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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 

Category: Solar

Solar


Savings From the Sun: How to Use Solar Energy to Offset Upgrade Costs [Wastewater Treatment Plant]

Treatment Plant Operator, Apr. 2016, by Doug Day.
http://www.tpomag.com/editorial/2016/04/how_to_use_solar_energy_to_offset_upgrade_costs

"Solar energy helps an updated Maryland wastewater treatment plant cut utility power costs. A blower upgrade will soon follow."

Solar Energy Surge In Washington Leads To Reduced Incentives

KPLU, Apr. 14, 2016, by Tom Banse.
http://www.kplu.org/post/solar-energy-surge-washington-leads-reduced-incentives

"People who are interested in solar energy but don't own the perfect roof on which to install solar panels may have the option to buy into a bigger, centrally-located project. These are called shared solar or community solar. There's a boomlet of such projects in Washington state right now, while there are hardly any in sunnier Oregon and Idaho. But Washington's generous solar incentives are coming under scrutiny."

Why Rural Electric Cooperatives Are Opting for Community-Scale Solar

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 31, 2016, by Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_31
_why_rural_electric_cooperatives_are_opting_for_community_scale_solar


"The successful idea of the moment is community-scale solar. Rural electric cooperatives are spreading the word on how local clean power can save money, support communities, and diversify energy supplies. Community-scale solar is becoming an important tool for rural electric cooperatives as they begin their transition from a centralized fossil-fuel-based energy system to an increasingly distributed and renewable system."

Solar-Panel Installers Face Clouded Future

Wall Street Journal, Mar. 25, 2016, by Cassandra Sweet.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/solar-panel-installers-face-clouded-future-1458926502

"Many U.S. states are considering dialing back solar-power incentives amid growing pressure from local electric utilities, potentially dealing a blow to the companies that install home solar systems around the country."

Consumer Solar Checklist

Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 2016.
http://www.irecusa.org/consumer-protection/consumer-checklist/?utm_source=The+IREC+Report+April+2016&utm_campaign=The+IREC+Report+April+2016&utm_medium=email

"Using this checklist puts important information in your hands that you need to know before entering into a contract to install a solar system. It offers questions, considerations and protective measures that can help you get the answers you need to make informed decisions that can affect your bottom line – the safe and effective installation of a system that meets your expectations."

SEPA Report Details Key Drivers for Cutting Utility-Scale Solar LCOE

Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mar. 2016.
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/about-sepa/sepa-news/press-releases/sepa-report-details-key-drivers-for-cutting-utility-scale-solar-lcoe.aspx

"...a new report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says, not all solar projects are created equal. Utilities looking to procure cost-competitive, high-value solar projects need to evaluate a range of factors, from regional solar resource intensity to local labor and permitting costs to system design issues, such as whether to use a fixed-tilt or single axis tracking system. The report was produced in partnership with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar."

Solar Panels Could Ruin Your Roof

Buildings, Feb. 2016, by Douglas Fishburn.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/19851/title/solar-panels-could-ruin-your-roof.aspx

"Your roof is a smart place to install solar panels, but without the right precautions, you can void your warranty, compromise thermal performance and ruin waterproofing. Follow these tips to ensure you get the full benefits of renewable energy without harming your roof."

5 Reasons Community-Scale Solar is a Multi-GW Market Opportunity

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 17, 2016, by Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_17_5_reasons_community_scale_solar_is_a_multi_gw_market_opportunity

"The U.S. solar industry has enjoyed impressive growth of late, with strong forecasts for 2016, but it’s been an at-times bumpy ride as the industry has faced unfavorable rulings and stock-market troubles. Besides buckling their seatbelts, what can industry stakeholders do in this still-volatile market?.... Community-scale solar is that opportunity, and RMI shows how and why community-scale is a large and emerging opportunity in its insight brief Community-Scale Solar: Why Developers and Buyers Should Focus on This High-Potential Market Segment."

Key Improvement Made in Solar Cell Voltage Technology

Washington State University News, Feb. 29, 2016, by Tina Hilding.
https://news.wsu.edu/2016/02/29/146010/#more-146010

"Researchers improved the maximum voltage available from a cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell, overcoming a practical limit that has been pursued for six decades and is key to improving efficiency. The work is published in the Feb. 29 issue of Nature Energy. The effort was led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in collaboration with Washington State University and the University of Tennessee."


Empowerment Over Protection: How Solar and DERs Can Help the Disadvantaged

Utility Dive, Feb. 23, 2016, by James Tong and Jon Wellinghoff.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/empowerment-over-protection-how-solar-and-ders-can-help-the-disadvantaged/414273/

"The boom in rooftop solar has sparked concerns about a “green divide” and even undertones of class warfare. And it’s true that solar customers to date have tended to be more affluent than average households. Although recent data suggest that solar is now expanding into neighborhoods of more modest incomes, fear persists that solar policies will continually favor the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, particularly the most vulnerable. Critics thus demand reforms and fees for solar customers. What they overlook, however, is how policies designed to protect the poor can actually make them worse off."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu