Solar news: SunShot Initiative sets new goals and funding, Salt Lake City doubles solar capacity, and another exciting development for solar window technology

The winning photo from the U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative’s recent photo contest.

The Department of Energy expands the SunShot Initiative, Salt Lake City announces a doubling of their municipal solar capacity, and progress on solar window technology in this week’s Solar News Roundup.

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How to make solar panels more efficient

high efficiency solar panel manufacturing

Not all solar panels are created equal. EnergySage uses a classification system for solar panels based on performance, quality, durability and warranty to help solar shoppers compare the quality of all of their options. A solar panel’s efficiency (how effective a panel is at converting sunlight into electricity) is a key factor determining solar panel quality, and manufacturers are constantly improving their processes to create higher-efficiency solar panels.

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What are the most efficient solar panels on the market?

For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.

most efficient solar panels on the market energysage

As the race for the most efficient solar panel continues, it’s important to understand how more efficient panels could mean much bigger solar savings for the everyday consumer.

In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.

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Solar panel cost and incentives in Oregon

solar panel cost in oregon

While it has been evident that solar power has been taking off across the U.S. in the past decade, it’s been less clear where the majority of the growth is occurring. Though certain states (California, Arizona) are known to be major states for rooftop solar, others like Oregon have stayed somewhat under the radar. With one of the best state solar tax credits available only through the rest of this calendar year, now is a great time to go solar in the Beaver State and cash in on impressive savings under the expiring tax credit.

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Highlights from EnergySage’s fifth Solar Marketplace Intel Report™

This week, EnergySage released its fifth Solar Marketplace Intel Report™. In this report, you’ll find trends on solar pricing over the past 12 months, as well as equipment and financing options for solar. In addition, this report includes new information about community solar and the level of solar interest in states across the country. Read on for some of the top takeaways relevant to today’s solar shoppers.

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Top technologies to shrink your energy use (and your carbon footprint)

Reducing your carbon footprint and simultaneously saving money is easier than ever with the growth of energy-saving technologies. From LED light bulbs to devices that monitor your appliances to solar panel systems, there are many opportunities to put smart technologies to work saving you energy around your home and lowering your environmental impact each day.

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Solar news: Unfinished nuclear project switches to solar, a net energy metering agreement in Utah, and a new record PV cell efficiency

An unfinished nuclear project switches to solar, Utah reaches a new net energy metering agreement in Utah, and researchers set a new record for PV cell efficiency in this week’s Solar News Roundup.

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Solar panel battery banks: use solar and batteries to power your home without the grid

solar panel battery banks

Home energy storage has featured frequently in the news over the past few months thanks to new battery products from companies like Tesla, LG and Mercedes-Benz. These products are popular for a reason: when you pair solar panels with a battery bank at your home or business, you can actually operate independently from the electric grid. However, not all solar batteries are created equal. Here’s the rundown on what it actually takes to use a solar panel battery bank to go off the grid.

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