I recently turned 40. But I didn’t start feeling old until this weekend because that’s when I started yelling at the newspapers. On Saturday, the New York Times published a lurid, sneering, over-the-top piece on renewable energy
that was riddled with errors and really missed the forest for the trees. Continue reading Screaming at the Media, Solar Installations are Under Siege
For many reasons, decided that installing my home solar panels was the best approach the least of which is the significant labor and markup cost savings over contracting with professional home solar installers. After some investigation and research, I took a big gulp, then moved forward.
Sizing my own residential solar system was relatively easy for two reasons. The first is that our utility bills give the usage for each month for the past year. This eliminates the need to make up a whole system load chart. We could decide the size of the solar array we needed simply from these utility bill numbers. The annual total showed that we are using an average of 5.87 KWH per day, which I rounded up to 6 kWh per day. Continue reading Home Solar Installers, Chronicle of My DIY Journey Into Renewable Energy
China, Germany and Canada are powering up solar recognizing importing oil is not the future. Where is the United States in this? Dispite numerous wars protecting human rights… mostly in oil producing nations, a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico we have all forgotten about, America is still trending up.
There are a few bright spots in the country but mostly those heros are on the local levels. When you think solar California might come to mind, but New Jersey is coming in second. Wait, o Ya, Illinois just passed a new energy law requiring 25% of their power from solar, wind and other renewables by 2025. Continue reading US Continues to Fall Behind In Solar Energy But New Renewable Law in Illinois Will Help
For the last few weeks I have listened to talking heads bloviate while they relish sticking one to the Governminator about his low approval rating. The Governor is getting a bad rap in my opinion and there is little doubt that history will reflect kindly on his tenor in Sacramento. A champion for fiscal responsibility and solar and renewable energy, Arnold has been a knight on a white horse fighting an army of special interest groups. The truth is, Governor Schwarzenegger has been nothing less than a model for progress for the people of California.
What many in the public haven’t seen is that Mr. Schwarzenegger’s enthusiasm for solar and wind clean-energy development, and its prospects for driving economic growth not just in California but in the nation and the world, has connected with audiences at energy-related events. Continue reading California Solar Leadership Changes Today, There are Big Shoes to Be Filled
California homeowners lead the rest of the country in residential solar installation as well as the purchase of do-it-yourself solar kits. Solar systems are not just an environmental decision for homeowners, but maybe more importantly, a cost saving one. There are a few things a homeowner (If you are installing yourself) or your solar contractor should consider when designing a system for your home or cabin.
Shading possibilities, slope and orientation, longevity of the solar panel manufacture and of course costs are some of the more important considerations for solar system design. We will point out a few basic solar application principles wither you live in California or outside the golden state. Continue reading California Home Solar Design Considerations, A Few Items To Consider Before You Buy
2010 looks like it will go down as a good year for the California solar industry despite major obstacles that have cropped up in the path of renewable energy in the state. The first obstacle earlier this spring, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac created a rule that pulled the plug on a popular solar financing program, Property Assessed Clean Financing (PACE).
PACE was a creative tool a homeowner could use to secure solar financing and pay it back over a long period through their property taxes. If they solar the home solar system, the loan would stay with the property. Good deal for the homeowner. Good deal for the solar community. Good deal for the local economies which kept the money in the communities. Fanny, Freddie (which means Wall Street) must have felt significantly threatened because they created a rule that said they would not guarantee any home with PACE solar financing attached. Continue reading California Solar Sales Remain Strong Despite Significant Obstacles
Parking lots with lighting powered by solar are sprouting up all across California. In Fresno, the city council has elected to put solar panels on the roof the carports structures turning much of the convention center into a solar farm. In 2010 dozens of school parking lots across the state are getting topped with solar panels.
Solar investment partnerships with banks and other venture capitalists, California school districts get guaranteed cheap reliable electricity for their buildings saving thousand of dollars. The financial companies that finance the solar systems sell the electricity back to the schools receiving the tax benefits and other state incentives. Continue reading Solar Brightens Parking Lots Across California
Just when you think that you have heard all the arguments against expanding solar and renewable energy up pops another one. There is a debate going on in Germany that threatens to spill over to California that because solar has been so successful, there is cause for concern that it could have a negative impact on the reliability of the grid.
The discussion was sparked because solar spikes mid day and the peak power demands are near the end of the day, the grid will be overloaded potentially causing blackouts, so the theory goes. Now we must tell you that this has yet to happen, so it is only a theory. (Add a battery backup system to the home solar power plant… problem solved)
Is the thought of solar becoming so widely accepted and popular that much of a threat to big energy? Of course the simple answer is yes. Solar is wild card to the mega utility companies. Bringing clean renewable power to residential communities in California, a lifetime of fixed energy prices is going to become more popular as prices continue to fall. Continue reading Could California’s Solar Energy Policies Lead To Rolling Electrical Blackouts?
California, the eighth largest economy in the world, and a energy trendsetter for most of the globe, especially in renewable energy development. California is blessed with renewable resources like vast areas open to solar installations, wind and geothermal energy. Sacramento state leaders, like Governor Schwarzenegger, have responded to the call creating numerous solar installation rebates and incentives which many Californian’s have taken advantage of.
The California Energy Commission is pursuing ambitious goals, policies, and programs on climate change to do our share to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Californians have embarked on an ambitious “Million Solar Roof” initiative intended to capture California’s renowned solar energy. The program will create 3,000 megawatts of installed solar photovoltaic capacity by 2018.
However, the constrained availablity of credit has put a decline on demand and it is up to all of us to keep pushing back against those who would like to keep California on dirty fossel fuel. Industry leaders forecast dramatic growth in the California solar market with extension of credit. Another reason to vote NO on Prop 23 which is on the ballot this fall. Continue reading Opportunities for California residences to invest in solar energy is greater than ever before but we must keep pushing.
Sacramento Solar News – The California Air Resources Board put solar in the mainstream recently triggering a “thanks” from SMUD.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) announced that they support the California Air Resource Board’s decision to adapt a requirement that 33% of the power from utilities in the state come from renewable sources like solar and wind energy by 2020.
This green energy, solar and wind power forward thinking was accomplished, in no small measure, by Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership and a democratic statehouse in Sacramento. Continue reading Sacramento Utility Says Thank You to California For Clearing The Way For More Solar Wind Green Energy