Solar Energy News Archive

  • Do you want solar panels? You can get them

    Do you want solar panels? You can get them

    Solar panels have become a practical and profitable investment, and a lot of people would like to get them.  But the majority of Americans are unaware of  the alternatives to an outright purchase of solar panels.  In fact, solar panels can be obtained with little or no upfront investment. The following are some of the alternative [...]

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  • Rooftop solar panels increase home values

    Rooftop solar panels increase home values

    It has been widely assumed that having rooftop solar panels installed on a house increased the value and sales price of a house, but now there is hard evidence from a large study confirming that assumption. The study, conducted by Berkeley National Laboratory in California for the U.S. Department of Energy and others, concluded that an [...]

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  • Top 10 solar manufacturers in 2011

    Top 10 solar manufacturers in 2011

    The top 10 solar panel manufacturers in the world in 2011 were: First Solar, Suntech Power, Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Sharp Solar, Hanwha Solar One, Jinko Solar, LDK Solar and Solar World.  Those 10 manufacturers collectively control about 44% of the global market with annual production of about 12.5 gigawatts of solar [...]

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  • Solar forecast is bright

    Solar forecast is bright

    Spurred by plummeting solar panel prices, a record 1.85 gigawatts of solar panels were installed in the U.S. during 2011 – more than doubling the amount installed during 2010.  Solar panel installations for 2012 are anticipated to be over 2.8 gigawatts. The Solar Energy Industry Association says the solar industry is the fastest growing industry in [...]

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  • Solar thermal heats up

    Solar thermal heats up

    Solar thermal is basic technology that’s been in use for a long time, and is very effective at using sunlight for heating water or interior space.  Unlike solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, solar thermal systems simply use the heat from sunlight to heat water or space.  Anyone who is uncertain just how effective solar thermal can [...]

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  • Soft costs for solar installations are way too high

    Soft costs for solar installations are way too high

    The Department of Energy reported that soft costs (permitting, financing, grid connections, etc.) now account for 40% to 50% of the total cost of installing and operating a rooftop solar energy system.  No doubt that high percentage of soft costs is partly due to the rapidly falling costs of the solar panels themselves. But still, 40% [...]

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  • Solar installations skyrocket

    Solar installations skyrocket

    Propelled in part by plummeting solar panel prices and expanding solar panel leasing programs, the number of U.S. solar panel installations is exploding.  As reported by the U.S. Solar Industry: in just the third quarter of 2010 (July – September) almost 450 megawatts-worth of solar panels were installed in the U.S., which made it the best [...]

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  • Residential solar installations multiply

    Residential solar installations multiply

    As shown in the chart from, total installed residential solar capacity has increased 743% from 35 megawatts in 2006 to 260 megawatts in 2010.  And the rate of increase has been steadily increasing. Any increase of 743% in five years can reasonably be considered dramatic.  It means large numbers of people are proactively making the decision [...]

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  • A sunscreen for your roof?

    A sunscreen for your roof?

    Do you think your house might be more comfortable and energy-efficient if there was a sunscreen above our roof during the sunny, broiling-hot summer days and a blanket on your roof during cold winter nights?  An article in the Atlantic reported on the intriguing results of a new study in the journal Solar Energy that [...]

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  • TXU Energy’s solar incentive

    TXU Energy’s solar incentive

    TXU Energy announced this week a new program to contribute $1,000 toward the cost of leasing solar panels from SolarCity for the first 5,000 customers who sign up.  The $5,000,000 incentive program expands the TXU Energy and SolarCity partnership originally launched in February 2010. The program is available to new or current TXU Energy residential customers.  [...]

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