How Solar Tech is Breeding Independence from The Grid

For thousands of years, the sun has been revered by many cultures for its enormous power and size. Now, people are admiring the giant star for a very tangible reason: its ability to help lower electric bills. Installing solar panels will save the average person around $1000 a year on their energy bills, notes SolarEnergy.net – not too shabby!

In an effort to reduce the amount of money they spend on energy, more people are becoming interested in “going off the grid” and leaving traditional electric and gas companies – and their corresponding high bills – and getting energy from other sources. The use of solar power in residential homes was nearly 10 times higher during the first quarter of 2013 than it was five years ago, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports.

One way to take going off the grid from fantasy to reality is through solar power. By hooking up one’s home, RV or other dwelling to solar power, it is now easier than ever to go off the grid but still enjoy creature comforts such as air conditioning, television and computers.

Speaking of television, there are options for folks who are interested in alternative viewing options for their favorite programs while living off the grid. These include DirecTV packages that can work with personal computers and even mobile devices.

Written by CleanTechies. To read the full article, click here.

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Solar Energy: The Wave of the Future?

Solar energy has been touted as a viable energy source for the future. The need and demand for clean renewable energy has been increasing in recent years. But a New York Times story reports how increasing demand does not mean rising stock prices for solar energy companies.

This is partly the result of industrial policies of foreign nations like China that subsidize solar energy. In short, these subsidies have pushed the price of solar energy panels down worldwide. So the tumble in these prices can squeeze profit margins and push down share prices of solar companies like Solar City (NASDAQ: SCTY), SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE)

Written by Kyle Colona. To read the full article, click here.

Los Angeles Goes All In on Rooftop Solar Panels

Don’t think it’s possible to provide clean and renewable energy that creates jobs and fuels private investment? Think again and then check out CLEAN LA Solar.

A program developed and supported by the Los Angeles Business Council, a coalition of environmental, business, health and research organizations, and the CLEAN LA Coalition, it’s the largest urban rooftop solar program in the nation. Its five-year goal is to power more than 34,000 homes while creating some 4,500 construction, installation, design engineering, maintenance and administrative jobs in Los Angeles.

CLEAN LA Solar allows businesses and commercial property-owners to generate energy for the city’s power grid through rooftop solar panels, and then sell the power to the Department of Water and Power (DWP). This policy is known as a feed-in-tariff (FiT), and is a great way to promote clean, solar energy.

Written by Bill DiBenedetto. To read the full article, click here.

Solar power finally makes more energy than it uses

Last year, U.S. energy-related carbon emissions were at the lowest levels since 1994, emitting “only” 5.3 billion metric tons of carbon.
This is largely from declining coal use due to cheap natural gas, lower demand for transportation fuels and a mild winter, says the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
Although we don’t like to think that solar energy contributes to emissions, it does, and there’s good news there, too.
To get the solar industry where it is today required huge inputs of electricity. Ironically, most of that comes from coal-fired power plants.
For example, to produce polysilicon — the basic building block of most solar panels — silica rock must be melted at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit using electricity, commonly from coal-fired power plants.

Written by Sustainable Business News. To read the full article, click here