Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other “soft” costs.
Today hundreds of thousands of middle-class households across the U.S. are turning to solar power. But households with incomes below the median for their areas remain less likely to go solar. These low- and moderate-income households face several roadblocks to solar adoption, including cash constraints, low rates of home ownership and language barriers. Continue reading →
Tech leaders and solar companies are coming together to promote rebuilding Puerto Rico’s power grid with renewable energy technology. (Photo: SolarCity)
As Congress on Thursday approved a $5 billion loan that will further burden the already bankrupt U.S. territory, various solar companies and nonprofits continued working together to offer aid to the storm-ravaged island while also promoting a more sustainable future and resilient energy system.
On Thursday, the nonprofit Empowered By Light and Sunrun—the nation’s largest residential solar company—partnered with local leaders to install a 4kW solar array with battery storage at the Barrio Obrero fire station in San Juan. A second system will be installed at another fire station on Friday. Continue reading →
China already has the world’s largest installation of wind turbines. (Photo: Sandia Labs/flickr/cc)
While climate activists in the U.S. mount a resistance to the incoming climate-change-denying Trump administration, on the other side of the Pacific, environmentalists have reason to celebrate: China on Thursday announced that it will invest $361 billion in renewable energy by 2020.
Just recently, a WTO panel has ruled that the domestic content requirement (DCR) imposed under India’s National Solar Mission (NSM), is inconsistent with its archaic treaty obligations under the global trading regime. The requirement in question mandates a percentage of components to be sourced locally, to boost homegrown production of solar cells and solar modules. Continue reading →
Solar panels at California solar ranch. Photo by Pacific Southwest Region from Sacramento, US (Solar Panels at California Valley Solar Ranch 1) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Move over dirty fossil fuels, the solar revolution is coming.
That, at least, is the buried headline contained in new reporting from Reuters on Sunday which looks at the ability of the solar industry to upend the world’s energy system in ways similar to recent innovations which allowed oil and gas companies to squeeze previously unattainable deposits from underground shale formations.
With a focus on Japan, Reuters catalogs how the rising capacity and falling prices of solar energy—even as it currently survives without contributions from a fleet of dormant nuclear plants —has led the country to turn off its “giant oil-fired power plants” one after another. Continue reading →
Wind turbines, Vendsyssel, Denmark. Photo by Tomasz Sienicki (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-1.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
As progress at the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru has been reported as “slow” by many observers so far, green campaigners on Friday called on world governments participating in the talks to end their continued dependence on outdated fossil fuel- and nuclear-powered energy systems and urged investment and policies geared toward building clean, sustainable, community-based energy solutions.