the list.

Most people, if they didn’t realize solar installations have more to do with policy than the availability of the actual resource, would think the sunny states in the southeast should sparkle with solar panels as you fly over the region.

St. Petersburg, Fla. Has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for a 768-day stretch of sunny days, according to an article in the Las Angeles Times. And it would seem like a good place for solar.

In reality, the prospects for the solar industry in the southeast are dim at best, according to the Las Angeles Times article.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:46:22 -0400
States with the best solar policies also have healthy job growth http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/states-solar-policies-job-growth-081214 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/states-solar-policies-job-growth-081214

It’s not exactly Earth-shattering news that states with more progressive solar policies have more solar energy capacity than states that don’t. But there are a few correlations between solar policy and economic health that might be worth noting.

Environment America released a report on solar policy and solar capacity this week titled Lighting The Way: The top 10 states that helped drive America’s solar energy boom in 2013.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:10:17 -0400
APS aims to compete with Aizona solar installers http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/aps-compete-with-aizona-solar-installers-073014 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/aps-compete-with-aizona-solar-installers-073014

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

That seems to be the latest strategy of utility company Arizona Public Services in managing the threat rooftop solar poses to its business model.

The battle between the solar industry and utility companies has made more headlines and stirred more drama and controversy over the last year in Arizona than in almost any other state.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:38:59 -0400
Solar car race driving innovation http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-car-race-driving-innovation-072514 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-car-race-driving-innovation-072514

There’s been surprisingly little press about the eight solar-powered cars driving from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis. But the cars and their collegiate creators are making history.

Twenty teams of college students from around the world spent two years building advanced solar-powered vehicles and then tested them on courses in Texas earlier this month.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:16:21 -0400
Solar outshines utilities in Iowa court decision http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-outshines-utilities-in-iowa-court-decision-071814 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-outshines-utilities-in-iowa-court-decision-071814

Utilities lost a little more ground in their ongoing battle with the solar industry last week when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that solar installers are allowed to sell power through power purchase agreements.

When solar advocates talk about “monopoly utilities,” they’re not being disparaging. Utility companies in most states are granted monopolies and are allowed to protect their rein over a region. No other utility companies can operate in their territories. State regulators are in place to protect the public and keep the monopoly from exploiting its customers.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:56:37 -0400
Solar + Storage Has Arrived http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-storage-has-arrived-071114 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-storage-has-arrived-071114

Battery storage paired with residential rooftop solar arrays are not a thing of the distant future. It’s happening now and companies like SunPower and SolarCity are already selling package systems.

SolarCity partnered with Tesla to manufacture a lithium-ion battery storage system. In a pilot program, SolarCity is offering the battery setup to California customers for $1,500 down and $15 a month on a 10-year lease agreement.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:02:56 -0400
NRG demonstrates utility evolution toward solar power http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/nrg-demonstrates-utility-evolution-toward-solar-070314 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/nrg-demonstrates-utility-evolution-toward-solar-070314

As most major US utility companies, in their concern over self-preservation, try in vane to squash net metering programs and slow the growth of the solar industry, NRG is innovating and evolving.

NRG is not a cute little clean energy startup out to save the world. It’s the largest power generator in the country. In addition to directly serving electricity customers coast to coast, NRG is a major electricity wholesaler, providing power to other utility companies for a price.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:02:13 -0400
Solar leasing to lose market share http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-leasing-to-lose-market-share-070114 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-leasing-to-lose-market-share-070114

The solar leasing model, which is widely believed to have made rooftop solar installations more mainstream and which is frequently credited for the meteoric rise in residential solar installations, could be losing market share.

GTM Research released a report earlier this week announcing that the leasing model is peaking this year.

Currently, about 68 percent of Americans who install rooftop solar panels on their homes or businesses lease them or sign a power purchase agreement with a third-party owner.

