How To Become A Solar Installer

Thursday, September 25, 2014 16:18
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

Solar Installation

Deciding to become a solar energy installation professional is a major move in anyone’s career journey. People enter the field of renewable energy from various occupations and careers and at various stages of their lives. Everyone has different reasons why they think solar energy is the correct career choice for them. But, one question consistently comes from people looking to enter the solar photovoltaic industry: “How do I become a solar PV Installer?”

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How to Harness Solar Power in Your Backyard

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:32
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles
Image credit: The Home Depot

Image credit: The Home Depot

What better place to use the clean, infinitely renewable energy that the sun provides than in your outdoor space? “Living green” now has more meanings than one. Solar power might seem like the obvious choice over greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, but we still have some hurdles to overcome. According to National Geographic, the sun beams enough energy onto Earth in one hour to satisfy global energy needs for a year. The big question here is how to efficiently harness all that energy.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy technology is essentially capturing the sun’s light and converting it into energy that we can use to power our homes, businesses, vehicles and more. We use panels made of solar cells that absorb photons from the sun’s rays and release usable electricity in the form of electrons. This effect was discovered in 1839, but first became available to the common citizen in the 1970s. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New in the World of Renewables – India’s Floating Solar Panels

Thursday, July 31, 2014 16:56
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

floatingSolar

It was 1985 when the first Tour de Sol, a Swiss rally for solar powered vehicles, ushered in a new era of design and innovation for solar energy use. Among the first of its kind, the contest challenged teams of students and engineers to use solar cells to propel their “racecars” through Swiss towns. Now, nearly 30 years later, similar competitions all over the world openly invite interested parties to engage with solar technology in ways that maintain the velocity of its innovation and implementation.

American Sun Read the rest of this entry »

The Dirty Little Secret of The Electronic Era

Friday, July 11, 2014 12:30
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

rsz_1dlsee_image_by_rayi_christian_wLaptops, phones, mp3 players and other electronic gadgets have become staple commodities in today’s technological era.  Our need for new and improved electronic equipment that becomes obsolete in two or three years has spawned the fastest growing waste stream: e-waste.

The Problem:

In 2012 the world purchased 238.5 million televisions, 444.4 million computers and tablets and a staggering 1.75 billion cellphones. Back in 2008, Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resource Defense Council, estimated that in the USA alone we throw out 48 million computers and 100  every year. In fact, according to Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, the average US cellphone has a 22 month lifecycle. All these discarded electronics add up to 5-7million tons of ewaste every year from the USA alone. The volume of this electronic waste is expected to increase by 33% by 2020.

What happens to all this obsolete technology? Read the rest of this entry »

The World Cup of Renewable Energy

Thursday, July 3, 2014 13:28
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in a room without tv access (like me), you’ve probably seen one, or several world cup games in recent days. FIFA has been everywhere lately, and not just for soccer (..or football). One hot button topic surrounding the 2014 World Cup games are the measures that planners and developers have gone through to reduce the environmental impact of the games. Of the 12 stadiums being used for the games, 10 have applied for LEED certification, a recognition that indicates a high level of sustainable awareness. While the ultimate goal of the organizers is to have some sort of green energy integrated in all of the stadiums, as of now only four of the stadiums utilize solar energy in their design. To put numbers into perspective, the installation at Estadio Mineirão produces enough energy to power about 1,200 households, while the Solar PV system at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha will generate enough energy to supply almost 2,000 households per day which is a great step towards creating a more sustainable society.

Brazil has very obviously dedicated much thought and planning to their renewable energy projects, but what about some of the other countries participating in the World Cup?

Lets pretend for a moment that the World Cup is a competition over sustainability bragging rights and not soccer. Based on figures from Renewables 2014 Global Status Report and teams competing in this years World Cup, I made my bracket for the first ever (imaginary) Renewable Energy World Cup.

WORLDCUP

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What the New EPA Rule Means

Friday, June 13, 2014 16:58
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

Coal_power_plant_Datteln_2_Crop1 Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by as much as 30% by 2030. While this regulation received heavy support from both environmental groups and industry professionals, this plan would have definite effects on several states, some more negative than others.

Bad News, kids

As would be expected, the coal industry and its supporters are in opposition of the proposal. Coal mining states like West Virginia have wasted no time in voicing their opinion. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R. W.Va) sent a letter to President Obama implying that the current proposal would be “catastrophic” and urging the President to abandon the proposal. The proposal has also caused a stir in Senate offices across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Combating Carbon through the Clean Power Plan

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 18:16
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

Shatura_Steam_Power_PlantWith the direction and executive authority of President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday released the Clean Power Plan, which cuts the carbon pollution from existing power plants that create 38% of the nation’s total carbon emissions. The plan is meant to cut carbon emission from the power sector nationwide by 30% below 2005 levels, which is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year. The proposal is meant to protect public health and fight climate change, moving the nation towards a cleaner environment. The EPA, in its press release, proposes that this new plan will ‘sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation and create jobs’. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun Sets on an Outdated Business Model

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 13:41
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

Solar Word Cloud

We are beginning to see an increased sophistication of the business models in the residential solar sector. Historically, solar energy in the residential sector has largely been inaccessible to the everyman due to the high initial investment of purchasing and installing the panels.

To combat this issue, solar manufacturers and installers, often separate companies themselves, connected homeowners with the available grants, loans and/or renewable energy financing firms. This initiative helped many homeowners realize that rooftop solar panels were affordable for them. Read the rest of this entry »

What is to become of the Investment Tax Credit?

Monday, May 19, 2014 14:00
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

cleanedison_ITC_Solar
The Investment Tax Credit has been one of the major factors of growth for the solar energy industry since its establishment in 2006. The ITC is a 30% tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties. Following its success, it has helped annual solar installation grow by over 1,600% since 2006. The ITC was given an eight year extension in 2008 until December 31st 2016, when it will drop to 10%. Many professionals are now wondering what will become of an industry that has been driven so much by incentives when these will be gone. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond the Rooftop: Unconventional Applications of Solar Power

Monday, May 12, 2014 11:30
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

The wide variety of solar technologies being developed by scientists and engineers is permitting the almost endless array of commercial applications that can be powered by the sun. Since solar technologies differ in terms of their energy conversion efficiency, cost effectiveness, weight, flexibility, durability under extreme weather conditions and unique balance of system requirements, the possibilities for developing marketable technologies using solar panels seems impossibly diverse. Three fascinating and unusual areas being explored by visionaries passionate about solar are aircrafts, wearable technologies, and public waste bins.

Solar-Powered AircraftsSolar Powered Aircraft

One of the most amazing technologies being built with solar panels is the zero-emission airplane. Believed to be years away in development, this technology is already in its infancy. Solar Impulse has developed an airplane that is entirely powered by solar energy. It has made successful flights all over the world and is scheduled to fly around the world (day and night) in 2015 as the first solar-powered airplane to achieve this monumental feat. Read the rest of this entry »