Author Archives: Spencer Fields

About Spencer Fields

Spencer is the Manager of Market Strategy & Intelligence 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.

long duration storage

Long duration storage: what you need to know 2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As states and cities throughout the country embrace the renewable energy transition, setting and committing to 100 percent clean energy targets, one crucial gap remains in ultimately meeting those targets: how do you stretch the production from renewable resources like wind and solar to keep powering the country even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? Enter long duration storage, the promising broad category of technologies that can fill this gap.

Continue reading
utility energy storage demand response program

Utility energy storage pilot programs: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the costs of solar batteries continue to decline, more and more homeowners are adding energy storage to their solar installations: in California, for instance, one in every twenty solar installations now also includes a solar battery. As utilities become more familiar with the benefits of distributed solar + storage on the grid, from added operational flexibility to decreased electricity demand, several utilities in the Northeast are now offering large incentives for home energy storage pilot programs. 

Continue reading
Solar incentives for businesses

Solar incentives for businesses in 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s not just homeowners that can take advantage of the benefits of solar: commercial and industrial businesses can also participate in the clean energy revolution by installing solar–and storage!–on their properties. In fact, in many cases, the incentives for businesses to invest in solar are even better than they are for homeowners. If you are a business looking to explore your solar options, here are the key incentives to be aware of in 2021.

Continue reading
high solar panel prices in the u.s.

Why is solar more expensive in the US than in other countries?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The cost of solar has plummeted in the US over the last five years. With solar prices dropping below $3 per Watt for residential solar shoppers, the industry has hit a very important and impressive milestone. However, the cost of solar in the US remains higher than the cost in other countries, most notably Australia. But just how much less expensive is solar in Australia, and is it possible for the US to slash solar costs even further?

Continue reading
solar battery and inverter

Does your battery come with its own inverter?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

While shopping for storage solutions, it can be hard to break down which products come with an integrated inverter, which will need an additional inverter, and how many boxes will be installed on your wall. This is one of the key factors to pay attention to as you’re comparing storage solutions, as it will impact the overall efficiency and cost of your battery setup, as well as how you integrate it into a solar panel system.

Here’s a breakdown of this info for some of the biggest storage companies in the market today:

Continue reading
corporate renewable procurements

Corporate renewable energy procurement: an overview

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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.

Continue reading
Bonus depreciation

Bonus depreciation: what you need to know

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As a business looking to go solar in the US, the best incentives available to you are tax incentives. Between the investment tax credit (ITC)–which works the same for businesses as it does for homeowners–and depreciation benefits at both the state and federal level, you can expect to receive half of what you pay for solar back as tax benefits. While the ITC has been around for a long time, and its success is well documented, bonus depreciation is a newer incentive that can provide nearly as large of a tax benefit as the ITC. 

Continue reading
renewable portfolio standards by state map

Renewable portfolio standards explained

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Following the 2018 elections, there was a flurry of state-level action on climate change and clean energy to begin the new year. Outside of proposals at the federal level for a Green New Deal, many states proposed and passed a suite of climate-related legislation, from emission reduction goals to clean energy procurement targets. Perhaps the most common policy instrument for growing clean energy at the state level is the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

Continue reading
continuous vs startup power

What is the difference between continuous and startup power?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As you compare options for energy storage systems, there are a few key technical specifications to focus on and questions to answer. How much energy can the battery store? How much of your home can the battery power, and for how long? Can the battery keep powering some or all of your home if the grid is down? And can your battery provide a momentary burst of power large enough to start up your largest appliances, like your air conditioner? 

Continue reading
time of use rates

Understanding time-of-use (TOU) rates

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Across the country, utilities are beginning to introduce innovative rate structures for residential energy consumers. These rate structures–from time-of-use rates to demand charges to real-time-pricing–all have a common goal: to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high. As a result, understanding the ins and outs of a time-of-use rate can help you reduce your monthly cost of energy.

Continue reading