Solar Energy News: Prince an Unknown Solar Energy Investor, Germany Generates 90% of Power with Renewables, SolarCity Launches New Loan Product

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Adoption of renewable energy technologies has exploded across the world in recent months, and thanks to the bright summer sun at our doorstep, solar growth shows no sign of stopping. News of Prince’s solar energy advocacy, SolarCity’s newest loan product and 90 percent renewable energy generation in Germany are the headlines we’re reading in this week’s Solar Energy News report.

Rock Musician Prince Revealed to be Major Solar Industry Investor

One of the most surprising revelations to surface in the aftermath of Prince’s death in Chanhassen, Minnesota, is the news that the artist was a major clean energy investor. Friend of Prince and well-known clean energy advocate Van Jones explained that Prince was a primary investor for Jones’ organization Green For All, which funds solar system installations on low-income households in Oakland, CA. “There are people who have solar panels right now on their houses in Oakland that don’t know Prince paid for them” says Jones. In addition to his behind-the-scenes solar advocacy, friends and family have shared that Prince supported youth technology education and worked with organizations dedicated to ending gun violence and police brutality. 

New Report Reveals Northeast Holds Three of the Top Five States for Solar

The latest data from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed some expected findings as well as some surprising insights about the top solar states in the U.S. Few people were shocked to see that California is still leading the way with a whopping 3,700 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity – more than the next nine states combined. The surprising result from NREL’s data: three out of the top five states for solar are located in the Northeast, beating out sunnier states like Nevada (#6), Texas (#7) and Florida (which did not even break the top 10). New Jersey (#2), Massachusetts (#4) and New York (#5) represented the Northeast region with a combined installed capacity of almost 2,500 MW of solar energy, reinforcing the theme that you don’t have to live in the sunniest areas of the U.S. to go solar. 

Germany Generated 90% of Power from Renewable Energy This Week

Now ranked the 4th largest economy in the world by GDP, Germany’s renewable energy initiatives continued to impress this week: solar, wind, and other renewable energy resources briefly met 90 percent of the nation’s electricity demand on May 8th. While many skeptics still argue that renewable energy could never replace conventional sources of power, Germany’s renewable energy capabilities illustrate that total renewable sustainability is possible.

Following Slowed Growth and MyPower Setbacks, SolarCity Launches New Loan Product

Investors are concerned about SolarCity’s first quarter numbers, and some are pointing to its failed MyPower loan product as a reason for slumping share prices. In an effort to capture the growing number of homeowners who want to own their solar panel systems instead of leasing them from large solar leasing companies, SolarCity also announced a new, unnamed loan product this week. The company is hoping that this product launch will drive growth following uninspiring forecasts for Q2.


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