Rooftop solar to surge with new financing options

For the first time ever, residential rooftop solar installations outpaced non-residential solar in the US in 2014. That’s thanks, in large part, to more and more creative financing options for homeowners who want to generate their own electricity, according to a report from GTM Research.

The solar industry surged in 2012 and 2013 thanks to the new third-party ownership model that allowed homeowners to install solar with no or very little money out of pocket. Companies like SolarCity and Sunrun spurred that sector of industry growth. In 2014, that model is still dominating the solar scene with 72 percent of all new rooftop solar projects in stalled in 2014 being third-party owned.

Read more: Rooftop solar to surge with new financing options

"Plonkable" CSP could change future energy consumption

If you know what concentrated solar power plants are at all, you’re probably picturing a massive falice in the desert surrounded by a circular harem of mirrors. That’s not the kind of thing you could plunk down in your back yard for round-the-clock solar power – even if you could afford it.

But a group of South African researchers have announced a breakthrough on the road to “plonkable” CSP. The Solar Thermal Research Group at Stellenbosch University, headed by Paul Gouche, is experimenting with a new technology that makes CSP infinitely more accessible and, in the long term, more affordable.

Read more: "Plonkable" CSP could change future energy consumption

Mass Gov's proposed solar legislation has pluses and minuses

New England Solar Home

While Massachusetts boasts one of the strongest solar industries in the country – thanks in large part to good state policies – looming net metering caps could kill rooftop solar in the state if they’re not raised.

Legislators and Gov. Charlie Baker understand that all too well. The senate passed legislation in July to raise net metering caps. And the governor filed a bill to do the same last week. While solar advocates applaud the efforts, they also criticize the governor’s proposal as short sighted.

 

Read more: Mass Gov's proposed solar legislation has pluses and minuses

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