Tag Archives: solar

Why Did Apple Pay so Much for 130 MW of Solar? Is Google Part of the Answer?

Sometimes, we write blog posts that pose rhetorical questions in the title. This time, I have real questions. I lay out several possible answers below and would love input from blog readers. Here’s a little background. Several weeks ago, to … Continue reading

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Why the Phrase “Energy Leapfrogging” Is Misleading

I have seen a number of blog posts, panel discussions and news articles that extol the idea of energy leapfrogging. A recent Business Week column on India described, “leapfrogging the nation’s ailing power-distribution infrastructure with solar-powered local networks — the … Continue reading

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Renewable integration challenges create demand response opportunities

The power grid is getting greener. The graph below summarizes EIA projections of U.S. non-hydro electricity generation under different assumptions about greenhouse gas regulations, fuel prices, and technology costs: Source: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16051 Although there is some debate over whether these EIA … Continue reading

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Identifying the Best Ways to Increase Energy Access

NPR ran a story a couple months ago about a seemingly clever device. It’s called the Soccket. The name – and the device – combines soccer with electricity. The Soccket – created by a US-based NGO and distributed around the … Continue reading

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Why Aren’t We Talking About Net Energy Metering for LEDs?

The fights over net energy metering have gotten loud and heated. For those of you who have missed the drama, here, in a nutshell, is what “net metering” means. Say I install enough solar panels on my roof to provide … Continue reading

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The Politics of Renewable Energy

I found yesterday’s NY Times article on the shifting politics of renewable energy morbidly fascinating on both a political and economic level. Basically the article pieces together anecdotes of odd-couple political alliances between renewable energy boosters and Republicans, Libertarians (e.g. … Continue reading

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Rate design wars are the sound of utilities taking residential PV seriously

Imagine walking into your supermarket with a bag of zucchini from your garden and saying that you’d like to trade them straight up for an equal quantity of zucchini next month. The store manager would explain that they aren’t in … Continue reading

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Solar panels (and energy efficiency) at the White House

Last week, the Washington Post reported that solar panels are being installed on the White House roof. Or, more accurately, re-installed.  Jimmy Carter installed a solar thermal system on this roof back in 1979. This was quickly removed by the next … Continue reading

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The California Solar Initiative is ending. What has it left behind?

Nearly all the money has been spent, and the California Solar Initiative is winding down.  The direct CSI subsidy for installing PV panels on your house, which started at $2.50 per watt (of installed peak capacity) is now just $0.20 … Continue reading

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Marketing Solar, Part Two

Several weeks ago I blogged about a solar quote my family received. The quote suggested that we could spend $12,400 to save $39,500 on our future electricity bills. My post raised two issues about the quote, including that the savings … Continue reading

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