Spaniards rebel against solar panel levy

(Reuters) – Two weeks after Spain’s government slapped a series of levies on green energy, Inaki Alonso hired two workmen to remove the solar panels he had put on his roof only six months earlier.

Alonso, an architect who specializes in ecological projects, calculated the cost of generating his own power under a new energy law and decided the numbers no longer added up.

Neither was it possible to leave the panels on his Madrid home without connecting them to the electricity grid; that would have risked an astronomical fine of between 6 million and 30 million euros ($8 million-$40 million).

“The new law makes it unviable to produce my own clean energy,” Alonso said.

Spain’s conservative government announced a reform of the energy system last month, including the “support levy” on solar power in a country blessed with abundant sunlight.

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

Charging Your Electric Vehicle with Solar Energy

Here’s a good article that analyzes the eco-friendliness of electric transportation that makes a point that I try to emphasize in my discussions on the subject: the EV “selection effect.” The vast majority of EV buyers at this point make their decision based on their interest in protecting and preserving the environment, and are extremely likely to charge their cars with solar energy, i.e., “green people buy green cars and green electricity.”

The article (and those it links to) makes the usual error, however, of discussing the average preponderance of coal in the grid-mix, as if this has bearing on the validity of EVs from an ecologic standpoint. The real question, of course, is: Where does the energy come from when you put an incremental load on the grid in most portions of the U.S. in the middle of the night? And the answer, because it’s the least expensive form of baseload, is coal.

But again, let’s not lose sight of the selection effect. As the gentleman interviewed says, “At least 56 percent of all EV owners in California, who make up 35 percent of EV owners in the U.S., either have or are installing solar panels in their homes, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy, California.”

Written by 2GreenEnergy. To read the full article, click here.

Department Of Energy Names SunWize As Qualified Company

SunWize Technologies has earned certification from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a “Qualified Energy Service Company.” This designation is an indication of SunWize’s industry experience and track record of successfully developing and managing solar projects for the U.S. Government.

“We welcome the vote of confidence the DOE has placed in SunWize’s ability to provide the right solution to our customers’ energy needs,” explained SunWize President and Chief Operating Officer David Kaltsas. “It is another example of why leading public and private organizations routinely turn to us to solve their most complex sustainable energy challenges.”

This certification grants SunWize pre-approval status as a Qualified Energy Service Company and entitles the company to submit unsolicited proposals for Energy Savings Performance Contracting. As a prerequisite to achieving this certification, SunWize was required to demonstrate success in serving as the prime contractor with direct financial responsibility for project design and installation of PV systems where energy savings or utility demand reduction could be verified. A Qualification Review Board (QRB) comprised of DOE staff awarded SunWize the certification.

Written by Kathleen Zipp. To read the full article, click here.

Global Warming, Solar Energy & $300,000 Tortoises: The Morality Of Energy Production

On Tuesday, June 25, in a speech before enthusiastic students at Georgetown University, President Obama delivered a message outlining his vision for what the United States ought to do, and what he personally is going to do, about the moral issue of energy production. Now at first glance, you would think that energy production is a technical issue that should be left to engineers and economists. But it was clear from the President’s speech that he thinks it is also a moral issue, as moral as which side you should fight on in a war. His speech, in fact, was peppered with militant terminology. He spoke of having the “courage to act,” he talked of the “fight against climate change,” and expressed his desire for America to “win the race for clean energy.” Toward the end, he called for citizens “who will stand up, and speak up, and compel us to do what this moment demands.” To that end, he announced that he was going to ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations that, according to Obama critic Charles Krauthammer, will “make it impossible to open any new coal plant and will systematically shut down existing plants.”

Written by Karl Stephan. 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