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.
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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.
Renewable energy policy has seemingly been on the hot seat since late summer. As early as today, it will finally find out how much political backing it has with a series of votes on Capitol Hill.
Green energy may be losing momentum inside the Beltway. But officials in the heart of Silicon Valley are betting on the sun.
Under overcast skies, Patti Jarrett learned she had a nearly ideal roof for the 3.29-kilowatt solar energy system she planned to lease. South facing. Good tilt. Little shade.
An average American's greenhouse gas emissions begin to decrease around age 60. Retirees aren’t struck by a sudden commitment to the environment, but because they're not working full-time, they drive less. They might buy fewer clothes. They move into a smaller house. Now, two companies are betting that the promise of ditching electric bills for the rest of their lives will compel them to choose a net-zero energy house, too.
Google (GOOG) is stepping up wind-power purchases to reduce emissions, even as it devotes most of its renewable energy investments to sun-related projects, a trade-off aimed at reining in costs as the company seeks higher returns.