Solar news: Solar industry growing at 17x rate of U.S. economy, SolarWorld joins Suniva tariff case

solar industry momentum

It was an active week in the solar industry with news of unprecedented solar job growth and the launch of a few sleek new products. A new IRENA report that revealed solar jobs are growing 17 times faster than the U.S. economy, SolarWorld’s newfound support of Suniva’s trade petition and Mercedes Benz’ new home storage product are the big headlines from this week’s Solar News Report.

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Comparing solar panel cost in Texas cities: Dallas vs. Fort Worth vs. El Paso

cost of solar in Fort Worth, El Paso, Dallas

Until recently, Texas wasn’t among the top 10 for solar energy, leaving many surprised to discover that the Lone Star State was ranked #3 in the U.S. for solar jobs in 2016. Texas is adopting solar at one of the fastest rates in the country, and for good reason. Solar prices dropped by 20 percent in 2016, and a number of utilities across the state created or extended major incentive programs for solar PV systems.

If you’re considering solar in Texas, there are three cities that lead the way in terms of pricing and incentives. In this article we’ll analyze Fort Worth, El Paso and Dallas as top cities for solar in Texas and explain what you should expect to pay for a rooftop solar array.

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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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Should I use Chinese solar panels for my solar installation?

chinese solar panel manufacturing

When homeowners are considering solar offers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, we often hear questions about a solar panel’s manufacturer origin and whether it’s a good idea to choose Chinese panels for an installation. This is a common question as the latest estimates indicate that China is manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s solar panels today – a dominant market share and a clear indicator of China’s key role in the global solar industry. China has a significant impact over worldwide solar trends like pricing, warranties and manufacturing practices. For example, the 80% decline in worldwide solar prices between 2008 and 2013 occurred largely due to improvements in manufacturing costs in China. And because China is such a major player in solar, many U.S. homeowners are asking “should I choose Chinese solar panels and will it match the quality of other top brands?” In this article we’ll break down pricing, quality and brand influence of Chinese solar panels.

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Sustainable home design: 3 key tips for selling an eco-friendly home

selling eco friendly home

To environmentally conscious homebuyers, eco-friendly features can help your home stand out in a competitive real estate market. In addition to environmental benefits and the promise of lower electric bills, green upgrades like installing a solar energy system on your roof can actually increase the resale value of your home.

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Renogy solar panels: the complete review

Renogy solar panel review

Installing solar panels is becoming a home improvement project that any homeowner can take on. Now that you can buy solar panels off of Amazon and eBay, you may even be considering installing a home solar energy system yourself. A popular DIY option is to purchase a solar panel kit from Renogy, a California-based company that manufactures solar panel kits for DIY solar installations. Many solar shoppers comparing their options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace also explore their DIY solar options – but before you make a home solar purchase, we recommend you learn more about how Renogy panels compare to other brands.

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Tesla solar roof cost vs. solar panels: worth the premium?

tesla solar roof vs solar panels

Tesla recently announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics.  But the question is ultimately does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is currently “no”. Just as Tesla’s luxury sports cars are out of reach for most drivers today, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for most American homeowners to justify spending their money on.

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Solar news: Tesla starts pre-order for its solar roof, Minnesota announces record solar growth

tesla solar roof and car

It was an eventful week in the solar industry with Tesla releasing hotly anticipated pricing information for its new solar roof product. A number of major clean energy initiatives in Virginia, strong solar growth announced in Minnesota and the release of Tesla’s solar roof pricing are the headlines from this week’s Solar News Report.

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Tesla’s solar panel roof: solar glass tiles are the new solar shingles

tesla solar roof shingles

If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent weeks, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. Now the concept of an integrated solar glass shingle – the Tesla solar tile – is on everyone’s mind. 

We had already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: thanks to a surprise appearance of Chairman Elon Musk in SolarCity’s 2nd quarter earnings call that lead to a highly anticipated Tesla solar roofing product launch at the end of October, we’ve now seen the future of PV roofing and the future of Tesla. One thing is certain: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a part of Tesla Motors – or should we say Tesla Energy’s – future.

*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. Timeline information offered on Tesla’s websites suggests that installations will begin in June on the west coast starting in California. Tesla’s roof installations will be administered by SolarCity, it’s newest asset. It is unclear when the roof product will be available nationwide though some estimates suggest it will be mid 2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.  

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When will Tesla’s solar roof be available, and should you wait for it?

should I wait for tesla solar roof

For those asking themselves, “should I wait for the Tesla solar roof?”, you are not alone. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has a well-earned reputation for creating innovative 21st-century products that combine attractive designs with exceptional performance – and generate high levels of consumer interest as a result. The latest Musk technology to make a splash is the Tesla solar roof, which he revealed to great fanfare in October 2016. Here’s everything you should consider before making your decision, including what Tesla roof rivals you should consider.

*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. The pre-order requires a $1,000 deposit that can be paid online with a credit card. Tesla’s roof is now expected to begin installation in June, 2017 in California. The roof will then be slowly rolled out across the country and installations will be administered by SolarCity. Some estimates suggest the roof will not be available nationwide until mid-2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.  

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