- Obama's geothermal & solar investment: http://tinyurl.com/l4ud3d #
- First Solar might break into the S&P 500! http://tinyurl.com/n3l7o6 #
- NJ adds extra rebate amount for state-manufactured solar components, like the program in MA: http://tinyurl.com/phvn7t #
- Kansas gets net metering, RES: http://tinyurl.com/rajrls #
- RT @davegalanis Is solar energy the next bright spot for M&A? (The Deal Magazine) - http://shar.es/078L #
- Florida fails to pass RPS: RT @olivierglaudy Florida's green energy plans fail to produce http://bit.ly/ZnF6Y #
- Solar leasing in MA opens up with Sun Run's new program: http://tinyurl.com/plj3jd #
- JPN solar growth continues, via @edgunther JPN is developing plans to expand installed PV capacity to 28GW by 2020. 20x the 2005 solar base. #
- Climate change bill through House committee: http://bit.ly/59V1t #
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released its second annual report revealing which of the nation's utilities have added the most megawatts of solar capacity in the past year, and which utilities have the most cumulative megawatts of solar capacity. The results for 2008 shouldn't be too much of a surprise: the most solar integrated utility was Northern California's PG&E, its 85 MW of new solar capacity blowing the competition out of the water--those 85 MW were over 44% of the total field. Second was California Edison; third, SDG&E. In fact, California utilities occupy 8 of the top 10 slots, with one each for Hawaii and Nevada.
We can transform sunlight and wind into electricity. Why aren't we using these free, limitless natural resources to provide all our power? Of course the answer to that is manifold, involving a lot of words like "deployment" and "technology to scale" and "existing model" and "lobbyists". But all the little details aside, we actually couldn't use renewable resources to power ourselves fully, and the one major hurdle standing in our way is storage.
There's a big to-do at the moment about a certain state bill making the rounds of the California legislature. Bill AB-920 (full text here), sponsored by Democrat Assemblyman Jared Huffman, proposes revisions to the state's current net metering laws. But before I go into that, let's do a real quick crash course in net metering. The setting: your solar electric (PV) system generates electricity. Now, one of two situations apply:
- Cool, short video via @denversolarguy Solar powered water fountain http://bit.ly/162r6x #
- SEIA comments on Energy/Commerce Committee: http://bit.ly/KmFlv #
- Boston Logan airport already has a LEED-certified terminal; now, solar trees for the parking garage: http://tinyurl.com/padg8g #
- Work from the beach, anyone? RT @solarfeeds Bluetooth Solar Headphones
- 1.1MW solar array for Florida's Orange County Convention Ctr going live! The FL center has a visitors' education exhibit for the array. #
- RT @greentechshop RT @BetterEnergy Sprint is going green with Solio solar chargers http://bit.ly/ZbbJI. #
- Evergreen Solar is going to issue $60 million in new common shares to expand China, Mich. operations: http://tinyurl.com/pk2fyp #
- Madison Gas & Electric to triple its solar program, which buys customers' power at 25 cents/kWh: http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/451780 #
- RT @marriottgreen http://twitpic.com/5hnar - Award of Excellence Winners set 2 arrive #
- Reading @dmsolardmsolar- Solar energy is our future, says Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov: http://bit.ly/I7Ac6 #
- RT @ThePhoenixSun CSPAN 3 live coverage now of House markup on #climate bill. http://bit.ly/OSzD7 #energy #green #solar #renewable #eco #
- Sunshine Solar rebate program finally kicks off in PA--woohoo! http://tinyurl.com/pruqm6 #
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it's time to start thinking about beaches. And sun. And backyard BBQs. And everything else that makes summer, summer -- including a proper reading list. (I can hear the groans...). This time last year, I put together a list of five books on an array of topics, including renewable energy, climate change, economic growth and innovation.
The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is partly a product of solar energy incentives designed to lower out-of-pocket costs and boost adoption. These incentives include: (1) a 30-percent federal renewable energy tax credit; (2) any solar tax credits, rebates or production-based incentives available in your state. Given that these kinds of solar incentives can help lower costs by between a third and half, depending on the state and/or utility, it's no wonder that some state programs -- like Connecticut's -- are regularly oversubscribed.
What we do at GetSolar.com is educate consumers of all kinds about the values of solar energy and help them determine if solar is right for them. Then, we connect those consumers with qualified, experienced solar electric or solar thermal installers who can provide competitive quotes. This means the consumer doesn't have to worry about whether or not the installer behind the quote has a good service record, or up to date insurance and licensing, or good business credit: we've taken care of all that already.
