Technical reviews of solar+storage news

The Solar Industry Needs Standards for System Production Estimates

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 15, 2015

We need to end the arm-wrestling match over solar production estimates, argues Soltage’s Steve Goodbody. America’s solar industry is wringing all possible efficiencies out of the project development process ahead of the 2016 federal Investment Tax Credit expiration. But are we missing an obvious hurdle? Reliable project production estimates — predicting how much electricity photovoltaic systems will produce annually…

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Is Baker’s bill good for solar?

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 14, 2015

Last Friday, the Baker administration filed a solar bill aimed at addressing the net metering caps that have stalled solar projects across the Commonwealth. This move comes shortly after the Senate voted unanimously to advance legislation that would raise and then eliminate net metering caps. If the Baker administration is to be believed, this bill is great for solar and will keep…

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Bill Gates investing $1 billion in clean energy research

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 14, 2015

By Bill Gates Last month, during a trip to Europe, I mentioned that I plan to invest $1 billion in clean energy technology over the next five years. This will be a fairly big increase over the investments I am already making, and I am doing it because I believe that the next half-decade will bring many…

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How big is solar going to get? BIG, says Apricum.

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 13, 2015

A new report from Apricum predicts the power generated from global solar installations to grow from 42 GW in 2014 to over 92 GW by 2020. Apricum, the Berlin-based cleantech consulting firm said most of the 50 GW in annual increases from 2014 until 2020 will come from China, the US, and India, with 36…

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Money talks: Utilities may be forced to go green to keep customers

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 13, 2015

The central lesson for utilities in the talk of a death spiral is if they don’t give their customers what they want, they go elsewhere. To date, that talk is mostly about rooftop solar taking their revenues, but some utilities have begun to notice some of their biggest key accounts looking for greener pastures. Well, greener energy. “This…

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Latest Report Shows Cost of Going Solar has Dropped Significantly for 5 Years

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 13, 2015

The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab today released the eighth installment of the Tracking the Sun report series, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The report shows that the installed price of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States continues to fall precipitously, especially in the last 5 years. The report provides…

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Has Solar Power in Florida reached a tipping point?

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 12, 2015

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), the city’s electricity provider, signed a 20 year power purchase agreement (PPA) at $0.07 per kWh with American Capital Energy for the output of the 13 MW Curtis Stanton Energy Center, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  The new solar power, the utility reports, costs it less than the $0.08 per kWh cost the company incurs…

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Massachusetts Solar Bill Raises Net Metering Caps, Looks to Replace SREC Program

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 12, 2015

// Greentech Media: Headlines This past Friday, Governor Charlie Baker filed a solar bill in Massachusetts. That fact alone — the act of filing a bill, without regard to its content — was welcome news for the solar industry and solar customers in the state. With non-residential net-metering solar development capped in the 171 cities…

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Support for Solar Power crosses political party lines

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 12, 2015

Remember, while only five of the 54 Republicans in the Senate voted in agreement with the statement that “climate change is real, caused by human activity, and that Congress should do something about it”, among their constituents, the numbers are much different, where 63 percent of Republicans think the federal government should “limit the release of…

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Not all solar panels are created equal

By John Fitzgerald Weaver | August 11, 2015

Even though every panel is rated out to 20 to 25 years, that does not mean they are all necessarily equal, nor will a panel developed for use in warm, arid areas be the best choice in the colder Northern climates: Manufacturers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and optimize their module designs for the…

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