WASHINGTON, DC and SAN FRANCISCO – As solar energy installations spring up on rooftops and major power plants across the U.S., the average cost of going solar continues to fall, according to a report released today by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Solar industry advocates applauded the report’s results and reflected on the policies that have allowed the industry to continually lower costs while increasingly deployment.
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Anna Begay lives on a remote plot of land in the Navajo reservation. To reach her home, you drive through twisting, unmarked trails of dust and mud along the edge of Coalmine Canyon, in northwest Arizona.
Ben Kunz wanted to do "the green thing" and save on his electric bill without paying a lot of money up front. So instead of buying a solar system for his house in Cheshire, Conn., he leased one.
Solar energy could supply one-third of all electricity demand in the Western US by 2050 while massively cutting emissions – if the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative succeeds.
Harlem residents are finding a way to make dollars and sense out of solar panels — forming an energy co-op.
ROCKFORD, Minn. -- David Schmidt has been intrigued by the idea of generating power from the sun for a long time, but he had never taken the next step.
In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric power supply.
"For most of these states, they're looking at it for economic development and job creation," Ghassemi said, underscoring the reasons why solutions such as cost incentives and utility quotas haven't helped states like New Mexico catch up to California and New Jersey, an unlikely solar leader.
The big question for any homeowner considering installing solar power is a simple one: How quickly will the system pay for itself?
The short answer: It depends on where you live.
Residents here probably won't notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.