Tag Archives: solar energy

Palo Alto Goes Solar

Deep in the heart of Silicon Valley is the city of Palo Alto, where solar recently became the cheapest in the country.

 

A municipal utility recently approved 80 megawatts in solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) to meet approximately 18 percent of the city’s load, and essentially provide power for all 65,000 Palo Alto residents. The price is 6.9 cents power kilowatt-hour for the 30-year PPA.

 

“The price compares to the typical market price referent and would seem to be able to take on prices paid for natural gas or wind. The projects still include the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit.”

The three solar projects selected will come on-line in 2017, and Palo Alto will generate almost half of its electricity from renewables.

Source: Green Tech Media

By Gaylen Davenport

Is a Solar Energy Boom Coming Soon?

solar energy array

The total solar energy hitting the Earth each year is equivalent to 12.2 trillion watt-hours, so why isn’t solar energy used more?

Much like natural gas, solar power is getting easier to store, and at a much lower price. The total solar energy hitting Earth each year is equivalent to 12.2 trillion watt-hours, so why isn’t solar energy used more?

Currently, photovoltaic solar panels produce only 0.7 percent of the energy the world uses. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the average cost per megawatt-hour for solar is $156.90, compared to $99.60 per MW/h in coal, and between $65.50-$132 per MW/h of natural gas.

While the cost may defer some, the financial and technology problems that solar faces is closer to being solved.

“If the trend stays on track for another eight to ten years, solar generated electricity in the U.S. will descend to a level of $120 per MW/h by 2020, or even 2015 for the sunniest parts of America. If prices continue to fall over the next 20 years, solar costs will be half that of coal (and have the added benefits of zero carbon emissions, zero mining costs, and zero scarcity).”

There have also been big advances in thermal storage that continues to be developed by scientists. The combination of lowered costs and better storage capacity would mean plenty of solar energy production and widespread falling energy costs.

Source: The Week

 

By Gaylen Davenport

City Embraces Solar Mandate

There’s something about solar in California. The state has continued to rank the highest in solar energy production in the last few years, but is it because of a new trend?

The town of Sebastopol in western Sonoma County is looking to pass an aggressive ordinance that will require residential and commercial buildings to include a solar-power-generating system or pay an in-lieu fee. With the new ordinance, a 2,500 square-foot home would need a 5-kilowatt system, or have its output meet three-quarters of the building’s electrical load on an annual basis.

This follows another California city, Lancaster, who earlier this year required solar on new houses.

In an effort to promote clean energy, should solar be mandated? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Green Tech Media

 

By Gaylen Davenport

U.S. Solar Market Grows 76% in 2012

An analysis released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) found that 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics was installed in the U.S. in 2012.

The Solar Market Insight: Year in Review 2012 reported that the U.S. solar industry grew from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $11.5 billion in 2012. When broken down by state,  California, Arizona, and New Jersey all rank as the highest installers of solar energy. And commercial, governmental, and nonprofit systems installed more than 1,000 MW.

The report forecasts 4,300 MW of new PV installations in 2013, up 29 percent over 2012. “Over the next four years, the residential and commercial markets are expected to gain market share as system prices decline, the industry becomes even more efficient, and new financing channels arise.”

Source: Green Tech Media

 

By Gaylen Davenport

2013 Renewable Energy Forecast

Renewable energy, especially wind and solar, are sure to see an increase in 2013 compared to last year.

Renewable energy certainly had a model year in 2012, but what’s the future look for solar, wind, and natural gas?

In the U.S., new solar capacity reached nearly 2,000 MW, and wind capacity reached 6,519 NW, just edging out gas capacity and more than doubling new coal installations.

As great as those numbers look, there are some looming clouds for renewables. The wind industry faces the loss of valuable tax credit if it is not renewed in 2013. “According to the Financial Times, total investment in wind and solar in 2012 may well fall compared to 2011– the first time that’s happened in nearly a decade.”

