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Solar Power

Solar's Value for Grid Circuits: Not Much on Average, but Huge for a Handful

July 1, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Solar and the Grid

Solar advocates and opponents have argued over the merits of various studies about the relative costs and benefits of distributed solar PV. Different studies have reached different results -- so different that the Rocky Mountain Institute wrote an entire report just to compare and contrast 16 of them.[read more]

Residential PACE on the Rise; Innovative Solar Financing

July 1, 2015 by Dan Scripps

Residential PACE Financing

In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Authority almost killed Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE) for residential properties. A lot can happen in five years, and what was once a program on the verge of foreclosure is now a booming market.[read more]

North Carolina Solar Leadership at the Crossroads

June 30, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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Solar in the States

As a North Carolinian, I can tell you it's pretty darned amazing that, last year, our state was number 2 in the nation in installed solar capacity. And number 4 in the first quarter of 2015, despite what can only be described as some really crappy (and construction-slowing) winter weather.[read more]

Solar Star, Largest PV Power Plant in the World, Now Operational

June 25, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Solar Star PV Plant

BHE Renewables' 579-megawatt solar project located in in Antelope Valley, California is now fully connected to the California ISO grid. That allows the facility, dubbed "Solar Star," to claim the title of the largest operational solar project on the planet.[read more]

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How Much Land Does Solar, Wind and Nuclear Energy Require?

June 24, 2015 by Jesse Jenkins
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Land use impacts of solar wind and nuclear energy.

Does wind and solar take up too much land to be practical? Does the extreme energy density of nuclear fuel make it the ecologically ideal energy source? In this post, I run the numbers on the land use impact of wind, solar, nuclear and other energy sources.[read more]

Wind and Solar Will Soon Become the 'Least-Cost Option Almost Universally'

June 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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Wind and Solar Costs

Two new reports on global demand for renewables forecast dramatic growth in nearly every region of the world over the coming decades. While promotion policies are still important for supporting the industry, conventional technologies like wind and solar are becoming cheap enough to compete without subsidies.[read more]

How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

June 23, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

Distributed Generation Planning

In the U.S., residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11% over the previous quarter: In those states where residential solar is taking hold, there are mounting concerns that rate structures currently in place to support residential PV will result in adopters bearing less than their fair share of system costs.[read more]

Opening the Small Commercial Solar Market

June 22, 2015 by Elias Hinckley

Small Scale Solar Market/shutterstock

While the solar market has been exploding over the past few years, the small commercial segment of the market, made up of locations like apartment buildings, office buildings, small businesses, factories, warehouses, and hospitals, has been extraordinarily slow to develop.[read more]

Investors Funnel $1.3 Billion Into the Advanced Nuclear Industry

June 18, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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Advanced Nuclear Funding

If the venture capital hysteria around solar manufacturing were judged by the billions of dollars invested, it could be called a great success. But the long (and still growing) list of failed solar companies proves that a rush of investment doesn't tell the full story.[read more]

India Boosts Its Solar Target to 100 Gigawatts by 2022

June 18, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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India upped its solar target five-fold. 

Climate Progress: India Just Upped Its Solar Target Five-FoldOn Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian Cabinet approved increasing the country’s solar target five times to a goal of reaching 100 gigawatts, up from 20 GW, by 2022.The new solar capacity will be nearly split between residential and large-scale solar...[read more]

The First Energy Revolution: Tesla Energy Changes Everything

June 17, 2015 by Ken Trough
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Has Tesla Changed the Energy Industry

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently introduced Tesla Energy, a suite of stationary battery products designed to help wean the world off fossil fuels. While a battery introduction may not seem like a world-changing event to many, it actually heralds the beginning of the First Energy Revolution.[read more]

What's a Bigger Business in Florida: Clean Energy or Ag Exports?

June 15, 2015 by Jim Pierobon
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Florida Energy and State Economics

If one were to ask what industry in Florida harbors the strongest growth prospects, it might be difficult to look beyond the state's bountiful agricultural products. But energy users and policymakers in the Sunshine State, led by Governor Rick Scott, should wake up to how fast clean energy is growing there.[read more]

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Procuring Clean Energy in the Developing World: The Appeal of Auctions and the Way Forward

Developing Nations, Clean Energy

Meeting rising energy demand with cost-effective new generation capacity is a critical challenge facing most developing countries. As policymakers and regulators seek out support schemes for clean energy, one procurement mechanism seems to lead the charge – the renewable energy auction.[read more]

U.S. Commercial Solar Sector has Lagged, but Now Looks Cleared for Takeoff

June 10, 2015 by Jared Anderson

Commercial Solar in the U.S.

The commercial and industrial solar power sector has not yet taken flight in the same way that residential and utility-scale solar has in recent years. But the C&I solar market is a strange animal for several reasons, but changing economics, regulations and technology appear to be creating new growth opportunities.[read more]

Proposed Clean Power Plan Would Accelerate Renewable Additions and Coal Plant Retirements

June 10, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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Effects of the Clean Power Plan

The EPA's Clean Power Plan shows that renewables play a critical role under a range of different market and policy assumptions. The key difference across the various scenarios analyzed involves when and how wind and solar generating capacity additions occur, as well as retirements of coal generation capacity.[read more]