Longmont Colorado Commits to 100% Clean Renewable Electricity by 2030

Posted by | Clean Energy, Electricity, Renewable | No Comments

On Tuesday, the Longmont city council voted to approve a resolution committing the community in a shift away from fossil fuels and to transition to 100 percent clean renewable electricity by 2030. The City Council Resolution builds off of Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley’s Proclamation signed on December 5th establishing a vision for powering the community entirely with clean Read More

How a Couple’s Electric Bill went from $200 to $11

Posted by | Electricity, Saving Money, Solar Energy System | No Comments

A year and a half ago, Melanie and John Maiorca’s electric bill topped $200 every month. Last month, they paid PSEG a whopping $11.

NEWSDAY — The reason for the Maiorcas’ savings? They installed solar panels on their newly built 2,100-square-foot Colonial in Ridge. “It seems too good to be true, but it’s not,” says Melanie Maiorca, 31. “Everyone’s rates are going up, but my power bill is $11. Read More

Ray Kurzweil: Here’s Why Solar Will Dominate Energy Within 12 Years

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Photograph by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Photograph by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Excerpt: Fortune Magazine; April 16, 2016; David Z. Morris

Ray Kurzweil has made a bold prediction about the future of solar energy, saying in remarks at a recent medical technology conference that it could become the dominant force in energy production in a little over a decade. That may be tough to swallow, given that solar currently only supplies around 2% of global energy—but Kurzweil’s predictions have been overwhelmingly correct over the last two decades, so he’s worth listening to.

Kurzweil’s basic point […] was that while solar is still tiny, it has begun to reliably double its market share every two years—today’s 2% share is up from just 0.5% in 2012.

[…]

linear analysis ignores what Kurzweil calls the Law of Accelerating Returns—that as new technologies get smaller and cheaper, their growth becomes exponential.

So instead of looking at year over year growth in percentage terms, Kurzweil says we should look at the rate of growth—the fact that solar market share is doubling every two years. If the current 2% share doubles every two years, solar should have a 100% share of the market in 12 years.

Okay, technically, that would suggest solar would have a 128% share of the market in 12 years. Some might love that—but it highlights the fact that Kurzweil’s prediction is only partially grounded in the real world. Even 100% share is extremely unlikely—fossil fuel giants are definitely not going down without a fight.

But even those giants ignore Kurzweil at their own peril. He predicted the mobile Internet, cloud computing, and wearable tech nearly 20 years ago—all on the basis of the same principle of accelerating returns that’s behind his solar call.

California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes

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Ecoforce Solutions

New York Times, May 9, 2018, Ivan Penn

SACRAMENTO — Long a leader and trendsetter in its clean-energy goals, California took a giant step on Wednesday, becoming the first state to require all new homes to have solar power.

The new requirement, to take effect in two years, brings solar power into the mainstream in a way it has never been until now. It will add thousands of dollars to the cost of home when a shortage of affordable housing is one of California’s most pressing issues.

That made the relative ease of its approval — in a unanimous vote by the five-member California Energy Commission before a standing-room crowd, with little debate — all the more remarkable.

State officials and clean-energy advocates say the extra cost to home buyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. That prospect has won over even the construction industry, which has embraced solar capability as a selling point.

“This adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap,” Bob Raymer, senior engineer for the California Building Industry Association, said during the public comments before the vote. “You can bet every state will be watching to see what happens.”

[…]
The utility industry has been preparing for the proliferation of energy-producing homes by studying its impact on the electric grid with tests like a net-zero community developed in Fontana, east of Los Angeles. The utilities are trying to determine how to manage a system where homes are putting electricity onto the grid during the day and consuming it at night.

“We’ve been working towards it,” said Ram Narayanamurthy, technical executive at the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit group that does research for the nation’s power companies. “What we think we will see is greater and greater efficiency.”

The Fontana research has shown that with a combination of energy-efficiency measures and solar power, the overall cost of owning a home is reduced, he said.

Solar Farm Helps Apple Run on 100% Renewable Energy

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Ecoforce Solutions

04-08-2018; Fast Company (excerpt); Mark Sullivan

You have to see Apple’s Reno, Nevada, data center from the inside to truly understand how huge it is. It’s made up of five long white buildings sitting side by side on a dry scrubby landscape just off I-80, and the corridor that connects them through the middle is a quarter-mile long. On either side are big, dark rooms–more than 50 of them–filled with more than 200,000 identical servers, tiny lights winking in the dark from their front panels. This is where Siri lives. And iCloud. And Apple Music. And Apple Pay.

Powering all these machines, and keeping them cool, takes a lot of power–constant, uninterrupted, redundant power. At the Reno data center, that means 100% green power from three different Read More

Renewable Energy Jobs Reach 10.3 Million Worldwide in 2017

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Abu Dhabi, UAE: 8 May 2018 — The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). According to the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi today, the total number of people employed in the sector (including large hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million globally, surpassing the 10 million figure for the first time.

China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than Read More

Target Leads The Way as U.S. Corps Go Big on Solar

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Target Adds Solar

American businesses are investing record amounts in solar, with the top corporate users adding 325 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity last year, according to a report.

CNBC — Leading the way was Target, which added over 40 MW of solar capacity to its portfolio in 2017. The retailer now has more than 200 Read More

Sunshine State Gets More Solar

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Florida Solar Energy

Expect to see a lot more solar rooftops in Florida.

BLOOMBERG — The Sunshine State is removing what solar installer Sunrun Inc. has seen as a roadblock to consumer panel leasing, an arrangement that drove a boom in rooftop power systems elsewhere in the U.S. A ruling by Florida regulators on Friday will allow Sunrun, the largest U.S. residential-solar company, to expand in the state, the company said.

Utilities are the only entities that can legally sell electricity in Florida. Sunrun requested a clarification to that policy, and the Florida Public Service Commission ruled that the company’s 20-year solar-equipment leases don’t Read More

New York Boosts Efficiency Target with Solar and Energy Storage

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screen-shot-2018-05-04-at-12-36-23-am_orig

New York regulators green-light multiple initiatives to advance the state’s clean energy goals, while the governor doubles down on energy efficiency.
​GREENTECH MEDIA — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new energy efficiency standards for New York on Friday, calling for investor-owned utilities to achieve annual efficiency savings equal to 3 percent of sales by 2025.

The new target would accelerate energy efficiency by more than 40 percent over current forecasts and reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion Btu. The state also committed $36.5 million to train more than 19,500 New Yorkers for clean energy jobs.

“Energy efficiency is Read More