But both wind and solar are becoming more competitive against fossil fuels with solar modules being 75 percent less expensive compared to four years ago, and the cost of wind turbines have fallen by 25 percent over the last three years. This was largely due to technological advances that have driven down the cost of renewable energy, making it more affordable for smaller businesses.

While there are still hurdles ahead for renewable energy, there’s still an enormous market for new electricity generation, utility savings, and public support. “2013 may not be as good for renewables as 2012 – a lot will depend on how the larger global economy fares but we won’t be going backward.”

Source: Time.com

Common Questions About Solar Energy

Solar offers a limitless supply of clean, safe, and renewable energy. Here are some common questions you should consider about solar energy.

How do solar panels work?  

Solar technology involves using sunlight to create a chemical reaction. A collection of panels is called a solar array. As sunlight reaches the squares, it triggers the release of electrons that are collected by tiny wires built into the cells to form an electrical current. This current is sent to an inverter, which converts it into usable electricity. Any unused energy is stored in a battery or feed into a utility grid system.

Can you install solar panels to an existing building?

Installing solar panels on an existing building is usually quite easy and offers many benefits including the environment and your bottom line.  A solar system can stabilize your utility bill, making it easier to budget expenses.  When the system is paid off, the utility bill is reduced or eliminated, and excess energy can be stored or sold to the utility company.

How much does a solar panel installation cost?

The net installed cost and system payback depends on several factors including: your location, the orientation of your proposed mounting location, the amount of sun you receive, utility rates and how much energy you use. In the Kansas City area, there are financial incentives offered by utility companies and the federal government that may offset your system costs.

Watch our team install a solar system at the Surplus Exchange:

Understanding KCP&L’s Expiring Rebate Program

February 22, 2012 The Kansas City Star released information regarding KCP&L’s decision to cut the energy-efficiency rebate program. Over 270,000 customers in the Kansas City area will lose the benefit of the company’s energy conservation program.

What does this mean for you as a business in the KCP&L covered area?
It means that in approximately 8 weeks you will no longer have access to the KCP&L rebate program started to benefit local businesses making energy-efficient improvements (Note: The rebate program is still in effect – an end date has not been established). It also means that if approved, businesses as well as residential consumers will see rate increases become effective in the coming months.

What can you do to capitalize on the existing rebate program?
As mentioned, the rebate program is still in existence, but won’t be much longer. If your business wants to take advantage of the rebate program you will need to work quickly over the coming weeks. Worldwide Energy is certified in the KCP&L Energy Efficiency Rebate Program as well as accredited through the Better Business Bureau as a reputable source for improving your energy savings.

Why move in an energy efficient direction?
Surely we don’t have to convince you of the impact energy efficiency can have on your success. Over the last several years Worldwide Energy has been able to save clients thousands of dollars on energy costs. You can save money on energy costs and instead out it toward profit-generating endeavors!
(Another note on energy efficiency – over the course of the next few years (2012-2014 to be exact), older, high-emitting lighting technology will no longer be available. This means that if your organization is currently using T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts, replacements will no longer be available and you will be forced to upgrade to energy efficient lighting. In these scenarios, it is not a matter of if you will upgrade to energy-efficient lighting, it is a matter of when.)

Where do I go from here?
There are two options on the table:

First Option: You let us help you! Our goal at Worldwide Energy is to offer products and services that will save your organization money over the course of a few months to a few years. We have certified staff and use only the best installation crews to offer you a turnkey solution to providing you savings through energy efficient lighting, HVAC, building envelope systems, solar energy and natural gas improvements. In addition to being KCP&L’s leading procurer of rebates, we also offer our expertise in the area of filing for EPAct tax incentives and bonus depreciation benefits. We aren’t pushy salespeople, rather we are tour guides to your future energy savings.

Second Option: You wait a few months and experience the full magnitude of rate increases and scarcity and imminent extinction of old T12 lighting technology.
Regardless of which option you choose, we are here to help you through your energy transition.

Call our office today -913-310-0705- to arrange a complimentary facilities audit with an energy saving expert and get on your way to collecting the KCP&L rebate before it is too late.

www.WorldwideEnergy.com

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