Sunrun, a solar leasing company, has issued numerous reports over the years indicating that the model, which doesn’t require much and sometimes any money at all upfront, has opened solar up to the middle class. The middle class, as a result of third-party-owned solar, now dominates the demographics of households that install solar systems.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 02 Jul 2014 02:25:52 -0400
Is Elon Musk the Henry Ford of distributed generation technology? http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/is-elon-musk-the-henry-ford-of-distributed-generation-061814 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/is-elon-musk-the-henry-ford-of-distributed-generation-061814

There has been a lot of discussion lately about when solar will be more affordable than grid power. What if someone with deep pockets, big ambitions and the appropriate supply line just committed to making it happen? What would happen then?

We’re about to find out.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:44:55 -0400
US solar industry opposes import tariffs on Chinese panels http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/us-solar-industry-opposes-import-tariffs-061114 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/us-solar-industry-opposes-import-tariffs-061114

US solar industry leaders are campaigning against a likely policy change that will increase import tariffs on Chinese solar panels, saying it could slow the solar industry’s rapid growth domestically.

The US Department of Commerce imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels made in China in 2012. SolarWorld Industries America filed a petition earlier this year asking the department to close a loophole that excludes panels manufactured outside of China from the tariff.

The department issued a preliminary ruling in SolarWorld’s favor last week. The US Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission will have to issue final rulings in July before he policy goes into effect.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 11 Jun 2014 18:36:39 -0400
This week's solar headlines illustrate major shift http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-headlines-illustrate-shift-052714 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-headlines-illustrate-shift-052714

The writing is on the wall for electricity generation as we know it.

This week, three major news items could have shared a single headline – solar energy is taking over. This week, these news items hit the Web:  

Solar will reach parity with coal-fired generation in China by 2016

• Barclays downgraded the entire electric sector because of the threat solar poses to its monopoly business model

• A whopping 74 percent of new electricity generation installed in the US during the first quarter of 2014 was solar.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 30 May 2014 23:41:04 -0400
California homebuyers paying a premium for rooftop solar http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/california-paying-premium-for-solar-052314 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/california-paying-premium-for-solar-052314

Rooftop solar panels are proving profitable when homeowners sell, according to a recent study from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

Researchers evaluated 1,894 sales of California homes that featured rooftop solar arrays between 2000 and 2009 and compared them with 70,425 sales of homes without solar arrays.

On average, homebuyers paid an extra $24,705 for homes with rooftop solar arrays, according to the study titled “Exploring California PV Home Premiums.”

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Sat, 24 May 2014 18:18:56 -0400
Puerto Rico solar car team seeking Kickstart http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/puerto-rico-solar-car-team-seeking-kickstart-052014 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/puerto-rico-solar-car-team-seeking-kickstart-052014

A group of 29 students at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez are trying to raise money on Kickstarter to cover the cost of racing their solar-powered car cross country from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis, Minn.

The Puerto Rico team is one of 24 university teams registered to participate in the American Solar Challenge, which starts July 21.

Students will spend eight days driving cars they have spent two years designing and building themselves 1,700 miles with nothing but sunshine fueling their journeys.

“The purpose of the race is not to get there first,” said Kevin Corpetti, a member of the Puerto Rico team. “The first to arrive is the winner, but it’s about more than that.”

The Solar Challenge started in 1990 and has pushed university engineers and designers to build cars that can make a cross country journey powered by nothing but the sun. The event has evolved over the years as technology has improved.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 20 May 2014 17:33:32 -0400
Solar carports could be the ultimate solar accessory http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-carports-could-be-the-ultimate-solar-accessory-051214 http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-carports-could-be-the-ultimate-solar-accessory-051214

BMW made headlines this week when it unveiled its new solar carport designed to recharge the auto manufacturer’s i8 plug-in hybrid. But solar carports are a growing business in both residential and commercial applications.

Major solar installers have been building large commercial carports in business parks and at airports for years now. But the more intimate one-car solar charging station is gaining momentum.

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ahmcontent@gmail.com (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 12 May 2014 18:22:16 -0400