Make your day (and your mind) a little brighter with EnergySage’s roundup of solar energy news for the week of October 5th, 2015.
Panasonic Reaches New Heights With Solar Panel Efficiency, Tops SolarCity
Revealing a brand-new solar photovoltaic module this week, Panasonic announced that their technology has achieved a groundbreaking 22.5% conversion efficiency. The timing for this news from Panasonic is no coincidence – SolarCity announced an all-time high in efficiency for one of their new panels (22.04%) just last week. With this news, Panasonic surges ahead of the solar giant once again in the race towards more efficiency, stating they plan to have the panels manufactured by 2016.
Solar Shoppers Are Pushing Utility Companies On Net Metering Fees
A hearing this week by the Public Service Commission in Salt Lake City opened the conversation between customers and utilities about rooftop solar. The much-debated term used throughout the dialogue was “net-metering,” which refers to policies that determine how utilities credit homeowners who send solar power back to the grid. One utility’s proposal to institute monthly net metering fees for solar homeowners has caused major pushback from advocates who argue that it takes away a major financial incentive of solar: to pay upfront costs in exchange for free electricity. Utah is one of 44 states that permit net metering in the U.S.
USC Knows It Should Install Solar Panels, and Students Are Putting the Pressure On
A public demonstration last month by the Environmental Core at the University of Southern California (USC), an on-campus advocacy group supporting reduced environmental impacts, put the “solar spotlight” on one of California’s most well known universities. The student’s main criticism: USC is one of the sunniest universities in the United States and has major incentives to go solar, including significant renewable resources and reduced electricity costs, but has not made any commitments to exploring solar power on-campus.
Comparing Financing Options Can Help You Save on Solar
This week, ABC News in Los Angeles featured EnergySage in a segment that highlighted important considerations for homeowners thinking of going solar. Key takeaways include:
- Not every roof is fit for solar panels – be sure to confirm that you have access to direct sunlight, and that your roof won’t need to be replaced over the life of the contract.
- Generally, you’ll pay more over the life of your solar energy system if you lease your panels, rather than buying them with cash or a solar loan.
Comparing your options is the best way to ensure that you are getting the best value for your home when going solar. By registering your property with EnergySage, you can receive quotes from multiple, high-quality installers and choose the option that’s right for you.
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- As renewable energy deployment continues to grow in the U.S., more fossil fuel plants are sitting idle, which can result in increased electricity prices. New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance demonstrates that while the efficiency of solar energy deployed in the U.S. is increasing, it is decreasing for fossil fuels because of increased periods of non-use. For the first time, research is showing a causal relationship between the adoption of renewable energy and the cost of fossil fuels.