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Solar Power

Are There More Willing Investors Than Bankable Solar Projects?

April 24, 2014 by Herman Trabish

There are now more investors with cash seeking projects. But there still is not enough tax equity, construction and term debt financing available for bankable renewables projects. While there is a distinct lending class for utility-scale solar and wind, there aren't for commercial and industrial distributed generation.[read more]

RET Review: Roadblock or Opportunity?

April 24, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Sometimes I wish I had decided to sell solar systems instead of research and advice. From the outside, it often seems like you guys are all making the big money and I’m just fiddling round the edges, but then I look at the volatility and complexity that you face and think I made the right decision.[read more]

Renewable Energy Gains in 2013 but Coal and Gas Still Dominate

April 23, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Renewables Growth

In January, renewable energy made up nearly 100 percent of new installed electricity capacity in the U.S., mostly driven by utility-scale solar. Last October, a study conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found the same level of domination by renewables.[read more]

What's Going on in Residential Solar? The View from Greentech Media's Solar Energy Summit

April 23, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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Residential solar was a hot topic at the recent Greentech Media Solar Summit. Nicole Litvak, Solar Analyst at GTM Research, started out the session on “Opportunities and Threats in the Residential Solar Market” by asking each panelist to share the key to success for residential solar, in five words.[read more]

California to Utilities: Connect Battery-Solar Energy Systems to the Grid

April 22, 2014 by Jeff St. John

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision that would exempt most storage-solar projects from extra utility fees and interconnection studies. Instead, it would require utilities to treat them as regular net-metered solar systems, as long as they meet certain requirements.[read more]

How to Really Disrupt the Retail Energy Market With Solar Energy

April 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
5

Solar Energy and Market Disruption

The U.S. Solar Energy market is still very concentrated, with the top seven states accounting for 88 percent of the market. But, with the exception of Hawaii, which remains an outlier in almost every case, even the top solar states, including California, satisfy very little of their overall load with PV.[read more]

Will Utilities Control Behind-the-Meter Solar Batteries?

April 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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Ken Munson, CEO of Stockton, Calif.-based startup Sunverge Energy, doesn’t want you to think of his company’s product as a “battery in a box,” backing up a roof full of solar panels -- even if that’s one very accurate way to describe what it packages up into a closet-sized, UL-certified form.[read more]

Excitons Observed in Action for the First Time

April 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Advancements

A quasiparticle called an exciton — responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits — has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed.[read more]

Abbot's Systematic Destruction of Solar Energy Support in Australia Continues

April 17, 2014 by Nigel Morris
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The rationale behind the Abbott Government’s incessant unravelling of support for solar power is unclear. What is clear is that almost every single day, we find another example of their systematic destruction of an opportunity that many countries would be jumping at.[read more]

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs a lot of balancing resources during times that renewables dominate.[read more]

A Rising Tension: 'Value-of-Solar' Tariff Versus Net Metering

April 15, 2014 by Herman Trabish
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Pricing Solar

The Alliance for Solar Choice, a group made up of leading solar service providers, is a staunch defender of net energy metering. And that has brought it into conflict with solar advocates calling for a more precise "value of solar" calculation.[read more]

A Molecular Approach to Solar Energy

April 15, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Innovation

 

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround, a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store energy in chemical form.[read more]

exclusive

Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

April 15, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
107

Renewables and Nuclear Cooperation

Nuclear power and variable renewable energy sources like wind and solar power “don’t play well together.” The more I think about this, however, the more I’m convinced that the accepted wisdom that renewables and nuclear mix like oil and water is true only up to a point.[read more]

Through Solar Energy Jobs, Veterans Find a Continuation in Mission to Serve Nation and Environment

April 12, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Solar Jobs and Veterans

Like an increasing number of veterans, Liz Perez got into solar power. In fact, veterans make up about 9.2 percent of the almost 143,000-member workforce, compared to their estimated 7.6 percent of the workforce nationwide, according to a new report.[read more]

A Breakthrough for Utility-Scale Solar Energy on Contaminated Lands?

April 12, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
3

Solar on Contaminated Lands

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been waging its own less-known campaign to support projects on disturbed, polluted lands. Supported by the stimulus package and the Department of the Interior, developers continue to set records for the biggest solar and wind projects.[read more]