LBNL tracking the sun 2021

Highlights from LBNL’s 2021 Tracking the Sun report

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In case you missed it, solar has been in the news quite a bit recently: the Biden Administration announced a goal for solar to produce 40% of the nation’s electricity by 2030; the Department of Energy released a corresponding Solar Futures Study that lays out just how to reach that lofty goal; the inclusion of clean energy incentives (including for solar!) is at the forefront of the debate around the infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills; the latest Solar Market Insight report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie just dropped; and we recently released our own biannual Marketplace Intel Report. There’s a lot going on! 

Amidst this solar news frenzy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) just released their annual Tracking the Sun report, the best resource for tracking the state of residential solar installations in the U.S., and complete with publicly-available data sets with info on nearly 80 percent of all of the solar panel systems installed in the country. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

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How much does a Tesla cost

How much does a Tesla car cost?

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When most people think of electric vehicles (EVs), there’s one prominent name that’s top of mind: Tesla. It’s not all that surprising, considering that the electric car company owns roughly 80 percent of the electric car market share in the U.S. 

Tesla’s constantly innovating and releasing new electric car tech to the market, and today can boast of four commercially available car models, each with its own unique set of perks: the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, the Tesla Model 3, and the Tesla Model Y. In this article, we’ll break down the car prices for each of the different Tesla EV models, and explain how you should compare them.

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solar panel recycling

Solar panel recycling: what you need to know

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Solar panels have a lifetime of about 30 years. With the increasing number of solar panels being sold and installed in the U.S. each year, it’s only a matter of time before high volumes of panels are at the end of their useful life and have to be disposed. Solar panel recycling is still at an early stage, but as the solar market continues to expand, recycling processes will have an increasingly important role to play.

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Solar Futures Study

The Solar Futures Study: how we can get to 45 percent solar electricity by 2050

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On September 8, 2021, President Biden made a big announcement for the solar industry: solar has the potential to power 40 percent of U.S. electricity by 2035, and 45 percent by 2050 – an increase of over 1,000 percent from where it stands today. Produced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Solar Futures Study served as the basis for Biden’s announcement, explaining the role that solar will need to play in decarbonizing the electric grid and how we can achieve these targets in a cost-effective way. In this article, we’ll answer some of the major questions you might have about this study and what this solar transition could look like. 

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tesla powerwall review

The Tesla Powerwall home battery complete review

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Back in 2015, automaker Tesla Motors set its sights on the home energy storage market and announced the launch of its home battery product, the Tesla Powerwall.

In the past, Tesla Motors has been praised for making high-quality electric vehicles, as well as for their ability to reimagine and successfully rebrand existing technologies. In fact, while Tesla’s automobiles revitalized the 21st-century electric vehicle market, the first electric cars were invented more than a hundred years earlier. 

Tesla’s rebranding of residential-use batteries is in line with their legacy of reimagining existing products. Tesla’s battery may represent the first time in history that everyday homeowners are truly excited about the potential of storing energy at their home. The Powerwall, combined with the exciting Tesla Solar Roof, are both potential cornerstones of Elon Musk’s sustainable energy vision for the future.

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best solar panels 2018 graphic

What are the best solar panels available? Top brands and products compared

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Finding the best solar panels for your home can feel like a daunting challenge. There are more than a hundred different brands of solar panels and other solar equipment on the market at any given point. In this article, we’ll discuss how solar panel manufacturers stack up to one another, and who makes the best solar panels.

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off grid solar

What is an off grid solar system? What does it mean to go “off the grid” with solar?

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People say all the time that they want to get off the grid. Beyond just meaning getting away from it all for a while, getting off the grid has a specific technical meaning with regards to your relationship to your utility and how you get your power. So, what exactly does it mean to go off the grid? If you’re going off-grid, there are tons of options to consider when it comes to batteries, inverters, panels, mounting systems, and solar charge controllers. Each product is different and you can customize your kit in a countless number of ways, which is why it is vital to know exactly what you’re looking for and why. Generally, an off grid solar system has the following parts:

  1. Solar panels 
  2. Solar inverters
  3. Wiring/cables
  4. Mounting equipment 
  5. Charge controller
  6. Batteries 
  7. Safety equipment (safety disconnects, grounding equipment, surge protection)
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is solar worth it

Are solar panels worth it?

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Like any major investment, installing a solar system is a big decision! But, as the cost of solar continues to decline, this decision is becoming easier and easier: for most people, going solar now represents a smart long-term investment with substantial savings. However, before installing a solar panel system, you’ll want to make sure that you can take advantage of these benefits by first considering a few major factors. In this article, we’ll help you decide if solar panels are worth it for you.

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