photovoltaic panels


The budget impasse is hurting Illinois when it comes to investing in renewable energy. This is getting ridiculous. Rauner’s quest to destroy public sector unions has got to stop. This lady spells it out in no uncertain terms.

http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20160419/michelle-knox-illinois-must-act-now-to-fix-its-clean-energy-policies/?Start=1

Michelle Knox: Illinois must act now to fix its clean energy policies

Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 10:05 PM

In 1970, more than 20 million people worldwide took part in the first Earth Day. Millions more will take part in Earth Day 2016.

As someone who delivers both wind and solar energy to customers in Central Illinois, I can attest to the need to fix Illinois’ energy policy — and quickly. I plan to be among those participating in a rally at the state Capitol in Springfield this week, during which we will deliver a strong message to Illinois leaders: by the time Earth Day 2017 arrives, it is critical that Illinois will have taken steps to reform our state’s out-of-date energy policies or we will lose clean energy jobs to other states.

Any day that goes by — let alone another year — without such a fix puts our state at risk of losing out on jobs and investments in this competitive field.

Fortunately, lawmakers have the chance to bolster our clean energy economy at the time we need it most. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (SB1485/ HB2607) would create more than 32,000 jobs and deliver more than $1.6 billion in savings to electricity consumers, while making vast improvements in public health. This bipartisan legislation would double the current standards for energy efficiency while increasing the targets for electricity generated by renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to 35 percent by 2030, up from the current target of 25 percent by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_natural_resources

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The November issue of National Geographic magazine is totally devoted to Climate Change. Please read the whole thing, but here is as small taste.

 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/climate-change/germany-renewable-energy-revolution-text

How Do We Fix It?

Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future

The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

By Robert Kunzig
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
Published October 15, 2015

Hamburg knew the bombs were coming, and so the prisoners of war and forced laborers had just half a year to build the giant flak bunker. By July 1943 it was finished. A windowless cube of reinforced concrete, with seven-foot-thick walls and an even thicker roof, it towered like a medieval castle above a park near the Elbe River. The guns protruding from its four turrets would sweep Allied bombers from the sky, the Nazis promised, while tens of thousands of citizens sheltered safely behind its impenetrable walls.

Coming in at night from the North Sea just weeks after the bunker was finished, British bombers steered for the spire of St. Nikolai in the center of the city. They dropped clouds of metallic foil strips to throw off German radar and flak gunners. Targeting crowded residential neighborhoods, the bombers ignited an unquenchable firestorm that destroyed half of Hamburg and killed more than 34,000 people. Towering walls of fire created winds so strong that people were blown into the flames. Church bells clanged furiously.

The spire of St. Nikolai, which somehow survived, stands today as a mahnmal—a memorial reminding Germany of the hell brought by the Nazis. The flak bunker is another mahnmal. But now it has a new meaning: An urban development agency (IBA Hamburg) and the municipal utility (Hamburg Energie) have transformed it from a powerful reminder of Germany’s shameful past into a hopeful vision for the future.

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Go there and read 1000 pages. More next week.

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As I continue my mad cap romp over the internet search for “home energy services”, this website is the next one I like.

https://www.directenergy.com/home-services/solar

Power Your Home for Less!

Take control of your electricity bill. Go solar.

Direct Energy Solar

Your Sun. Your Power. Your Way.TM

People everywhere are discovering the quality of our custom system design, the ease of our premier process, the accuracy of our system performance, and the peace of mind of our worry-free guarantees.

Why are People Going Solar?

  • Financial Savings — your monthly bill will be less that your current bill.
  • Energy Independence — lock in your own electricity rates!
  • Home Value Increases — solar panels have been shown to increase value.
  • It’s Great for the Planet — reduce your carbon footprint!

Why choose Direct Energy Solar?

We’re Up On Your Roof First
Before we present you with a sales proposal, we come to your home, measure how much sunlight your roof receives and custom-design your system. We don’t guess by looking at your house online. Because we take accurate measurements before you meet with one of our solar consultants, you will know exactly what your system will produce, and we guarantee it. You will also receive accurate forecasts of your solar payback and ROI.

