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.
Michigan is playing host to a major battle over renewable energy this fall. On one side are clean energy proponents promoting a ballot initiative that would increase the state’s renewable electricity targets to 25 percent by 2025. On the other side are large coal-dependent utilities fighting to prevent any new increases.
Great Falls High decided to expand their science solar project after the first installation of two solar panels went so well. Now there are 72 solar panels on the roof of south campus, helping to power the entire building.
The array of solar panels all facing south give the appearance of a shimmering lake. And by late December, the 300,000 solar panels, each roughly the size of a 46-inch flat screen television near the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown off Roxbury Road, are expected to generate a peak of 20 megawatts of power per hour.
Clean energy has become a dirty word in presidential politics. In their second debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each tried to outdo the other’s love of fossil fuels: Obama extolling his record on oil and natural gas production, Romney vowing to take “advantage of the oil and coal we have here.” The Republican candidate has ridiculed the administration’s $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the bankrupt California-based solar panel maker, and accused Obama of living “in an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy.”
WHEN the city of Brea, Calif., about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, set out to reduce its carbon emissions and save money on energy costs, the challenge was the same faced by many other cities nationwide: allocating the funds to pay for the program.