Solar PV

residential solar

Why solar panels are becoming a middle-class commodity

This was adaptated from a blog post first published on EDF’s Energy Exchange blog. The price of solar panels has fallen by 80 percent since 2008, contributing to a surge in solar home systems in the United States. Incentives such as net metering and solar “leasing” programs have also broadened the market. Today, middle-income and working-class homes are driving investments in roof-top

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente to inject solar power into its daily rounds

One of the largest not-for-profit healthcare providers in the U.S., Kaiser Permanente has announced it is to make a series of major wind and solar energy purchases as it seeks to lower its nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. In two separate announcements, the healthcare leader revealed plans to generate as much as half of

Fenix

Investors back startup that sells offgrid battery & solar panels

Batteries paired with solar panels aren’t just intriguing customers in the U.S., Europe and Japan looking to ditch their utilities. People are slowly adopting batteries and solar panels in offgrid markets, too, using their cell phones to make reoccurring micropayments and using solar energy to replace kerosene lanterns. This week startup Fenix International — which is based in

residential solar

Why solar panels are becoming a middle-class commodity

This was adaptated from a blog post first published on EDF’s Energy Exchange blog. The price of solar panels has fallen by 80 percent since 2008, contributing to a surge in solar home systems in the United States. Incentives such as net metering and solar “leasing” programs have also broadened the market. Today, middle-income and working-class homes are driving investments in roof-top

floating-solar

Floating Solar Panel Project Due in 2016 from California Power Company

Sonoma County, Calif.’s new public electricity supplier is turning to the sun and water — the airspace over treated sewage ponds, specifically — to generate power for local homes and businesses. Under a deal signed Thursday with a San Francisco-based renewable energy developer, officials with Sonoma Clean Power, now the default electricity provider in Sonoma

Business

This Startup Lets People Without Roofs Get In On The Solar Power Boom

Most apartment dwellers who want to use solar power probably won’t find it easy to convince their landlord to install panels on the roof. But there’s another option: A new startup will let anyone invest in solar panels remotely—and then get paid quarterly checks for the energy they produce. “We’ve found in research that about 80% of

This Startup Lets People Without Roofs Get In On The Solar Power Boom

Most apartment dwellers who want to use solar power probably won’t find it easy to convince their landlord to install panels on the roof. But there’s another option: A new startup will let anyone invest in solar panels remotely—and then get paid quarterly checks for the energy they produce. “We’ve found in research that about 80% of

lease-or-buy

When going solar, should you lease or buy?

As the cost of solar technology drops, more and more homeowners are considering buying or leasing rooftop solar panels. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that 900,000 homes will feature solar installations by the year 2020. Properly sized, a solar photovoltaic system can reduce your energy costs by 50 percent or more, and

solar diversity

Grid Alternatives Grabs $5M to Build a More Diverse Solar Workforce

In an effort to bring more equality to the solar workforce, solar manufacturing giant SunEdison announced Friday that it is giving a $5 million contribution to Grid Alternatives, the largest nonprofit solar installer in the United States, and whose work includes providing job training to women, minorities and other underrepresented groups in the industry. Through this partnership, the U.S.-based

utility-scale

Solar closes in on cost of coal-fired power — Deutsche Bank

The cost of roof-top solar power is nearing that of coal-fired power, heralding growing competition with conventional energy utilities and commodities, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Residential solar power is already cheaper than residential power prices in many markets worldwide, and closing in on much lower wholesale power prices, they said. The solar industry would

community solar

Sometimes it Takes a Community to Go Solar

You don’t have a south-facing roof. You have too many trees in your yard. You may not be committed to staying in your house for the next ten to fifteen years. Or maybe you rent, or don’t have the upfront money to install. These may be some of the reasons why you can’t go solar.

solar-house-panels

The Relationship Between SREC Prices and Solar Leasing

Several forums, including this one, covering residential solar developments have commented on the volatility of SREC markets in some states. But few have yet to note the potentially tremendous impact on solar leasing, and residential solar adoption in general, in those SREC states experiencing severe fluctuations in pricing. You may have read how the New

520-solar-city-SRP

SolarCity sues Arizona utility over solar anti-competitive practices

The solar financier and installer chaired by Elon Musk, SolarCity, has filed a lawsuit in Arizona federal court claiming that the Arizona utility Salt River Project is using anti-competitive practices to maintain a monopoly around energy and solar power and unfairly block competition. Last week the board of directors of Salt River Project approved a new monthly

Research

brian-korgel

Researchers use nanotechnology to increase solar power efficiency

Researchers at UT are working to improve the efficiency of solar panels, which could lead to lower energy costs in Texas, according to Brian Korgel, chemical engineering professor. Korgel spoke at the UT Energy Symposium on Thursday about increasing access to solar and nanotechnology in Texas. Korgel’s team is replacing silicon slabs in solar panels

Policy/Politics

new york solar

New York Just Showed Every Other State How to Do Solar Right

New York wants to get serious about solar power. The state has a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and it’s already among the nation’s solar leaders. New York ranks ninth overall for total installed solar, and in 2013 alone it added enough to power more than 10,000 homes. While that’s

Climate Watch

inhofe snowball

Snowball’s Chance: James Inhofe, Meet The Press, And The Climate Debate

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to disprove global warming last Thursday. In the climate world, this was the viral equivalent of the seemingly gold-and-white dress that was actually black and blue. Except instead of dividing the world into two camps, the snowball brought universal ridicule to the chair of the Senate Environment

Storage/Batteries

SunEdison storage

With new acquisition, SunEdison makes bold move into energy storage

SunEdison, Inc., the world’s largest renewable energy development company, and Solar Grid Storage LLC, a leader in deploying combined energy storage and solar PV systems, today announced that SunEdison has acquired the energy storage project origination team, project pipeline, and subject to customary consents and assignments, four operating storage projects from Solar Grid Storage. SunEdison now

Inverters

markt_pv_new_3-phase_microinverter

New 3-phase microinverter for large scale applications

Microinverter expert APS is now shipping its new 3-phase YC1000 inverter, which can handle 277/480 grid voltages and up to four PV modules per unit. Up to eleven units can then be linked in a single 15 A circuit. The maximum output of one YC1000 lies at 900 W and additionally it has integrated ground

Student Solar

solar decathalon

Raise the (Solar) Roof: Students Building Solar-Powered Home

Flip a light switch, turn on the TV or open the refrigerator — you probably don’t think twice about the electricity powering your home. A team of UT Austin students, on the other hand, has spent two years imagining how to power our homes and keep our day-to-day lives running on light from the sun.

Heating & Cooling

131008-solar-heating

In Focus: Solar Heating and Cooling

The greatest country on Earth, as it likes to bill itself, America is currently shut down, thanks to political intransigence and public ignorance. You’d think saving over $60 billion and creating thousands of jobs might wake it out of its gridlocked stupor. That’s what the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says the United States could

Hot Water

Get more out of your solar power system by using water as a battery

When the sun shines at its brightest, many of Australia’s 1.3 million homes with rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar panelsgenerate more electricity than they use. When this happens, excess electricity is exported to the grid. In the old days (say, about 2009), most householders would be pretty happy with this, given that in Victoria, for example, it would

Passive

passive-solar-home

Passive Solar in the Home

While solar power has become prevalent in the mainstream construction business in the past decade, passive solar design has been used around the world for thousands of years. Ceramic tiles and stones walls in the Mediterranean made it possible to keep homes cool even under the scorching heat of the summer sun. Likewise, small window

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