Updated for 2016: With talk of "continued recovery" and "glimmers of hope" in the U.S. economy, there's a distinct possibility that consumers may actually continue to spending money (gasp!). And with a 30-percent federal renewable energy tax credit* Extended for 2016 through 2020-- plus a number of new, state-sponsored solar incentive programs either in place or soon on their way -- what better time to consider installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system?
- We <3 NY's 100mw solar goal (though not this reporter's attitude): http://tinyurl.com/qmv37n #
- PG&E, BrightSource Energy to partner on giant solar plants. May install as much as 1310 mW in record deal: http://tinyurl.com/r8fac8 #
- Meow! Purina unveils Colorado's largest private solar array, 100mw: http://tinyurl.com/qzx4p7 #
- RT @OakleighVermont Check out Real Science for Real Congressmen http://tinyurl.com/979hhl #climatechange #
- RT @NSFNews: National Science Foundation Releases Comprehensive Report on Global Impacts of Climate Change: http://tinyurl.com/p2pnod #
- Reading @dmsolardmsolar- PG&E, BrightSource Ink World's Largest Solar Deal | Sustainability ...: ivanpah_project.. http://bit.ly/GsVn #
- For all you renewable energy/efficiency geeks out there, check out new DSIRE design: http://dsireusa.org/ It went live, like, 2 minutes ago. #
- RT @ThePhoenixSunRep. Rick Boucher media briefing on energy bill at 1:30 ET. Committee will issue bill text this PM. http://bit.ly/10QfI8 #
- Ontario revises feed-in tariff plan. Yep, to make it even MORE appealing: http://tinyurl.com/olcsm5 #
- RT @T_McLeod RT @bwm748 APS introduced pilot project in Flagstaff, could provide a increase in the number of solar rooftops statewide #
- RT @asewall: House likely to get the votes for Waxman/Markey climate bill. 17% cut of 2005 emissions by 2020: http://tinyurl.com/o9bv5x #
- News + solar = http://news.getsolar.com/ #
- Spain's solar feed-in tariff costly, effective (Bloomberg): http://tinyurl.com/qylxp7 #
- Want to be a solar hot water installer? Heliodyne's offering online training courses now: http://tinyurl.com/pjmtmb #
- The Tesla is so pretty in action--watch the video! Of course there are some problems too: http://tinyurl.com/qe7wb6 #
- Reading @lovetomorrow Robert Redford makes the case for solar...again: http://tinyurl.com/pohtt4 #
- RT @sammygreenman Solar Plant Opens In Albuquerque Monday: Schott Solar will specialize in building s.. http://bit.ly/sVmS3 #
- In Arizona, APS is looking to pilot a program that would install solar panels FOR FREE on customers' rooftops: http://tinyurl.com/p39ddy #
- RT @TheeAlchemist RT @SFWater: SF leaders have a solid new plan to finally close SF's last polluting power plant. http://is.gd/y5B2 #
If there's one thing everyone knows about solar, it's this: solar panels cost money. Even with state incentives, the great federal tax credit, and taking into account the fact that the investment eventually pays for itself, installing solar panels in your home is a serious financial undertaking. Yet since the value of a solar PV system lies in its ability to reduce monthly utility bills, the people who arguably need it most are exactly those who can afford it least. What to do about this dilemma?
The EarthWise Solar Energy rebate program, sponsored by SRP in Arizona, will soon reduce the amount of money available to homeowners and businesses who install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or a solar water heating (solar thermal) system. According to SRP's Web site, "[e]ffective June 1, 2009, the EarthWise Solar Energy program will be changing. All applications postmarked on or after June 1, 2009, are subject to these new incentive levels."
What are those new incentive levels, you say?
SRP is reducing the residential solar electric incentive from $3.00 per watt to $2.70 per watt, and is reducing the commercial solar electric incentive from $2.50 per watt to $2.25 per watt. The current residential and commercial solar water heating incentive level of $0.50 per kilowatt-hour will remain unchanged.
In addition, SRP is revising the cap on commercial solar water heating incentives to $250,000 per site, limiting the size of eligible residential solar electric systems to 5 kilowatts and limiting the commercial solar electric incentive cap to $450,000.
The incentives have been adjusted to accommodate the tremendous increase in requests for participation. We believe that increasingly generous federal tax credits, coupled with declining solar costs, will help offset the slight decrease in the SRP incentives. Ultimately, these changes will allow more customers to take advantage of the funding provided by SRP.
Essentially this means that if you're an SRP customer -- either commercial or residential -- and you've been meaning to install some solar panels or a solar hot water system, you've got about two weeks to get your stuff together. If you act fast, it's not too late to get set up with an installer and apply for the current (higher) rebate amounts. While the reductions are by no means huge, those dimes and quarters really add up when you're talking about installing thousands of watts of solar PV power.
