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.

An overview of the 2019 National Solar Jobs Census

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This week, The Solar Foundation released its annual National Solar Jobs Census. The report provides a comprehensive look at employment in the American solar industry for 2019, from how many solar jobs the industry supported last year to where jobs are located throughout the country and which segments of the industry employ the most people. 

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solar tariff check in

Checking in on the US solar tariffs

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In February 2018, the Trump Administration’s tariffs on imported solar goods went into effect. Now, two years on, the US International Trade Commission (US ITC) just released its mid-term review of the impact of the solar tariffs. Pulling from that report, as well as a study from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and an analysis of our own data, here’s a look at how the tariffs have impacted solar shoppers and solar jobs over the last two years. 

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electriq power q&a

Electriq Power Q&A

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Installations of energy storage systems are skyrocketing throughout the country over the last couple of years. In fact, residential installs increased 500 percent from 2017 to 2018! A number of different companies are introducing batteries to help meet this increased demand, creating a crowded field of products to choose from.

In order to help you sift through the numerous options, EnergySage is interviewing storage manufacturers to learn more about their product offerings and company. Recently, we sat down with Electriq Power to discuss the history of the company, what differentiates their primary product for homeowners (the PowerPod), and where they see the energy storage industry evolving in the coming years. 

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super bowl electric vehicles

What you need to know about the electric vehicles in Super Bowl ads

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If you watched this year’s Super Bowl, you may have noticed a number of different commercials for electric vehicles. Given the cost of each 30-second spot, it’s clear that companies are committed to making electric vehicles mainstream sooner rather than later. We’ll let others comment on the quality of the ad itself (feel free to do so in the comments), focusing instead on what we know about the electric vehicles introduced or teased during this year’s Super Bowl.

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sgip program updates 2020

SGIP 2020 program updates: what you need to know

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California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is one of the first incentives for battery energy storage in the country. The program has been very successful, helping California to lead the nation in residential energy storage deployment. Recently, the program has received additional funding, with a slightly revised charter for how to use those funds. Below, we detail the adjustments to SGIP and how it will impact individual, residential solar + storage shoppers in California. 

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china us solar agreement

Impact of the U.S. – China trade deal on solar

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One of the primary stories in the solar over the last two years has been the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. From tariffs on imported solar panels from China to a sharp decline in imported American polysilicon to China, the political back-and-forth has developed a sense of uncertainty around the solar industry in this country. However, with January 15th’s Phase 1 trade deal, the solar industry can breathe a partial sigh of relief. Here are a few of the immediate ramifications of the deal, and the ways in which this initial trade deal may ease future uncertainty for solar in the US.

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cost of solar equipment declining over time

How have solar equipment costs declined over time?

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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

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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

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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

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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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