Homeowners and utilities alike are choosing solar energy at a faster rate than ever before in the United States. The explosive growth of solar power is partly a result of the falling cost of solar panels. Rebates and incentives have also contributed to the United States’ biggest year ever for solar. But decreasing costs are only one of the many benefits of solar energy. You can also improve your health and protect the environment by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and installing a solar energy system at your home or business.
In this week’s Solar News Roundup, we take a look at the federal climate report released this Thanksgiving, as well as an intriguing patent filed by Tesla.
After two long weeks of negotiations in Paris, 195 nations finally reached consensus on a United Nations climate change agreement. EnergySage has been tracking developments around the negotiations in the weeks leading up to Paris. Now, we’re breaking down the deal and what exactly it means for the future of solar.
The Green Pope and His Climate Change Discourse
It’s not news that Pope Francis has green leanings. Addressing a crowd in Rome earlier this year, he head of the Catholic Church spoke bluntly about the dangers posed by human-caused climate change. “If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us,” he said, going on to name environmental stewardship as a key responsibility of the Church and its faithful.
The Pope has had the environment on the agenda since his inauguration in 2013. But even back when Francis was still Cardinal Bergoglio, the Vatican was already supporting cleaner energy. The most obvious example of this was the installation of a 100 megawatt rooftop solar array to meet the bulk of the micro-state’s energy needs. This act, along with speeches he made, earned then-Pope Benedict the nickname ‘The Green Pope’. Continue reading
Recently, President Obama gave an impassioned speech asking all of us to “Act On Climate” before it’s too late. It’s no surprise that increased adoption of clean energies such as small wind, geothermal, and solar power will be the driving force behind many of the goals outlined in his speech.
He called upon Americans to take a leadership role in this battle. His plan relies on everyone—individuals, business, government, even utilities—to do their part. While the President’s goals are aggressive, they are entirely doable. It’s also should come as no surprise that EnergySage can and will play an important role in helping to achieve these goals. We can help you save money with solar while working to reduce your environmental impact. Continue reading
Most of us are completely unaware of how the electricity we use is generated. We just put the plug in the outlet and forget about it. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is definitely not bliss! Understanding where your power originates is crucial in an energy efficiency standpoint.
For anyone wondering where their energy comes from, the chart above displays the sources of our power usage nationwide and can offer insight about output sources. No surprise: the decisions that determine this mix are made by your utility company with their best interests in mind. Sources are chosen on the basis of factors such as cost, availability, and reliability of supply. That’s how coal came to fuel almost half of the U.S.’s electrical needs. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and it’s relatively easy to mine. What didn’t factor into the utility’s decision were things like the environmental impact of their choices–costs not borne by them but by you, me, and the communities in which we live. Nonetheless, the recent ITC extension and Paris Agreement are two reasons pointing to an approaching overthrowal of fossil fuels by the renewable industry. Continue reading
A recent Gallup poll determined that 2 out of 3 Americans want the U.S to put more emphasis on generating domestic energy through renewable sources—And that desire was reflected across political parties. We weren’t really surprised by these findings. When you think about it, clean energy has its perks for almost everyone regardless of their political leanings.
Normally, the announcement of a new Pope wouldn’t get much play in environmental circles, so the fact that newly elected Pope Francis is creating a buzz within the green community is big news.
When you think about environmental protection, the Vatican doesn’t necessarily come to mind, but in fact, the Vatican has been taking a leadership role. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI installed a 100MW solar photovoltaic system that made Vatican City the world’s first solar powered nation state. Although it’s the smallest sovereign nation, it serves as a powerful example to the rest of the world of what is possible. Likewise, in his early days as the new pope, Pope Francis has signaled that protecting the environment will play a central role in his papacy. Continue reading