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 »

Microgrids, They’re Kind of a Big Deal

Thursday, July 17, 2014 14:17
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

 

MicrogridFor locals participating in the Pecan Street Demonstration in Austin’s suburban town of Mueller, TX, residential carbon footprint data is about as available as square footage. Their home utility consumption is monitored by the Pecan Street Research Institute at The University of Texas-Austin as part of the institute’s efforts to understand how individuals can lower their collective carbon impact and use energy more efficiently. This new technology, known as a smart grid system, has proven to be much more efficient than the traditional electrical grid used throughout the US. However, smart grids and the smart meters used to track energy usage of individual homes have come under fire for their ‘invasiveness’ as people have vocalized concerns about the lack of privacy that could accompany this advanced monitoring system. Fortunately for the anti-smart meter crowd, there are other ways to make a community more energy efficient.


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

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 »

The Solar Industry: Booming or Busting in a Lackluster Investment Environment?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 15:03
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

website_bild_gtr_3_1The decline in global investments in renewable energy isn’t as worrisome as it may seem, according to the 2014 Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report, released in early April. The report, produced by the Frankfurt School – United Nations Energy Program Collaborating Center, reveals that the falling cost of producing renewable energy technologies is a major part of the equation.  Read the rest of this entry »

How the Military is (Indirectly) Fueling the Solar Industry

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 10:28
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

Obama Solar MilitaryIf ever there was a champion of efficiency, the military would be it. Energy efficiency is no exception to this generalization. As The Solar Foundation (TSF) and Operation Free tell us in a recent Veterans in Solar report, the U.S. military has scaled up its use of distributed renewable energy technologies, at home and in combat zones, to strengthen energy security and improve operational costs and capabilities.

Always occupying a certain crest on the waves of technological innovation, the American military has made efforts toward energy independence, bolstered by a Department of Defense (DoD) mandate to use renewable power for 25% of total facility energy consumption by 2025. Read the rest of this entry »

Expert Series: Avoiding Shade in Solar PV Installs

Monday, March 3, 2014 12:30
Posted in category Uncategorized

Another Expert Series video from CleanEdison. Solar expert Michael Cafiero gives a detailed example of how a little shade can do a lot of damage to the output of your solar PV system installation.

Are solar thermal power farms still relevant?

Monday, February 24, 2014 14:00
Posted in category Uncategorized

392 megawatts, 173,000 heliostats, 347,000 mirrors, $2.2 billion investment and a $1.6 billion federal loan. These are the tremendous numbers surrounding the development and construction of the Ivanpah solar thermal power facility in the Mojave Desert, 40 miles south of Las Vegas. Such a plant, who can energizes up to 140,000 houses, is a massive solar energy provider, but with the decrease of governmental incentives and the collapse of some rival technologies’ prices, are giant solar plants still a viable option? Read the rest of this entry »

The 7 Successes of Solar

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:37
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles


How the solar energy industry is becoming one of the most widely beneficial sectors in the country

New York Solar

Things are looking up for the solar energy industry. Its growth has skyrocketed over the past few years and is projected to endure. If current trends continue, solar will account for 10% of American electricity by 2022.
A diverse array of stakeholders is largely affected by this booming industry, from veterans to homeowners to that all-pervading stakeholder, the environment. To help understand the state of the industry and what’s on the horizon, here’s a list of the ways in which the solar energy industry is fast becoming one of the most valuable sectors in the nation. Read the rest of this entry »