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NREL Analysis: Extending Tax Credits Impacts Renewable Energy Deployment

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a new analysis exploring the potential impact of recently extended federal tax credits concerning the deployment of renewable generation technologies and related CO2 emissions from the US electric sector. The report, Impacts of Federal Tax Credit Extensions on Renewable Deployment and Power Sector Emissions, details the use of state-of-the-art scenario modeling to explore these two questions: How might renewable energy deployment in the contiguous United States change with these recent federal tax credit extensions?…

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SolarCity Claims 1/3 Of 2015 US Residential Rooftop Installations

2015 has been a good year for SolarCity after tallying over one-third of all residential rooftop installations in this country. The five leading US installers accounted for more than half of all residential solar installations between Q1 and Q3 of this year. But SolarCity has claimed the lion’s share of this market pie, reporting 34% of residential solar PV installations in the first three-quarters of 2015, according to GTM Research’s ‘US PV Leaderboard: Q4 2015′. The market share of the…

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Australia Rooftop Solar Installations Climb Upward in 2015

Propelling a global boost in renewable energy, Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has reported small-scale rooftop solar totaled 4.59 GW in 2015. As reported by pv-magazine, data released by the Clean Energy Regulator shows 119,000 new small-scale PV installations have taken place in 2015. While not as sizable as 2014, this number distinguishes Australia with the highest portion of residential buildings with rooftop PV globally. The Australia small-scale rooftop solar numbers also show the nation has maintained its world lead the world in…

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27-Year PV Power Warrantees Announced By Vikram Solar

West Bengal, India–based PV module manufacturer Vikram Solar has announced some of its 60- and 72-cell multi-crystalline silicon solar modules now come with a linear power warranty up to 27 years. The warranty includes modules belonging to the ELDORA Prime, Ultima, Neo, Grand, and Grand Ultima Series. Warrantee Power Degradation Plan The warranted power degradation will be 2.5% in the first year, dropping to 0.67% year-on-year from second year until the 27th year, finally ending with 80.1% of the original power measured…

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Tandem Solar Cell Achieves Record Efficiency

A new tandem solar cell featuring monolithic perovskite and silicon has produced electricity with record efficiency, reports Helmholz-Berlin. “Teams from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, have been the first to successfully combine a silicon heterojunction solar cell with a perovskite solar cell monolithically into a tandem device.” THZB reports this hybrid tandem cell has shown an efficiency of 18%, and while not the highest solar cell efficiency rating, this is the highest reported value for this particular…

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How Photons Power Solar Panels

We talk plenty today about solar panels, but not many really grasp how they work — how they create electricity. In his book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, author John Perlin takes readers back to Albert Einstein in 1905 for perspective on the matter of light: “Einstein showed that light possesses an attribute that earlier scientists had not recognized. Light, he discovered, contains packets of energy, which he called light quanta (now called photons).” “Photons?” you might ask.…

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SDG&E Utility Warns It Will Hit Net Metering Caps By Mid-2016

Last week San Diego Gas & Electric warned distributed energy enthusiasts it expects to reach caps on net metering in the summer of 2016. According to pv-magazine, SDG&E’s numbers show that existing installations and pending applications take up 74% of available capacity in the program. This opens the door to what “net metering 2.0” might look like, pitting utilities and distributed energy advocates in a face-off. Current estimates show 30 MW of rooftop solar is being added each month under net…

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Department Of Energy Updates Report On Utility Scale Solar

The 2014 report from the US Department of Energy provides an empirical analysis of project cost, performance, and pricing trends in the United States. It should be pointed out other utility scale solar projects are also being launched elsewhere in the world. This introductory text, authored by Mark Bolinger and Joachim Seel from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory puts the significant growth of utility scale solar into perspective. “Other than the nine Solar Energy Generation Systems (“SEGS”) parabolic trough projects…

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Requirements To Obtain Near 100% Renewable Electricity

To reduce contributors to climate change and grow worldwide renewable electricity use, having the proper infrastructure in place is critical ingredient. Due to increasing environmental concerns, numerous studies report on the best ways to reduce GHG emissions. One of the most effective actions that can be taken is to reduce emissions by increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the electric sector and by increasing the share of electrification in some highly energy intensive sectors, such as transport and…

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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 50% of all New York’s energy will be generated…

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