Solar PV

Navajo solar

Solar Power Makes Electricity More Accessible On Navajo Reservation

Most people can’t imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. Many are Native Americans living on tribal reservations. For many, electricity is a luxury; it can even be magical. Derrick Terry

commitment-to-solar

Grading 10 Companies’ Commitments to Solar

“This is a market-making type of transaction,” prophesied SunPower CEO Tom Werner, after Apple recently awarded $850 million to First Solar for a 130-megawatt PV plant to green its world-beating empire. Let us pray, said the solarizers. We’ll pray with data, of course, in this handy report card on corporate solar progress so far. Apple’s blockbuster deal

Navajo solar

Solar Power Makes Electricity More Accessible On Navajo Reservation

Most people can’t imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. Many are Native Americans living on tribal reservations. For many, electricity is a luxury; it can even be magical. Derrick Terry

Is Solar Energy right for my house?

How to Know If Solar Energy Is Right for Your House

By the end of 2015, solar panels will be on more than a million homes in the U.S. In over a dozen states around the country, you can go solar with $0 down and actually save money on your electric bill — and more states are coming online regularly. Before you call a solar installer,

Corporate Power Purchasing

Why Corporate Power Purchasing is Poised to be the Next Big Thing in Renewable Energy

Utility-scale solar and wind power is the best source of cheap, large-scale renewable energy. If you’re just reading the 2015 headlines it can seem as though corporations are surging into that market. The first months of the year have seen a number of impressively large renewable-energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by major corporations. General

Business

solar vs utilities

There’s A Fight Brewing Over Who Profits From Solar Power

In the ongoing wars over solar energy, one power company is consistently painted as the archetypal, mustache-twirling nemesis of clean electricity: Arizona Public Service. So you might be surprised to learn that this same company is about to become a big new producer of rooftop solar power. APS is an unlikely solar patron: In the

yeloha

Yeloha: It’s Like Airbnb but for Solar Power

Israeli entrepreneur Amit Rosner lives in Tel Aviv and is launching a business in Boston. He spends a lot of time on airplanes. “And whenever I look out of the window before we land, it drives me nuts to see roofs baking in the sun,” Rosner says. “I feel this is absurd–that so much energy falls

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

YieldCo

What yieldco finance can do for the solar industry

For years, the big news in solar has been coming out of research and development, from technical innovation. But in what appears to be a sign of the maturing of the industry, this year it seems that the bigger news is coming from the development of new methods of project finance that hold the promise

Obama launching training program for solar

Obama launches solar training program for veterans

President Obama launched a program Friday to train outgoing military personnel and veterans to work in the solar power sector. He announced the initiative Friday at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, which has solar panels on site and uses them to provide 20 percent of its electricity. The White House first unveiled the program earlier Friday.

jeanine cotter

Luminalt’s Jeanine Cotter: How Solar Loses Without a Diverse Workforce

Jeanine Cotter, CEO of solar installation company Luminalt, has witnessed profound resiliency. She watched her mother transform her life from divorcée, single teenage mother of two children, and public-assistance recipient to college graduate with a degree in urban planning, and then co-founder of a nonprofit that provides renewable energy and water systems to alleviate poverty

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

solar vs utilities

There’s A Fight Brewing Over Who Profits From Solar Power

In the ongoing wars over solar energy, one power company is consistently painted as the archetypal, mustache-twirling nemesis of clean electricity: Arizona Public Service. So you might be surprised to learn that this same company is about to become a big new producer of rooftop solar power. APS is an unlikely solar patron: In the

Research

perovskite

MIT, Stanford researchers develop new kind of tandem solar cell

Researchers at MIT and Stanford University have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The development could lead to photovoltaic cells that are more efficient than those currently used in solar-power installations, the researchers say. The

Policy/Politics

hawaii close to 100% renewable

Hawaii May Be Closer to Achieving a 100% Renewable Grid Than You Think

Hawaii is famously reliant on imported fossil fuels, for both electricity and transportation. But that’s changing rapidly as the state invests heavily in renewables. Two new bills are now pending in the Hawaii legislature that would codify the 100 percent renewables goal statewide, up from the current mandate of 40 percent by 2030. HB 623 would require

Climate Watch

520-drought-silver-lining-solar

The bright side of California’s drought: More solar power

As the four-year-long California drought goes from terrible to catastrophic, it’s hard to find any good news. Love almonds? I’m so sorry for your loss. Water-hungry almond growers have begun to abandon hope, as evidenced by stacks of almond firewood on sale at Whole Foods. Farmers have started to sell water to cities rather than

Storage/Batteries

Inverters

HECO solar

How HECO is Using Enphase’s Data to Open its Grid to More Solar

On the island of Oahu, Hawaiian Electric Co. is opening a backlog of about 4,000 customer solar systems it once feared could destabilize its distribution circuits. That move is being helped along by Enphase microinverter data that can provide a much clearer view of what’s really happening on the edges of HECO’s grid. On Tuesday,

Student Solar

energy production data

University of Utah student technology illuminates impacts of solar power

The University of Utah unveiled student-made technology Monday that university students and officials hope will open eyes to the potential of solar power and other renewable energy systems. While celebrating the university’s solar system installed last year, University of Utah graduate Tom Melburn introduced the final product of a project he has spearheaded since 2011

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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