Get started on your project by filling out our solar energy information form. It's free and takes just a few minutes to complete. For more info on AZ solar power incentives, check out our Arizona solar energy incentive pages for residential systems and commercial systems.
Driving from Phoenix to Tucson should take a shade under two hours. But traffic pushes that up by forty minutes or an hour, at times--no one's idea of a nice day trip, much less a commute. But what if you could hop on a train that would get you there in thirty minutes? No security lines at the airport, no flight delays: just thirty minutes at a blazing 220 miles per hour, traveling in science fiction-esque comfort aboard a completely solar-powered train.
The United Kingdom may be notorious for its seemingly perpetual rain and fog, but, as this Guardian profile shows, a British residential solar panel installation that will potentially pay itself back before Prince Charles ascends to the crown is indeed feasible. The author, Ashley Seager, documents in detail the various costs associated with the installation and the financial incentives provided by the British government, concluding that he will receive a payback period of ten years. After installing the Kyocera 3kW photovoltaic system on his terraced Victorian roof two years ago, Seager estimates that the system is currently supplying 90 percent of the electricity used in his four-person household. I’ve included his number-crunching below, though I’d recommend perusing the entire article, if only for an interesting point of comparison. (And, last time I checked, the exchange rate was roughly $1.51 on the pound.)
We all know there's no such thing as a free lunch. But if Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) gets its way, there may be such a thing as free solar panels. Arizona's largest electricity utility is working on plans to offer 200 Flagstaff customers a discounted electric rate, over time, in exchange for installing free photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
- Abu Dhabi's MASDAR is getting cheap solar--their 100mw CSP plant is going to be about 20% less than expected. http://tinyurl.com/c2ukla #
- Battery-back up for solar lets Austin give solar-powered night time concerts: http://tinyurl.com/dmz8cm #
- RT @SolarIndustry RT @careersinsolar: “Solar Ready Homes” Bill Passes House (Great News Network) http://tinyurl.com/cp5yaa #
- "Cash for clunkers" program may get you $4,500 if you ditch your less fuel efficient vehicle: http://tinyurl.com/cgcmu3 #
- Interesting op-ed on Bay Area municipalities overcharging for commercial solar permitting: http://bit.ly/A5i33 #
- RT @SolarIndustry Hawaiian utilities want to double solar deployment http://twurl.cc/w2c #
- RT @MotherEarthNews: Climate change update - glacier growth in the Himalayas! http://bit.ly/bys4A #
- Cool article, video via @wattsyourplan: Search for renewable sources touted during Biden speech at U of Delaware - http://is.gd/wZQb #
- RT @DRMather At WindPower 09 in CHI-lots of buzz about opportunities, but concern on Gov't ability to drive execution in mkt even with big $ #
- Looks like China may smash the initially low goal for solar by 2020 it set for itself. http://tinyurl.com/d3hx4a #
- Mafia, wind power and collusion, via @financialtimes: http://tinyurl.com/dm77ka #
- How cool is this? 20 hours worth of viewing power for a home theater system, provided entirely by solar: http://tinyurl.com/c3sm86 #
- Green option for AZ, via @T_McLeod: Signed up to have 100% renewable energy.. http://www.aps.com/main/green/choice/solar/sunspower.html #
- RT @nelderini We need to stop thinking about "energy independence" fantasy & take a more comprehensive approach. #energy #
- Via @Som_M RT @JoshCherninRT @mysolarenergy: Skyline Solar mixes old technology with new http://tinyurl.com/dzssvp #SOLAR #
- Louisiana Green Jobs Initiative would include tax credits for solar: http://tinyurl.com/c7gnc9 #
- "This is the biggest investment in energy research in my lifetime" - U of AZ gets $15M DOE grant for solar: http://tinyurl.com/c7wgtf #
In Florida, where air conditioning is considered more of a human right than a luxury, what is apparently the country's very first solar-powered central AC unit has been installed. With a price tag of about twice that of a standard unit, this Sedna Air system uses the sun to superheat its environmentally-friendly fluid. This means the compressor doesn't have to do anything but pump. And that means the unit saves mongo electricity. Usually, the compressor literally compresses the refrigerant fluid to produce heat, changing it from a cool low-pressure gas to a hot high-pressure gas that flows through the condenser to become liquid. That cooled liquid then absorbs heat from the building and changes back to gas and cycles into the compressor again. (Now you know enough about air conditioners to bore your friends at parties--congratulations!)
Interested in harnessing the power of the sun but not quite ready to make a big investment in solar panels? Here are three affordable solar-powered solutions for your home, each of which saves money, hassle, or both.
