Solar panels can do a lot of things. They can significantly reduce -- and in some cases eliminate -- your monthly electricity bill, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. They can add real value to your home. They can reduce your reliance on dirty sources of energy, like coal. They can even make your home look pretty.
What's better than producing clean energy using nothing but the power of the sun? Using that energy to power the cleanup of a federal superfund site that for years has been polluted by pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer runoff.
Good news for Florida customers of Progress Energy: they'll soon be eligible to receive up to $20,000 for installing solar panels.
Pay attention, freshman members of Congress... In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago Gallup released results from a recent poll suggesting that Americans want more alternative energy. Here's what folks were asked:
On Valentines Day, the University of Maryland, College Park agreed to install one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) rooftop solar energy systems in the entire state atop its Severn Building -- a building that stands roughly one mile away from the main College Park campus. University officials also announced that they will use a $630,000 grant from the state's Sunburst Initiative Program to fund a majority of the installation. The Sunburst funds are meant to help fund renewable energy projects at public buildings throughout the state, and the University of Maryland is one of the first public schools in the state to receive funding through the program. The rest of the $2.6 million project will be funded by Washington Gas Energy services.
Before installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at your home or business, it's important to know as much as you can about how the system actually works. This way, when you get solar home energy quotes, you'll know exactly what they're talking about and won't drown in a sea of foreign vocabulary.
Just last week, we introduced you to the LED solar pebble -- a dependable and easily transportable solar-powered light that can be used in rural areas that lack a steady source of electricity. Today, it's the solar refrigerator -- an equally fascinating and useful development that is also made for those same remote areas.
Some California environmental groups want 2011 to bring about a friendlier relationship between themselves and the solar energy industry. To that end, several state environmental organizations, led by the California Desert and Renewable Energy Working Group and Defenders of Wildlife, have come up with a list of recommendations they hope the U.S. Interior Department will consider when approving future solar energy projects. The U.S. Interior Department had a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 10, and discussed the list of requests submitted by the group of environmentalists. The department has yet to formally respond.
Biennially since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has held the solar decathlon, a competition between 20 university teams from around the world that design, construct and operate homes that are affordable, energy efficient and attractive.
We sometimes see it: homeowners don't want to invest in a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system because they fear a better, more efficient system will available as soon as their system is installed. It's the same reasoning some people use when the opt against buying a new computer or cell phone. Why trade up now when new technology will be available in six months or a year? When it comes to installing solar panels, however, there are a number of considerations that make the solar purchase decision unique.
California's Lodi Wine Region is catching on to the solar energy craze and energy efficient frenzy that her permeated throughout the rest of the state. Granted, it took a solar energy pioneer to get the ball rolling.
Google's foundation, Google.org, has made it widely known that it intends to aid the progression of renewable energy development in any way possible. The company is pushing for quicker development of rechargeable vehicles through its Recharge IT Project and, though its RE<C program, is trying to develop one gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity in the next few years at a price that is cheaper than one GW of coal-based electricity. (One GW is enough to power a city roughly the size of San Francisco for a full day.) Each of these initiatives is part of Google.org's Clean Energy 2030 Plan -- a proposal on how to shift the global economy from one that depends on fossil fuels to one that is based on clean energy.
If you're wondering how much the cost of solar energy is weighing on the collective mind of the U.S. government, just take a look at the latest solar energy program announced last Friday by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. The Department of Energy (DOE) will put the Sunshot Program into place -- a $27 million initiative to invest in the development and commercialization of solar energy technology.
If we're going to secure a clean energy future, education is key. The more young people know about solar energy, the better. So what can we do to teach kids about solar energy? Here are some ways you can help out, along with a few examples of activities that are already underway.
This afternoon, California's Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to usher in its brand new, 6,000-panel solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system. The system is expected to generate roughly 2,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year. According to 10 News in San Diego, that's enough to power about 400 homes on the base each year.
The symbolism can't get much better. In southern West Virginia, a region known for its coal, a new rooftop solar energy system has been installed in Williamson and is now producing clean energy.
Some of the best states to install a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system are in the northeast: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania come to mind. At this time of the year, these states are also known for their heavy snowfall. Unless you've been under a rock for the past few weeks, you've probably heard about the record-setting blizzard blowing through the northeast.
In February 2009, the U.S. government passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) -- a bill intended to create new jobs and spark economic activity. Roughly $94 billion of the $787 billion act was set aside for invesments in renewable energy.
Solar hot water heaters should be flying off the shelves in Massachusetts next week, as the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) will implement a new solar rebate program that will cut the cost of installing a solar hot water heater on a home in half.
While the California officials have been working overtime to approve solar power plants in time to meet a statewide renewable energy goal, its utility companies are faced with a slightly different task: How do we incorporate all of that renewable energy it our electric grid?