27. January 2016 · Comments Off on No more niche: Is solar the next Uber? · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

2015 was a banner year for solar power across the country — from the Carolinas to California — and 2016 is shaping up to be even better. California ranked first for utility-scale solar construction in 2015, with North Carolina ranking second, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley opened new solar markets in 2015, and more will follow.In North Carolina, Duke Energy companies set a record for the amount of solar energy they added in the state — more than 300 megawatts (MW) or enough to power about 60,000 average homes at peak production — and committed $500 million in its regulated service territory for a major expansion of solar power in North Carolina.

Source: No more niche: Is solar the next Uber? – SmartGridNews

12. November 2015 · Comments Off on Energy storage advance readies concentrated solar power for the smart grid · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources is a huge burden on the power grid, making flexible and economical energy storage an essential step to a greener future. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Florida have now devised a way to conveniently store and release energy harvested through concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, improving on the cost and energy density of previous systems and preparing this technology for the smart grid.While standard solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity, concentrated solar power plants focus an array of mirrors onto a solar receiver and use the resulting heat to drive an electricity-generating steam turbine. These systems tend to be low-cost, safe, long lasting and highly efficient, but they must be coupled to powerful and flexible energy storage to work at full effect.

Source: Energy storage advance readies concentrated solar power for the smart grid

10. November 2015 · Comments Off on Record response: CPUC hit hard on net metering · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

Picture this: Wheelbarrows full of signed postcards and petitions being pushed (literally) toward the offices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in support of net metering, whereby energy consumers can generate their own energy using solar power. It really happened late last week, as residents throughout California — representing a diverse coalition of consumer, environmental, faith, public health, environmental justice, and business organizations –gathered on the CPUC steps to deliver more than 130,000 signatures in support of net metering.

Source: Record response: CPUC hit hard on net metering – SmartGridNews

02. October 2015 · Comments Off on Europe leads in solar tech, but not smart grids  · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

Suppliers already know the business potential of the solar energy system market. But a major conference in Germany last week demonstrated how European researchers are putting the region in a leading position in the development of photovoltaics, the core technology for solar power.The message is that investment in R&D can be used by the industry to achieve a significant future market share in PV products.There is potential to increase the level of solar energy in the European market. After a promising adoption levels in the early days of solar power, particularly in Italy and Spain, the rate of deployment has dropped off.

Source: Europe leads in solar tech, but not smart grids | Electronics Weekly

11. August 2015 · Comments Off on PG&E Proposes Smart Energy Reform in Support of Growth of Rooftop Solar · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which has interconnected more rooftop solar power than any utility in America, is proposing smart energy reform in support of sustainable growth of solar power for California.The plan, submitted recently to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), proposes new rules that would allow new solar customers to be able to achieve significant reductions to typical electric bills while beginning the process of creating a more sustainable approach that is necessary to support long-term growth of solar, battery storage, electric vehicles, home automation and other advanced technologies.In legislation now pending in Sacramento, PG&E also is advocating that the state count rooftop solar toward new renewable energy targets as another way to help ensure the continued growth of rooftop solar.

Source: PG&E Proposes Smart Energy Reform in Support of Growth of Rooftop Solar