How do you store the energy, anyway?
If you’re interested in purchasing a new solar system, then you likely have a lot of questions about how the system works and what you will need to suit your individual needs. One question that comes up often is whether or not a solar system needs a battery and how to get solar power without batteries. It’s really a trick question because although most systems don’t use batteries at all, but use the electrical grid as a sort of flexible battery storage and on demand power system. If this makes no sense, that’s fine, because we’re going to explain!
Going solar in Phoenix is a great choice, as there are a lot of solid incentives for those of you looking to jump into the solar market. A state that offers favorable rebates, state tax policies, and a utility company that offers incentives to their customers, combine into worthwhile savings for anyone paying cash or taking out a loan for their solar panel system.
For a broader overview see our Arizona Solar page.
Net metering has been referred to as a battleground, David vs. Goliath, a fight between the huge, monopoly utility companies and the small, helpless solar companies who just want to do what’s right for the earth.
Decoupling a utility’s revenue from its total sales is intended to solve a “perverse incentive” that reduces utility motivation to increase energy efficiency.
As part of the American Recovery and Investment Act in 2009, states were invited to compete for $3 billion in Energy Efficiency Program funds to encourage utilities to incentivize reduction in electricity demand. Governors had to verify to the DOE that the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) would decouple the utilities’ revenue from profits.
You would think that those who go solar would be celebrated as heroes – because if everyone who could go solar did go solar, we’d all have a lot better shot at a livable climate. But instead, a nasty campaign of rumor-mongering is trying to take these true heroes down.
No late night parties, no smoking, no loud quarrels, no cleaning costs when the tenant skips out in 6 months. This tenant is just no trouble at all and pays promptly every month.
With its enticing feed in tariffs in the early years of this century, Spain was one of the leaders that created the current global surge in rooftop solar power. Because of Spain’s super-generous feed in tariffs, China massively grew its manufacturing to supply the suddenly enormous demand from Spain.
Then China over-produced and that created the first glut which is why your solar panels from China were so cheap if you went solar after 2006.
Spain’s generous and seemingly safe feed-in tariffs paid solar homeowners to generate onto the grid, and encouraged most people to build their system larger than their own need, to earn money from their solar panels.
This world-leading adoption rate had several causes; Australia’s initially very high solar subsidies and feed in tariff rates — back when the Australian government was a model for the world under its previous much more climate-friendly PMs; Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard.
These high solar subsidies and tariffs were coupled with extremely expensive grid power, and all against a backdrop of rapidly dropping solar prices. In 2008, Aussies paid $12 AUD per watt installed, but by 2013 that had already dropped to $2.5AUD.
Two states, two different approaches to clean energy. In Virginia, lawmakers said “yes” to solar power, passing a number of bills in its latest session that will bolster solar in the state. But next door in West Virginia, the governor approved a bill to rewrite net energy metering rules for on-site distributed solar generation after vetoing the nearly identical bill a few weeks before. What does this mean for each state?Continue reading
Net metering, according to Michael J. Sandoval, research associate for the Independence Institute’s Energy Policy Center, is a gift funded by ratepayers that benefits solar companies like SolarCity. But the issue is larger than net metering, and has its roots in the Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, of 2006.
Originally drafted to benefit a wide array of electricity consumers, the 30 percent (investment) tax credit, or ITC, has since become the “sweet spot” for solar firms operating as leaseback entities, for tax equity investors, and for companies who install solar panels using federal, local or regional tax benefits that they can “swap” for additional credit. Originally written to expire at the end of 2008, the ITC – a part of HR6111, passed by the 109th “lame duck” Congress – now “steps down” to 10 percent at the beginning of 2017.Continue reading