Solar Energy News | Clean Energy News Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:54:07 -0400 en-gb ( "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.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:22:25 -0400
Solar v Utility battle resumes in Arizona After a year’s hiatus, the fight between Arizona’s biggest utility company and the state’s solar industry is in full swing again.

The Arizona Corporation Commission voted 3 to 2 this week to set a hearing on proposed rate hikes for solar customers of Arizona Public Service, the state’s biggest publically-traded utility company.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 21 Aug 2015 05:14:48 -0400
Mass Gov's proposed solar legislation has pluses and minuses 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.


]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:07:35 -0400
California PUC considering the future of rooftop solar The California Public Utilities Commission received dozens of proposals from the state’s publicly-traded utility companies Monday night offering a glimpse into the future of rooftop solar in the state.

State legislation passed in late 2013 tasked the commission with revamping utility regulations regarding residential utility bills and solar tariffs. The legislation dictates that the PUC prioritize continued rooftop solar industry growth while aligning solar costs and benefits.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:55:16 -0400
Alabama Power's 500 MW of solar could brighten dim state While you might be able to count 500 megawatts of solar energy generation on residential rooftops in a single small California town, an Alabama utility’s proposal to add that much solar capacity is making big headlines.

Alabama Power proposed to the state’s public utilities commission earlier this month to build or contract to buy 500 megawatts of renewable energy.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:12:00 -0400
California decision means rooftop solar owners have choices A new California regulation that allows companies to package energy from small producers and sell it on the wholesale market is good news for the long-term viability of rooftop solar.

As utilities push back against paying the full retail rate for the power solar customers feed onto the grid, some expect the popularity of rooftop solar to wane. News outlets this week have noted that the meteoric rise of rooftop solar could slow when the 30 percent national investment tax credit declines in 2016 and as utilities reduce net metering payments.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:57:31 -0400
New York's new community net metering makes solar accessible New York’s new community net metering rules mean solar energy, along with the savings and environmental advantages that come with it, just became more accessible to low-income and all residents in the state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the state’s Public Service Commission approved new rules allowing for community net metering. The commission is calling the package of policies its Shared Renewable Program. Both the program name and the term community net metering are fairly descriptive of how the program will work.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:45:35 -0400
Will California count rooftop solar in portfolio standard? When California legislators vote to increase the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030, will rooftop solar count toward the total?

Many will be surprised to learn that rooftop solar doesn’t currently count toward utility companies quota requirements.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 15 Jul 2015 23:29:35 -0400
Solar advocates argue Nev utility lied for net metering cap Nevada solar advocates are outraged at the state’s largest utility’s seemingly deceptive tactic to trick the legislature into enacting a net metering cap that could begin limiting rooftop solar installations before September.

Nevada lawmakers were tasked with deciding whether or not to increase the net metering cap this spring and ultimately made a small boost from 225 megawatts to 235 megawatts. But they might have made the decision with bad information from the state’s biggest utility provider.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:56:55 -0400
Obama initiative encourages solar in poor neighborhoods Solar energy is the perfect solution to providing low-cost power to the poorest people and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If only we could find a way to encourage solar adoption where it would make the most difference...

The Obama administration is announcing a new initiative today that will encourage solar energy development in the poorest communities.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:34:20 -0400
The US is generating far more solar energy than thought It turns out there is a whole lot more solar energy being generated in the United States than official reports indicate – about 50 percent more.

That’s a pretty big deal. When official reports fail to count almost a third of the nation’s solar production, it has a significant impact on policy and perception.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 02 Jul 2015 22:20:46 -0400
Solar Impulse 2 proving the power of solar energy Flying across the Pacific Ocean isn’t such a big a deal these days. It doesn’t seem like there are many records to break or milestones to hit anymore. But one innovative new plane slowly piloted the world into a new era Tuesday.

The Solar Impulse 2 broke the record for the longest solar-powered flight in distance and duration as it reached the halfway point on its journey across the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:53:05 -0400
What US utilities can learn from Australia Westar Energy in Kansas last week joined a long list of US utility companies that foolishly believe they can stand in front of tidal waves with their hands up like traffic cops to stop the rising threat rooftop solar poses to their business models.

As US utilities tack on fees and try to charge customers with rooftop solar installations more than those without them to stem the tide, the rest of the world has already realized those punitive efforts are futile and will do little more than distract utilities and delay their inevitable demise.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Mon, 22 Jun 2015 17:39:29 -0400
Rooftop solar industry booming Residential rooftop solar is making more and more financial sense to homeowners across the country, which is driving record industry growth.

There were 76 percent more residential solar installations in the first quarter of 2015 than in the first quarter of 2014, according to the US Solar Market Insight report from Greentech Media released this week.

]]> (Amanda H. Miller) Solar Energy News Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:24:03 -0400