Solar Energy News | Clean Energy News Sat, 30 May 2015 18:29:00 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb As public perception changes solar energy poised for explosive growth

In his State of The Union Speech, President Barack Obama noted that Americans are flipping the switch on as much new solar power every three weeks today as they did in all of 2008. There are good and growing reasons for that explosive growth.

And all indications are that solar adoption in the United States will only continue to accelerate in the coming years. The reason: solar technology is advancing rapidly. It’s becoming more and more affordable and more and more popular.

Just as cell phones started as cumbersome bricks that cost a fortune and made a statement about the people who used them, rooftop solar panels started out as a weird and expensive technology that we weren’t sure would catch on.

Today, Bolivian women pull flip phones from the pockets of their traditional garb and American six-year-olds play Candy Crush on their parents’ iPhones without anyone batting an eye.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 03 Feb 2015 17:51:03 -0500
Solarize programs spurring East Coast solar installations

Investment in rooftop solar along the East Coast is soaring, in part, because of popular solarize programs.

Solarize programs concentrate a solar installer’s marketing and installation efforts in a singe community to reduce overhead so community members can enjoy discounted solar installation prices. Cities can coordinate the events on their own, though many Eastern states are providing funding and marketing support for communities that decide to encourage residents to go solar.

Nearly 100 people attended a Solarize event in Avon, Conn. Earlier this month.

“It was a great workshop,” said Jill Appel with Astrum Solar, the installer selected to lead the Solarize Avon program. “It’s so energizing talking to be at these events because they’re all excited about it.”

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 21 Jan 2015 22:11:43 -0500
We could go all the way – these entities are going 100% renewable

Going 100 percent renewable sounds like something that Masdar City is doing over there in the United Arab Emirates. It doesn’t seem like something an average American city, company or utility could pursue right now. But it is happening.

Several environmental groups are working to assist municipalities and businesses that are making the pledge to get all their energy exclusively from renewable sources like solar and wind. And more and more are committing to doing it.

Azaar, an environmental campaign organization recently submitted a petition to the United Nations featuring signatures from 2.2 million people around the world who support a push for 100 percent renewable resources.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:06:14 -0500
Glass artist incorporating solar into stained glass

Solar panels are beautiful in their own way, but when a building is architecturally significant, it doesn’t work to slap a few panels on the roof and call it green. As demand for architecturally appealing solar increases, artists like Sarah Hall are gaining a new degree of notoriety.

Hall is a renowned glass artist best known for her beautiful stained glass pieces in iconic churches and prominent buildings throughout the world. But in recent years, her name is circulating in new architectural realms.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:20:09 -0500
Solar+storage market to skyrocket

Those working in the solar industry believe solar plus storage is our energy future and the market trends suggest they might be right.

Solar Power Generation International surveyed solar industry business owners asking what they see as the future of solar. While 1 percent of respondents said Concentrated Solar Power and 17 percent said rooftop solar or industry growth in new solar states, 27 percent voted for solar storage hybrid systems.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 01:55:15 -0500
Utilities must evolve to survive with solar

Telephone companies, cable companies, video rental services, taxi cab drivers, hotel operators, auto manufacturers… These are just a few examples of businesses that have had to evolve with the times or risk going extinct. Why should utility providers be any different?

They’re not. But few of them seem to recognize that the time for them to look to their next chapter isn’t just coming – it’s here.  

The news is packed with headlines about the precarious position traditional utility companies are in because of the threat posed by distributed generation. While rooftop solar provides less than 1 percent of the electricity in the US, the industry is growing so rapidly that utilities see the writing on the wall.

The Edison Electric Institute, a trade group for utility companies, has launched an aggressive campaign to slow the growth of distributed rooftop solar.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:22:30 -0500
West side is the best side for solar cheap viagra from canada

The west side is the best side of the roof for solar panels, according to new data analysis from Opower, which specializes in cloud-based software for the utility industry.

Opower released a detailed analysis this week of all its data on home energy use and solar panel orientation. Opower has information on more than 50 million households worldwide. Using that and public data on about 110,000 residential solar projects in California, Opower confirmed what another team of researchers found from a study of just 50 homes in Texas last year.

West-facing rooftop solar makes more sense than south-facing panels in our modern world.

While they generate 10 to 20 percent less electricity a year, they produce the most power when it’s most needed during the day.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 04 Dec 2014 18:18:33 -0500
Energy storage is today where solar was in 2010-set for exponential growth

The cost of solar panels has plummeted more than 70 percent since 2010 and the number of new installations is more than doubling every year for exponential growth in the solar industry. So, what’s the next step?

Energy storage.

Research and analysis firm IHS Technology released a report last week comparing the current energy storage market to the solar photovoltaic environment in 2010.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:44:05 -0500
Big news for solar energy this week

The week of Nov. 10 was a big one for solar energy news. A climate deal between the US and China means demand for solar energy could grow even faster than it has been. The Navy signed a deal with SolarCity to install rooftop solar panels on 6,000 on-base housing units and the first solar road opened in the Netherlands.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:57:43 -0500
Solar industry happy with AZ regulatory rec that APS not become a solar installer

Solar advocates celebrated last week when staff at the Arizona Corporation Commission recommended that the state’s largest utility not be allowed to get into the rooftop solar business.

The recommendation is not binding but commissioners will weigh it heavily when making their decision.

Arizona Public Service, the state’s biggest utility, has gained a reputation for trying every which way to thwart expanding distributed solar companies.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:13:09 -0500
What will happen when solar reaches US grid parity in 2016?

Right now solar panels provide less than 1 percent of the energy needs in the United States. But all indications are that we’ve reached the tipping point and the growth from here will be exponential.

The International Energy Agency estimates that solar will be the world’s biggest source of power by 2050. How?

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 03 Nov 2014 23:42:05 -0500
Should utilities be allowed to enter the solar biz?

If utility companies start installing rooftop solar panels, does it make them clever or greedy?

The answer is probably a bit of both. If they would have had any vision or foresight, utility companies would have started their own distributed generation and rooftop solar enterprises years ago when their emerging competition did. Maybe 2010 or 2011 would have been good years to jump on the bandwagon.

But just as Blockbuster (remember the brick and mortar video rental stores?) waited until Netflix stomped on its market share to start its own mail-in rental service, utility companies are showing up a bit late to the party.

In theory, it’s a great idea for utilities to offer rooftop solar to their customers. Their deep pockets and customer access could lead to tremendous gains for solar adoption.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:50:04 -0400
SolarCity bond offering could catapult the company

Now that any ordinary person with $1,000 can invest in SolarCity’s solar bonds, the already-strong company could have access to nearly unlimited capital for continued growth and expansion.

SolarCity, the country’s largest solar installer, installs more than a third of all residential solar panels sold in the United States right now. And it only operates in 15 states.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:51:30 -0400
SolarCity's loan program could expand solar market

SolarCity launched a new loan program this week that didn’t make big headlines, but that could be big news for the solar industry.

SolarCity and its counterparts Sungevity, Sunrun and Vivint Solar helped to make rooftop solar mainstream by developing the leasing model. Instead of ponying up cash for a rooftop solar installation or begging the bank to come up with a viable loan package, homeowners could have solar panels installed on their homes and pay the solar installer instead of the utility company for power.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:49:33 -0400