Our Installation Process is Worry-Free
We want to make the process of going solar easy for you. Our team of solar experts personally handles every detail throughout your entire experience to turn a complex process into one that’s smooth and carefree for you. Our professionals take care of everything, from precise measurements of your roof to post-installation paperwork for grants and rebates, and everything in between. Our installation process is fast and efficient, so you’ll be saving in no time.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I hope things are even better this year.

http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/2014-hot-topics-renewables/2014-01-14

2014 hot topics in renewables

excerpt on solar…

The year 2013 was one for the record books for solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the third quarter of 2013 was the second largest for the U.S. solar industry, and new solar electric capacity added in 2014 will generate enough clean energy to power more than 850,000 average American homes.

Solar became one of the leading sources of new generation in 2013 with the continued decline in equipment costs

“[This gives] the industry the opportunity to focus on soft cost reduction as well,” said Tom Solazzo, principal, PwC Power & Utilities. “Initial efforts at addressing permitting, labor, financing, and contract costs through operational efficiency and standardization are bearing fruit, with more upside potential in the future.”

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I love the name Fierce Energy. Go there and read. More next week.

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Because we have been talking about residential energy savings. I felt the need to end on a generation note. I mean if you are making your own, isn’t that the ultimate energy savings?

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/solar-power-sees-unprecedented-boom-in-u-s/

 

Solar Power Sees Unprecedented Boom in U.S.

Photovoltaics and solar thermal both enjoyed banner years, despite uncertainties

U.S. solar power grew by 6.2 gigawatts in 2014, a 30 percent increase over the previous year and representing nearly $18 billion in new investment, according to data released this morning by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.

The new power systems, comprising tens of thousands of photovoltaic (PV) arrays for homes, schools, businesses and utilities, as well as a handful of large concentrated solar power facilities in places like the Mojave Desert, raised the United States’ profile as one of the world’s leading adopters of solar power, officials said.

But the future for U.S. solar isn’t without its bumps.

New installations of nonresidential solar panels, while accounting for more than 1 GW of power, shrank by 6 percent year over year, a condition caused by a variety of factors “ranging from tight economics to difficulty financing small commercial installations,” GTM analysts said in their latest “U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.”

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Go there and bask. More next week.

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But it appears that the world is changing.

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/big-utilities-push-into-booming-home-solar-market/

 

Big Utilities Push into Booming Home Solar Market

By Nichola Groom (Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat.

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action, and they are having to fight for the chance.

If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and access to customers could transform what has been a fast-growing, but niche industry. Solar powers only half a million U.S. homes and businesses, according to solar market research firm GTM Research.

But utility-owned rooftop systems represent a change the solar installation companies who dominate the market don’t want, and whether the two sides can compromise may determine if residential solar truly goes mainstream.

In Arizona, the state’s largest utility has proposed putting solar panels on 3,000 customers’ homes, promising a $30 monthly break on their power bills. In New York, regulators are weighing allowing utilities to get into the solar leasing business to meet the state’s aggressive plan to incorporate more decentralized, renewable power onto the grid.

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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I find this all very charming. Not the utility company rasing rates, but the idea that the utility companies think they can fend off solar this way.

 

http://grist.org/climate-energy/utilities-to-battery-powered-solar-get-off-our-lawn/

Utilities to battery-powered solar: Get off our lawn

In Wisconsin, utilities are jacking up the price to connect to their electrical grid. In Oklahoma, utilities pushed through a law this spring that allows them to charge the people who own solar panels and wind turbines more to connect to their electrical grid. In Arizona, the state has decided to charge extra property taxes to households that are leasing solar panels.

Welcome to the solar backlash. In Grist’s “Utilities for Dummies” series last year, David Roberts prophesied that solar and other renewables could “lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.” And lo, it is coming to pass — though not without a fight from the utilities first.

This May, Barclays downgraded its rating of America’s electricity sector from “market weight” to “underweight.” Its rationale? Solar — or, more specifically, the great leaps that are happening or expected to happen in technology for storing the energy that solar generates. While the solar industry took a roller-coaster ride over the last decade, the R&D that went into electric cars created the killer add-on it was waiting for: really awesome batteries.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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My friend, Margie Vicknair, lives in Southern Louisiana and recently leased a solar system for her residence. That is all I will say about Margie or the company she leases from. The purpose of this post is not to “out” Margie ashe is a single gal, nor to advertise a company, because we do not do that here. But it is to show that real people can get real benefits from solar leasing. (sorry i did not post this last week but I got on a tear about silly humans and i just could not let it go. and even sorry about the death of Robin Williams – nanoo nanoo)

http://solarprofessional.com/articles/finance-economics/the-evolution-of-residential-solar-leasing

 

The Evolution of Residential Solar Leasing

The introduction of the solar lease financing model and third-party system ownership has rapidly and fundamentally transformed the residential solar market in the US. One could argue that the advent of high-voltage string inverters in the US market in 2001 was the last transformative event of this magnitude. The solar lease is a once-ina- decade industry-changing product that has created vast opportunities for some integration firms, and competitive challenges and disadvantages for others. Examining the evolution of the residential solar lease, its current status, and likely future developments can assist integrators in navigating these often complex and quickly evolving system-financing mechanisms.

