What Businesses Stand to Gain By Switching to Renewables

What Businesses Stand to Gain By Switching to Renewables

The way forward for any company, large or small, is to look towards sustainability and how to make a difference. With lowering costs of solar energy and battery storage, even a small business can do its part to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power costs have dropped about 10% each year, so it really is possible for more companies to make the investment in renewables.

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AGU Headquarters Net Zero Renovation to Begin March 2017

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced that they will be undertaking a major renovation of their headquarters in Washington, DC, with the hope of bringing the building to net zero status. This net zero renovation project is set to begin construction in March 2017. The 62,000 square foot office building, located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, will strive to keep its historic look while upgrading its systems to reach the net zero goal. Net zero buildings use only as much…

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SEIA Launches PV Recycling Program

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) plans on collaborating with companies like First Solar, SunPower, Flex, JinkoSolar, Panasonic, SolarCity, and Trina Solar as part of a new solar PV recycling program. As SEIA published in mid-September, it has launched a first-of-its-kind national PV recycling program. Of note, this program is designed to ensure the sustainability of the US solar market. In collaborating with major solar companies and developers, SEIA has established a state-of-the-art network of recyclers who are able to handle PV…

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solar bus shelter SS35 by Team35

Top Prize Solar Bus Shelter Offers Rain Protection & More

The greatly-underestimated public bus shelter is the latest subject of a creative solar power makeover. When competition winners were announced on June 30, 2016, an innovative new set of designs entered the high-tech highway to solar-powered shelters. With solar-powered glow-in-the-dark lighting, the top prize-winning bus shelter offers way more than just protection from the rain. Promoting Climate Change Awareness Through Public Art The 2016 Design Competition for a Solar Powered Shelter was conducted by CoLLaboratoire, a Canadian non-profit organization based…

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Facebook Spends $269 Million On Headquarters

According to Jack Cookson, a research analyst at BuildZoom, his company’s business specialty involves collecting all building permits from around the country, a daunting venture which sometimes reveals interesting results on companies like Facebook. A search recently led company researchers to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, writes Cookson, “…and we couldn’t resist investigating what has been up to.” Here is what BuildZoom discovered: “Facebook is going green. There were a total of 8 permits directly related to solar energy, totaling $8,105,261. The…

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San Francisco Passes Mandatory Solar Ordinance For New Buildings

A new mandatory solar power ordinance in San Francisco makes for some very good renewable energy, and energy efficiency, news. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed the Better Roofs regulation to “fight climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.” As reported by treehugger, the move, which requires new buildings to go from solar-ready rooftops to solar-actual, represents a huge step toward the city’s goal of powering the city with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Specifically, this means San Francisco builders…

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New York Net Metering Cap Suspended For Now

Adding to the distributed energy/net metering debate involving utilities and solar panel owners, New York State for now has lifted the cap on net metering. pv-magazine reported last week that New York regulators have suspended the existing cap on the state’s net metering program. This suspension will remain in effect until a new valuation is concluded under the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) process. Among other goals for 2030, New York’s REV is targeting that 50% of all New York’s energy will…

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Rooftop solar

Potential Changes From Utilities In Net Metering Will Adversely Impact Rooftop Solar

When it comes to net metering dollars and cents, the utility bill face-off between rooftop solar champions and utilities continues to evolve. While net metering has achieved wins in states like Colorado and Nevada, owners of rooftop solar systems in states like Florida may not be as fortunate, where the development of large-scale solar projects are being planned by investor-owned utility Florida Power and Light (FPL) . As one solar owner has put it: “But the war on solar is…

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Kirigami inspires new solar cell technology

Kirigami Inspires New Solar Cell Technology

Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a lattice-like solar cell that can stretch like an accordion, allowing it to tilt along the sun’s trajectory and capture more energy. The details of the oddly shaped solar film, inspired by the Japanese art of paper cutting called kirigami, are in a paper recently published in the journal Nature Communications. The new design helps fix a problem with most solar power systems – the sun moves and the panels don’t. By…

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Solar lamp design winner

Solar Lamp Design Winner Will Be Distributed Throughout Africa To Dispel Darkness

The winning design for a solar lamp, shown above, will be distributed to off-grid communities in Africa to help people living there dispel the darkness without the use of carbon-emitting kerosene lanterns. About 14,500 lamps, powered by the sun, will be distributed throughout Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Zambia. The Natural Light contest, sponsored by skylight manufacturer VELUX and Little Sun, which is a social business and a global project founded by internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, asked teams to…

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Smartflower supplies solar power

Solar Power Takes The Form Of A Sunflower

smartflower POP+ enables anyone to start their own personal energy revolution. The integrated power storage unit makes this all-in-one solar power system – the only one of its kind in the world – up to 100% independent of the grid day and night. How does smartflower work? With the first rays of the sun, smartflower deploys its circular 18 m2 solar module panels and produces electricity. Both the design and the efficiency are inspired by the sunflower – with two movable…

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The first power-to-gas plant in the US opened in California

First US Power-to-Gas Plants Open in California and Colorado

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is bringing science fiction to life, launching two demonstration projects to create and test a carbon-free, power-to-gas system for the first time ever in the U.S. The technology converts electricity into gaseous energy and could provide North America with a large-scale, cost-effective solution for storing excess energy produced from renewable sources. Using electrolyzer-based methods, the power-to-gas concept uses electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, to make carbon-free hydrogen gas by breaking…

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Seattle NEXTHouse

SunPower Sweepstakes is Making it Easy to Go Solar

There are plenty of things that can make a regular building into a “green building”. And, whether we’re talking about a white roof, a green wall, a heavy use of recycled materials, or just some new, energy-efficient windows to help homeowners save some money, the one thing that almost everyone thinks of when they think of “green” buildings is solar power. Despite the cost of going solar plummeting in recent years, however, many homeowners and site managers still think of…

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Home Energy Storage Market to Grow 1000% by 2018

  Market research firm IHS says home energy storage will explode from 90 megawatts this year to over 900 megawatts by 2018. That’s a growth rate of 1000% – a staggering increase, if true. What’s driving this trend toward more in-home energy storage? IHS says its all about rapidly falling costs. The vast majority of people with solar arrays on their rooftops today are using the electrical grid as their storage medium. Any excess electricity they generate during the day is sold to…

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Your Solar Panels Are Facing the Wrong Way

Conventional wisdom says that panels should be installed facing south to get the most solar exposure (in the northern hemisphere). South-facing panels create the most power in the morning and mid-day, but peak demand for electricity typically occurs in the late afternoon. Because of that, a number of solar experts have begun to say that solar panels should really be installed facing west in order to take advantage of the demand cycle on a power grid. By rotating panels to…

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Solar City Offering Financing Programs for Home Solar

Good news on solar financing came for those wanting to convert their electrical energy supply to solar panels, but have been road-blocked by affordability issues. Solar City has announced it will start offering homeowners a new form of financing for their home solar system called MyPower. This financing method will function like a hybrid between a lease and a power purchase agreement (PPA). Here’s how it is spelled out, according to Spross: “Under a lease, the solar system is installed…

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