Author Archives: Spencer Fields

About Spencer Fields

Spencer is the Content & Research Manager at EnergySage, where he writes about all things energy. Prior to joining EnergySage, he spent five years at Synapse Energy Economics, providing environmental, economic and policy analysis for public interest groups. Spencer has degrees in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University, meaning when he's not in the office you can find him outside or traveling somewhere to work on his Spanish.

cost of solar equipment declining over time

How have solar equipment costs declined over time?

Over the last decade, the costs of solar have decreased from over $8 per Watt in 2009 ($/W) to under $3/W in 2019 on EnergySage, a decline of more than 60 percent in ten years. Over this timeframe, a primary driver of the declining cost of solar in the US has been technological improvements in the actual hardware that’s included in solar energy systems: solar panels and solar inverters.

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solar batteries

Bring your own battery programs: what you need to know in 2020

As solar batteries become more and more popular, individual utilities are beginning to offer rebate and incentive programs to make the economics of adding storage to your solar panel system more favorable. Given that solar batteries are a new product, utilities have begun experimenting with new program designs specific to solar batteries. One of the newest, increasingly common program types is a bring your own battery, or bring your own device, program.

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smart grid infrastructure

Smart Grids: everything you need to know in 2020

The electrical grid–the interconnected web of power plants and transmission lines that keeps the lights on throughout the country–is a feat of modern engineering. However, it was built for a different era. In order to accommodate the increase in distributed energy resources (like solar), as well as to improve the overall resilience of the electrical system, the grid of the future will be a smart grid

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top energysage articles of 2019

The best of EnergySage in 2019

2019 was a big year for the U.S. solar industry: the country surpassed 2 million solar installations early in the year, California celebrated 1 million rooftops with solar this December, and in between the cost of solar reached historic lows. It was a year in which interest in solar–and energy storage–soared nationwide, but especially in wildfire-torn California.

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corporate renewable procurements

Corporate renewable energy procurement: an overview

In today’s current era of renewable energy targets, action is not just limited to political entities such as the federal government, states or individual cities. In fact, many corporations are getting in on the act by promoting corporate sustainability programs or contracting directly with renewable energy developers to build solar and wind farms specifically for their company. As the solar and wind industries continue to grow, corporate renewable procurement and targets will play a substantial role in driving renewable energy to greater and greater heights.

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green jobs program new york

The Green Jobs – Green New York Program

As clean energy policies and programs begin to stack up throughout the country, one major question remains relating to how states will use any revenues collected from policies like a carbon tax. Will they use the money to incentivize growth in renewable energy, to pay for retraining for employees of the fossil fuel industry, to redistribute as a credit to all taxpayers in the state, or for some other purpose altogether? The Green Jobs – Green New York program provides a great case study for a successful, long-lived program that effectively uses the revenue from a carbon tax to further the state’s economic growth and environmental actions. 

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solar shines on the hill SEIA

Solar Shines on the Hill Day 2019: Recap

This week, I had the opportunity to join the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for their Solar Shines on the Hill Day.  The event is a great opportunity to show up in force in Washington DC in support of the solar industry, talking about how the solar jobs that exist throughout the country, and the financial and environmental benefits that home- and business-owners experience from solar in every state. Here’s a quick recap of what we spoke about and what we learned. 

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lumin complete review

An overview of Lumin’s energy management system

When thinking about installing a solar or a solar-plus-storage system at your home or business, there’s one piece of information that is of the utmost importance: how much electricity do you use, and which of your home appliances use that electricity. That’s exactly where Lumin can help: the three-year-old, Charlottesville, Virginia-based company is joining the relatively nascent field of creating smart circuits, allowing you to dynamically choose or automate what to power with your solar and storage, which is especially useful in the event of an outage.

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storage solutions and inverter companies

Comparing storage options from inverter companies

As interest in energy storage increases from homeowners across the country, more and more solar equipment manufacturers are beginning to offer their own energy storage solutions. In fact, a number of solar inverter companies have recently launched, or are on the verge of releasing their own energy storage systems. Here’s a list of the storage options developed by inverter manufacturers that are currently or soon-to-be-available for homeowners in the US.

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home with solar panels and ev

Tesla Q3 2019 earnings call: what you need to know

As a publicly-traded company, Tesla presents quarterly reports to shareholders, analysts, and the media about the state of the company. While most coverage of these quarterly earnings calls focuses on the company’s electric vehicle business or their financial standing, we want to provide an analysis of what their reports reveal about Tesla’s solar and storage business. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know from Tesla’s Q3 2019 earnings call: 

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