Tag Archives: home


In Focus: Today’s Connected Home

In Focus: Today’s Connected Home

We have been watching over the past year or so as interest in, and demand for, connected home technologies have started take off. [Editor's note: For more on the connected home, see our infographic: "What The Connected Home Can Do For You"] Although home energy management (HEM) and connected-home technologies have been around for years,


Connected Home Technologies: Coming Soon

What’s the state of home energy management? Given the rise of connected home technologies and the growing number of service-providers that are helping bringing those technologies to market, it’s a topic we’ll be exploring more often in the coming months. Navigant Research just hosted a webcast on the topic, looking at the state of the home energy


In Focus: The ChargeLounge Charge Station

The ChargeLounge developed by Fraunhofer IAO is set to change what recharging electric vehicles is all about: high-charging capacity, easy installation, access to a stylish lounge during recharging and an innovative business model are all part of the unique ChargeLounge presented for the first time at the 2014 Hannover Messe, April 7-11. Many travelers take


Solar on Every U.S School!

This morning the National Solar Schools Consortium launched at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in Boston. The goal of the newly formed organization is to put solar on roof of every school from kindergarten to high school. That would be almost 140,000 schools if you look at how many schools the National Center for Education


Veterans: 10% of Solar Workforce

More than 13,000 U.S. Veterans are already working in the solar industry, and the number is growing. That’s almost 10 percent of the workforce in the solar industry, according to a new report from Operation Free, a coalition of veterans and national security experts, and The Solar Foundation. The report also found that nearly 62


Off-Grid Solar is Going to be HUGE

Everywhere you look, the off-grid clean energy market is booming. Sub-Saharan Africa is seeing 300 percent compound annual growth in off-grid lighting; Bangladesh is putting up 30,000 to 40,000 solar home systems every month; and d.light, a for-profit seller of solar lights, recently reached its 1 millionth customer. If these numbers haven’t raised the attention of institutional investors,


IKEA Delivers Solar Shelters to Refugees

Ikea made a big stir early this fall when it announced plans to sell flat-packed solar arrays in Great Britain. Earlier this year, however, the company announced a much more ambitious goal—to make inexpensive flat-packed, solar-powered refugee shelters. Already the master of flat-packing has shipped its Refugee Housing Units (RHUs) to Ethiopia and Syria where


Oakland: California’s Hidden Solar Hotbed

When people think of sunny California, they often think of the beaches of Southern California. If the last few years are any indication, however, the place they should be thinking of is the city of Oakland, across the bay from foggy San Francisco. In the past few years, Oakland has become a hub for the


In Focus: Home Solar Tech

It’s a widespread belief that renewable energy can only make so much of an impact on the world without a side-by-side growth in the adoption of energy-storage technology, particularly rechargeable batteries. Currently, many solar homeowners in the U.S. use lead-acid batteries to store self-generated power for use after the sun goes down. Spawned from the


Rooftop Solar: Where the Fast Paybacks Happen

Rooftop solar is a money-maker for homeowners, now more than ever. As a result not only of steadily dropping prices for solar systems, but also of an increase in government incentives for installing rooftop solar panels (not to mention the rising cost of utilities), homeowners in more than one-quarter of U.S. states can now achieve


Solar’s Answer to Moore’s Law: Swanson’s Law

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, predicted in 1965 that the processing power of computers would double every two years.  His prediction was so apt it became known as Moore’s law.  In the solar energy industry, we have Swanson’s law.  Richard Swanson, founder of SunPower Corporation, observed that photovoltaic (PV) cell prices drop 20% every time


Solar: The Great Payback?

The most common question I hear when discussing the value of solar is to ask: “What’s the Payback Period?” Don’t answer this question!! The payback period does have some advantages in that it is a simple thing to calculate and is intuitive. However it is a lousy method for valuing things that have a long


Hawaii: Doing Solar Right

The business outlook for solar in Hawaii certainly looks ‘sunny’ with graphs like this one from the LA Times showing solar capacity on an exponential growth curve: doubling in size every year since 2007. Obviously abundant sunshine has something to do with it, but just as significant is how the average Hawaiian electricity bill is nearly twice as high