Tag Archives for " utilities "

Top Six Reasons to Go Solar

reasons-to-go-solar

Going solar makes sense on so many levels – and here are some reasons why.

If you’re just starting to look into solar for your home, or you’ve recently noticed you’re the only one on the block without big blue rectangles covering your roof, you might be wondering why solar is so hot right now. What’s the big deal?

It’s an easy question to answer and below we’ve come up with our top six reasons to go solar. Hopefully they inspire you to dig a little deeper into this exciting technology, reap the benefits of green energy, and join the solar movement!

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Solar Energy vs Coal: A Comprehensive Comparison

solar energy vs coal

How does solar energy stack up vs coal for electricity generation?

In 2015, the United States used about 3,724,500 million kWh of electricity.

Most of us don’t have enough context to realize how big this number actually is, so here are some facts: First off, the US is the 2nd biggest user of electricity in the world (just behind Canada). Secondly, think about what exactly this number includes: all the electricity used in millions of homes across the US for air conditioning, lights, refrigerators, stoves, hot water, and all our devices, as well as factories, office buildings, data centers, agricultural applications, government offices, recreation centers, football fields, streetlights, and about a billion other things we don’t even think about on a daily basis.

With so much electricity being used and created every day, as a country we need to constantly assess if all this electricity is being created in the most responsible way, both monetarily and environmentally.Continue reading

Study Finds East Coast Can Handle 30% Renewable Energy

east-coast-grid-load

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the country’s preeminent laboratory for the study of renewable energy, recently found that the eastern US’ electrical grid can handle up to 30% renewable energy from wind and solar.

The findings were published in August 2016 in a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy. The study examines if the region’s electrical grid could handle a high amount of solar penetration, how the region’s electrical generation would need to change to accommodate it, and how operational aspects would need to be tweaked as well.

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3 Reasons the Solar Powered Car is The Next Big Thing

The solar powered car could be the future. Adopting a solar electric lifestyle makes sense on many levels – including boosting your cash flow and becoming independent from volatile gas prices.

You may have heard that solar energy and electric cars are a match made in heaven. With his announcement of the SolarCity and Tesla Motors merger, Elon Musk has made it clear that the solar powered car is to solar power what peanut butter is to jam.

In fact, if you’ve already covered your roof with solar panels, you may have started thinking about buying an electric car (also known a plug-in electric vehicle). And here’s why your intuitions serve you right.

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What Is Net Metering? Breaking Down the Controversy

what is net metering?

What is net metering? We’ve all heard the term and most of us even know that there is some sort of controversy around it. We’ve heard it on the news, we’ve seen it online. In hot-bed states utilities have even put up billboards about the issue.

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.

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Why Utility-Owned Solar is Good for the Solar Industry

Utility-Owned Solar

Utility-Owned Solar: Averting the “death spiral”?

A war has been declared between the upstart solar industry and the older electricity suppliers.

The war is essentially between centralized and distributed energy. The electric utilities were originally set up in the days of large-scale centralized coal power stations and regulated as suppliers of essential public services.

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Utility Death Spiral: Solar Raising Electricity Costs?

LED

We are all familiar with the argument being perpetrated, that those who go solar are raising costs for other ratepayers by selfishly making their own electricity so that then all the fixed costs for the shared grid fall disproportionately on the shoulders of those who don’t go solar.

Why is it that only those good citizens who go solar get the blame for causing the utility death spiral?

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Rethinking Natural Gas in the Wake of California’s Disaster

natural gas

Coal has long been demonized as the worst fossil fuel, and it deserves its ill-repute. But really, is natural gas much better?

In the worst environmental disaster since the BP oil spill, California has been spewing methane from an underground reservoir since October

In October, SoCalGas discovered that gas was leaking from its Aliso Canyon storage facility which was about 90% full. As of January 1st, 73,000 metric tons of methane have been released. The well won’t be capped till April.

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Astonishing Drops in Solar Cost Worldwide

solar cost

Solar costs have seen a remarkable drop in the last few years – now solar is competitive and even cheaper than fossil energy in some regions!

Solar is getting cheaper fast.

Globally, 70 gigawatts of renewable energy was installed in 2013, and that cost $279 billion. In 2014, almost 40% more was installed and yet that didn’t cost 40% more – it actually cost nine billion less than even the year before; $270 billion.

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