A goal of mine in writing for Forbes.com on energy issues is to point out intriguing business models, trends, and new concepts that may change the way we think about energy-related issues. Lately, I’ve been focused on dramatic changes in solar models and economics. Things have really changed in a very short timeframe, as the following story illustrates.
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David Crane, CEO and president, NRG Energy (NRG)
“With the cost of solar panels now just 10 percent of what they were five years ago, how do we streamline the local approval process and reduce the friction costs so that U.S. homeowners can realize the solar value of their property while paying less for their electricity?”
Utility power plants are many things—sprawling, expensive, often polluting—but one thing they are not is beautiful. Power plants are the engines of modern society, but we’d rather they stay out of the way.
GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association released numbers this morning suggesting that the solar juggernaut is not slowing down. Consider this: in the first three months of the year, the U.S. installed 723 MW, just under half of all new generation capacity installed across the country, and the best first quarter yet for solar.
WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON, MA — GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) today release U.S. Solar Market Insight: 1st Quarter 2013, the definitive analysis of solar power markets in the U.S., with strategic state-specific data for 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Army is currently in the experimental phase of an alternative energy program that could make the military a little less reliant on fossil fuels. Out of the laboratory and into the field, the Army’s program SAGE includes innovative technologies, such as solar panels, and other measures that are gradually being introduced to various base camps to test their efficiency limits and personnel capacities.
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has been awarded six community-owned solar gardens as part of Xcel's Solar*Rewards Community program, totaling 2.5 MW of distributed power generation. Through the new program, Clean Energy Collective will construct and maintain solar arrays, known as solar gardens, in centralized locations across the state.
When New England Patriots fans returned to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., for Monday's preseason game, dreaming no doubt about another shot at the Super Bowl, they were greeted by nearly 2,600 rooftop panels pointed at the sun. The Patriots, known for their smart tactics on the field, are switching to solar power for their off-field shopping and dining complex next door to the stadium.
Jurupa Unified School District and Chevron Energy Solutions today announced the completion of a 2.7 megawatt solar and energy efficiency program expected to reduce energy costs at 27 school sites and save the District more than $34 million. The project added solar photovoltaic panels mounted on parking and shade structures at nine campuses. Coupled with comprehensive energy education curriculum content, the transformative program is designed to inspire students to learn about – and experience – clean energy technologies and concepts.
When people think of ideal locations for concentrating solar power, they generally envision remote and dry deserts, like the Southwest. But with its Martin Solar Energy Center, Florida Power & Light (FPL) has shown that CSP can work in a humid and cloudy climate. Will that success bring more of the technology to the Southeast?