Solar Lease History

Many people contend that the residential solar lease was born in 2007 when Sunrun, a start-up finance company led by two Stanford business graduates, introduced its residential lease product. Lynn Jurich and Ed Fenster believed that the number one, two and three obstacles to the propagation of residential solar were—no surprise—money, money and money. Sunrun’s financial model was simple: Leverage investor resources and tax equity to purchase PV systems on behalf of residential homeowners, providing a financed solution with no or low up-front costs. The solar lease effectively simplifies a homeowner’s path to investing in solar. Under this model, the lease provider—not the residential homeowner— receives all rebates, tax credits and depreciation. The lease provider in turn offers a warranty on all aspects of the system and provides some degree of system monitoring and O&M over the typical 20-year lease term. At the end of the term, homeowners have three options: renew the lease, purchase the system at fair market value or have the system removed at no cost.

Residential solar lease providers typically offer two plan options.

Monthly payment plan. A monthly payment plan allows for zero money down or a low up-front investment, usually in the $1,000–$4,000 range. The homeowner agrees to purchase all the electricity produced by the PV system for the next 20 years at a rate lower than or equal to the local rate of conventional power per kilowatt hour. Depending on the specifics of the financing, the new rate may include an escalator that can be more beneficial to the lease provider than to the customer. The general lease approach provides the homeowner an opportunity to switch to solar power without having to come up with the system’s total cost out of pocket. It also streamlines the homeowner’s transaction by eliminating the need to claim the 30% federal tax credit.

Prepaid plan. Under this plan, the homeowner makes a large payment (typically about 65% of the total system cost) at the initiation of the lease term, but does not need to make another payment over the lease’s 20-year term. This approach enables the customer to have a PV system installed without shouldering the tax liability necessary to take full advantage of available tax credits. A prepaid plan may be ideal for a homeowner such as a retiree living on a fixed income, who is prepared to make a large investment in solar but does not have the tax appetite required to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit. The system owner also typically benefits from an extended warranty, O&M services and system monitoring provided over the 20-year term.

Both of these options have proven to be very appealing to a large number of consumers who want to make the switch to solar. According the 2012 U.S. Solar Market Insight report published by GTM Research and SEIA, as of Q2 2012 solar leases finance approximately 70% of residential installations in the major markets of California and Colorado, 80% of the installations in Arizona and more than 45% in Massachusetts. The increase in third-party–owned residential systems is expected to continue across all mature solar markets.

Early on, solar lease providers faced challenges from a regulatory standpoint. Existing rebate and interconnection processes were based on the concept of sole ownership. However, Sunrun and other solar finance companies have worked diligently to resolve these issues. Residential solar lease financing is now available in at least 12 states. The primary limiter on these products is generally not regulatory issues, but regional financial viability based on available financial incentives, electricity costs and the region’s solar resources. Currently only a few states explicitly prohibit third-party residential financing.

Current Lease Models

As residential lease products continue to evolve, providers are developing and refining a range of business models. There are currently three solar leasing models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Holy Cow. There are really two sides to this issue and opinions are very strong. I think it actually depends on the company and their integrity but maybe that is just me. I start with the NO sayers and next week I will post the YES sayers.

 

http://solarleasedisadvantages.com/

 

Solar Leasing

 

FACT: If you owe federal income taxes, then there’s absolutely no such thing as a $0 down solar lease or PPA.

And here’s why: A mandatory condition of both of these rental programs is that you forfeit the 30% federal tax credit and any cash rebate to the solar lease or PPA company.

The 30% federal tax credit alone is typically worth anywhere from $3,500 to well over $10,000.000 at the leasing company’s much higher pricing.

Before signing any contract, always demand to be shown, in writing, both the amount of the tax credit and any rebate that you’re providing as a down payment as well as the total system price.

If your solar lease or PPA salesman refuses to provide you with this information, then it is in your best financial interest to ask your salesman to leave.

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Go there and read. More next week

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