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The Federal Solar Tax Credit Extension: Can We Win if We Lose?

In 16 months, the solar industry faces the end of the line for the 30% federal tax credit. The Investment Tax Credit will fall to 10% for businesses and to zero for residential solar customers. Some have called this the “solar cliff.”

There may be a silver lining in this tax credit expiration cloud, but it’s still a bad idea.

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of August 31, 2015

This week in Democratic Energy:

  • Solar advocates win big victories in Nevada and Colorado and keep net metering policies intact.
  • Michigan solar energy fight garners unusual advocates for distributed generation.
  • Clean Power Plan drawing criticism from utility-funded reports.
  • Exellon-Pepco merger thwarted by grassroots efforts.

 

100% Renewable Energy: Fact or Fantasy?

What would it take to power the entire U.S. economy on renewable resources alone?

Three big things:

Questioning Solar Energy Economies of Scale, 2014 Edition

placeholderWhile utilities continue to imply that large-scale solar projects are more economical than small ones, the data is telling another story. In fact, costs for transmission and distribution of utility-scale solar energy may largely undermine the modestly better economics at the point of generation.

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of August 17, 2015

This week in Democratic Energy:

  • Net Metering caps stay in the national conversation on renewable energy.
  • Renewable leaders and utilities react to the Clean Power Plan.
  • New Texas law allows and encourages rooftop solar.

Featured Stories:

Can An Old Utility Learn New Tricks? by John Farrell, Clean Technica

US Energy Policy and Home Ownership

An “Open Letter” to our Texas elected representatives 
to the US Senate and House of Representatives


As a homeowner in Texas, I feel that home ownership and long term investments in our homes, helps to facilitate a strong foundation for families in Texas and the United States.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Own ‘Em—Utilities Muscle in to Rooftop Solar Market

In the past five years, rooftop solar has revealed the limitations of the archaic electric utility business model, as customers have found generating their own power more cost effective than taking 100% of their energy from the incumbent monopoly. For years, utilities have fought back by trying to make competition less cost effective, at a substantial cost to their image (and ratepayer’s own money).

Now they want a piece of the action.

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout meant dramatic declines in the cost of solar, long before the industry had launched anywhere else.

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout meant dramatic declines in the cost of solar, long before the industry had launched anywhere else.

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