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.

500 watt solar panel

Technology updates not to miss: 500-watt panels

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Technology in the solar industry is advancing at a rapid pace. Solar equipment continues to become more powerful and more resilient while becoming less expensive. With so many news stories to track, it can be easy to miss the occasional new technology. But here’s a technology announcement that shouldn’t be missed: Trina Solar just released 500-watt panels. 

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solar jobs census 2019 review

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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hybrid wind plus solar energy system

Hybrid energy systems: combining wind plus solar

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Renewable energy resources are an easy, cost-effective way to reduce both electricity costs and carbon emissions. However, a common criticism leveled at renewable energy resources like wind and solar is: what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining? There are many options to solve for this criticism, from net metering policies to pairing solar with energy storage. One additional new method for combating this critique is through hybrid energy systems: by installing wind and solar hybrid systems, renewable energy developers are finding innovative ways to produce more energy with even greater consistency.

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Arcadia_Power

Arcadia Power community solar program review

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Community solar provides access to solar for residential electric customers who otherwise would not be able to install solar panels on their property. To date, though, community solar has not seen the same levels of adoption as residential rooftop solar. We conducted a Q&A with Arcadia Power to learn more about how their new community solar offering helps lower barriers to participation. 

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