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.

how much energy does a tv use

How many solar panels do you need to binge your favorite TV shows?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With Game of Thrones about to return for its eighth and final season, we at EnergySage began to wonder how much energy it takes to binge watch the entirety of the series. Naturally, our next question was: how many solar panels would it take to watch all of Game of Thrones? And how does this series compare to some of the other long-running series on TV in terms of solar energy required to power a complete-series watch-a-thon?

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map of renewable portfolio standards

Renewable portfolio standards explained

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Following the 2018 elections, there has been 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 are proposing and passing 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).

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irec vision summit energysage

Looking into the future: highlights from the 2019 IREC Vision Summit

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On March 6, 2019, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) hosted their inaugural Vision Summit, a conference designed to bring industry thought leaders and policy analysts together to discuss what a clean energy future might look like and what it would take to achieve that vision. EnergySage joined these industry leaders down in Washington, DC to participate in the Summit and to engage with the question of how solar will contribute to the renewable energy transition. Here are our key takeaways from the event.

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solar vs nuclear

Solar vs. nuclear: battle for the best carbon-free power

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Over the last few years, solar capacity in the United States has truly taken off. Over 58 gigawatts (or million kilowatts) of solar capacity are currently installed across nearly 2 million projects, and at least 3.7 gigawatts more are in the pipeline as of late 2018. At the same time, the fate of nuclear power in the country is at a crossroads. Only one single nuclear unit has been completed in the U.S. since the 1990s, and the two most recent projects are experiencing delays, cost overruns, and ultimately cancellations.

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black start and solar

Black start: why it matters

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The electrical grid is designed with redundancy in mind. In order to avoid any consumers losing power, and especially any prolonged drops in power, utilities and the grid operators have designed backup plans and backups to those backups. Although very rarely, if ever, necessary, the last of those backup plans is perhaps the most important of all: black start resources.

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what appliances use the most energy

What appliances use the most energy?

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Not all appliances are made equal. Although every appliance in your home consumes energy, utilizing each one will have a different impact on your monthly electricity bill. Understanding which of your appliances use the most energy, as well as when they’re pulling power from the grid, can help you save substantially on your monthly utility bills.

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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.

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microgrids

What are microgrids and how do they work?

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As more and more customers express interest in solar plus storage on EnergySage’s Marketplace, many do so with the same intended purpose: resiliency. When the grid goes dark, these solar shoppers want to ensure that they are on an electric “island” to keep their own lights on, self-generating and storing solar electricity that they can then consume. The solution? Microgrids.

Partially in response to major storm events nationwide, this innovative, if not new, approach is being taken throughout the country to maintain greater reliability and to return power quicker at the local level. By taking the notion of an electrical island from a single home to multiple buildings or an entire community, communities, cities, and organizations are creating microgrids.

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top 5 of 2018

The best of EnergySage in 2018

Reading Time: 2 minutes

2018 was a year of ups and downs for the solar industry. From the impact of the Trump Administration’s tariff on imported solar panels to the new technologies unveiled at Solar Power International, and from the emergence of home battery energy storage technologies to changes in solar programs in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and beyond, EnergySage has been with you every step of the way.

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