When you live in New England, and the Boston area in particular, you come to love Dunkin' Donuts for a number of reasons. The way ordering your coffee "regular" gets you cream and sugar; the fact that when espresso drinks came on board, it was with 100% fair-trade espresso beans; the way you can walk 100 yards in any direction and bump into one (seriously, my home town has a Dunkin for every 4000 people). And now, we can love the fact that three local franchises are going green.
Stumbling stock markets and all that pesky "recession" talk notwithstanding, a number of overseas solar power manufacturers have either begun to or are contemplating setting up shop in the United States. This terrific International Herald Tribune article humorously profiles the recent push German manufacturer SolarWorld AG has taken into Oregon, where it has invested $500 million to build a factory that currently produces enough solar cells to fit 1,700 solar panels a day. The company’s presence has been well-received in its neighboring community of Hillsboro, as well as Oregon itself, which, as the author of the article notes, has an unemployment rate second only to Michigan’s. Yet Boris Klebensberger, the head of SolarWorld’s American branch, is upbeat.
Texas -- which already leads the country in wind generation -- is jockeying to become a leader in solar power, too. As Margaret outlined last week, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would increase the subsidies available for solar installations across the state. The bill, which has been forwarded to the House for approval, proposes $500 million in solar incentives and would include rebates, which would be initially set as follows:
- RT @acttexas HB 284 passes 3rd reading in the TX House! Congrats and thanks to TX Campaign for the Environment for all their hard work. #
- Good news in MD, via @wattsyourplan: Commissioners approve small wind, solar energy systems - http://is.gd/vBiX #
- Sterling Vineyards' two new solar systems go live. Wonder why we don't hear solar brewery buzz? http://tinyurl.com/dg3zto #
- Short OP-ED on FL Gov Crist's energy bill and 20 by 20, via @PatriciaParrera: http://bit.ly/pcipf #
- How beautiful is this passive solar home? Love how far integrating solar into home design has come... http://tinyurl.com/clq3fq #
- SEIA proposes special place for solar in climate legislation: http://tinyurl.com/ddwysg #
- Great NYT article on cool flexible solar technologies: http://tinyurl.com/cvgdyu #
- Solar (and wind) rebate on the way in NH, via @NHDES: http://tinyurl.com/yvxeyt/20090423/NEWS01/904230405/1012/NEWS #
- This is clever/awesome. Workouts generate kWh, via @EcoRenovator: http://tinyurl.com/cdmy65 #
- Cool maps, via @JaymiHeimbuch NPR's Interactive Power Grid Map Shows Who's Got the Power http://bit.ly/pLJrv #
- Vote on your favorite solar stories w/ our interactive newsreader: http://news.getsolar.com/ #
- Solar + paddling + Charlotte, NC + Cyclone Roofing = http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2009/04/27/daily9.html #
- RT @newton2010 One of the solar ideas I hope the private sector will start constructing in Hillsborough Cnty Florida is "Solar Power Towers" #
- RT @SFWater Help TRIPLE solar power in SF. Come to the SF Board of Supes Tues at 2pm in City Hall + show support for our 5 MW solar project! #
- California reports a record number of solar installations for the first quarter: http://tinyurl.com/dmj6zt #
- Virginia and DC are looking at unexpectedly generous support for solar--finally! http://tinyurl.com/dx5y2m #
This is the first installment of our new Web series, "Get to Know an Installer." We’re going to introduce you to the people who really make the solar industry tick. We also hope to show you how, exactly, our partner installers work with customers to help them meet their energy goals. So without further ado, here's a profile of Paul Fleury and Greg White, two hard-working guys who are trying to bring affordable sustainable energy to greater Charleston, South Carolina.
Spend about a minute on the phone with Paul Fleury, and you'll realize you're speaking with someone who loves what he does for a living. The affable Maryland native left his previous job in the automobile industry to co-found Sustainable Energy Solutions, a Charleston, South Carolina-based company that specializes in installing solar thermal systems. Now Fleury and his partner, Greg White, spend their days helping homeowners understand the benefits of using the sun to heat their domestic water.
When asked what they enjoy most about their new jobs, Fleury chuckled. "No longer having a boss." He then went on, " We enjoy contributing to the community in a way that really helps people. We're trying to help move Charleston forward to becoming a sustainable city. We want people to know that they can reduce their energy use and save money without giving up their lifestyle."
Fleury and White, who both attended the University of Georgia, met in 2004, several years after they graduated. In the interim, White had gained considerable experience with structural wiring and smart monitors for residential applications.
Following some preliminary conversations, the two decided to get serious about starting their own company. They spent four months putting together a business plan. The decision to install solar thermal systems was "a natural choice," according to Fleury. He noted that such systems are relatively affordable compared to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and offer a solid return on investment. "We saw solar thermal as one of the best ways to help homeowners save money and energy, right off the bat," Fleury noted.