Listen Up: Top Ten Questions about Residential Solar Power

Like many home improvement projects, solar power can be complicated. Unfortunately, the solar industry make it worse; sometimes it’s like manufacturers and installers speak a completely different language. To make matters more challenging, there are literally hundreds of companies, almost all of whom have great products at the “best” price. So how do you as a consumer decide what system is best for your home or business?

From “How much does a solar system cost?” to “What kind of maintenance does rooftop solar need?”, this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World will answer the top ten questions about residential solar power. So if you are thinking about solar power for your home or business, be sure to listen to this podcast.

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

Written by Barry Cinnamon. To read the full article, click here.

Government to formulate solar policy for more power production

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to promote solar power production in Odisha, the state government has decided to formulate a solar policy soon. The policy will help streamline production, utilization and management of solar energy in the state, officials said.

“We have sought suggestions from different government and private institutions and organizations. After verification, valuable suggestions will be incorporated in the policy, which will be launched in the next few months,” said Ramesh Majhi, science and technology minister.

According to sources, Odisha has suitable climate for production of solar power, as it can be produced and preserved around 300 days a year. Besides, the state has a potential to produce 5.5 KWhour of solar energy per square metre per day. “The policy will focus on various provisions for private investors to produce solar energy through solar photo voltaic cell, while the focus will be on solar heating system and solar water pump system. A number of private institutions have started power generation using solar energy, but it is on a smaller scale,” said Majhi.

Written by The Times of India. To read the full article, click here.

Texas A&M U-Central Texas Launches Center for Solar Energy

Texas A&M University-Central Texas has launched the Center for Solar Energy to evaluate, develop, and test new photovoltaic solar technologies.

The new center, covering approximately 800 acres and costing nearly $600 million, will power the A&M Central Texas campus and “will host the largest assortment of photovoltaic technologies in the world and serve as a true test site for leading-edge technologies,” according to a school news release. To further encourage research and education into renewable energy, the university will also be adding new curriculum offerings with plans to expand them as the project grows.

Designed as an incubator, the center will provide support for training, engineering, demonstration, and manufacturing in an effort to bring new technologies to market within two years.

Written by Joshua Bolkan. To read the full article, click here.

America’s Real Problem with Solar Energy

Each day, our industry sits down and whittles the unsightly knots off the tree we call solar energy. We, as a group, spend more time than we should pointing to one of a growing number of reasons why solar energy isn’t taking hold in America: that perhaps our government incentives were cut too quickly, that our state’s SREC program is broken, that the net metering requirements aren’t strong enough.

Not that those things wouldn’t further bolster our industry, but go out and ask your friends and family about solar energy. The problem with solar energy in America isn’t a result of the deficiencies of the incentives (although improved incentives would set this industry on fire), it’s with the astounding lack of knowledge about a technology that can transform the lives of everyone in our nation and around the world.

Written by Ter Dines. 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

Which US states are hot for solar power?

Solar power technology is proliferating across the U.S. as costs drop and awareness grows. (Check out these charts to see solar’s amazing growth last year.) But the political atmosphere for solar power varies greatly state to state.

To help navigate the landscape, clean energy advocacy group Solar Power Rocks released its 2013 rankings for states’ commitment to solar power. The group ranked states based on a methodology that factors in five years’ of data regarding solar incentives, policy, infrastructure and metering, and assigned states a letter grade based on how easy or difficult it is to go solar.

Written by Rani Molla. To read the full article, click here

Federal plan designed to create large solar energy plants

“The Obama administration has formally adopted a plan to help create large-scale solar energy plants, offering incentives for solar developers to cluster projects on 285,000 acres of federal land in the western U.S and opening an additional 19 million acres of the Mojave Desert for new power plants.

The plan places 445 square miles of public land in play for utility-scale solar facilities.”

Written By: Julie Cart To read full article click here