Tag Archives: solar energy

Ethical Solar Sourcing

Ethical sourcing of solar components

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The solar industry is very much a part of the global economy: its supply chain traverses countries, oceans and continents, sourcing raw materials from certain regions, manufacturing products in others, and, ultimately, sending solar products to home and business owners everywhere. With how interconnected the solar industry is, it’s important to be cognizant of where and how solar equipment is sourced. In lieu of recent credible reports of human rights abuses and forced labor in parts of China that feed into the solar supply chain, it’s worth looking at how to ensure that the solar equipment you purchase is ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Before digging into this, a quick note: allegations of human rights abuses and other unethical practices are an atypical topic area for us. After all, we write about clean energy, not issues of geopolitical intrigue. But we don’t take these reports of human rights violations and forced labor lightly, and we want to make sure you’re aware of this ongoing investigation and have options to ensure your solar equipment is ethically produced.

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05.28.21 Solar News Roundup

Solar news: May 28th, 2021

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In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an exciting new use for utility scale solar, and an important initiative by the Biden administration to help underserved communities gain access to solar power. 

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Solar-assisted heat pump

What are solar-assisted heat pumps, and how do you compare them?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, space heating and water heating can account for almost two thirds of energy use in U.S. homes—those bills definitely add-up! You can use many different types of energy efficient heating systems to offset these costs, including solar-assisted heat pumps (SAHPs), which some manufacturers claim can have payback periods as low as two to three years. These systems combine technology similar to solar hot water and air source heat pumps in order to heat water or small spaces in your home. SAHPs have existed since the 1970s, but have recently started gaining more attention due to their high efficiency.

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agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics: what is it and can it benefit your farm?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The farming industry has been hit hard by the impacts of climate change. From increasing temperatures to severe droughts, farms are facing new challenges that will likely increase with intensity as climate change progresses. Fortunately, a new solution is arising that can both benefit farmers and help reduce emissions: agrivoltaics (also known as dual-use solar). 

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solar air conditioning setup in a home

Solar air conditioning: what you need to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

For many, summer is the best season of all: beaches, vacations, and sunshine. But this season can also bring high temperatures and unbearable humidity, often creating widespread demand for air conditioning. Solar power is one way you can keep your electricity costs down as you’re blasting the air conditioner this summer. After all, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice on comfort just to save money on electricity.

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hybrid wind plus solar energy system

Hybrid energy systems: combining wind plus solar

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Renewable energy resources are an easy, cost-effective way to reduce both electricity costs and carbon emissions. However, a common criticism leveled at renewable energy resources like wind and solar is: what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining? There are many options to solve for this criticism, from net metering policies to pairing solar with energy storage. One additional new method for combating this critique is through hybrid energy systems: by installing wind and solar hybrid systems, renewable energy developers are finding innovative ways to produce more energy with even greater consistency.

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Solar news: November 15th, 2019

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In this week’s Solar News Roundup, new projections for solar energy see the technology becoming the world’s largest energy source by 2035, and SunPower splits into two companies: a manufacturer and an installer.

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solar panels with air source heat pumps

Benefits of solar-powered air source heat pumps

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re already considering installing a solar panel installation, you’re probably familiar with the positive impact it will have on your monthly electricity bill: but what if you could also substantially decrease your monthly heating and cooling bills with your new system? You can maximize your energy bill savings and decrease your carbon footprint by pairing your solar panels with energy-efficient air source heat pumps

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electric vehicle and solar panels on a home

How many panels do you need for your EV?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the primary benefits of purchasing an electric vehicle is that it allows you to transition from paying for gasoline to lower-cost electricity. But why not take that one step further and power your car with clean, solar power you produce on your own property? Here’s a  quick breakdown to help determine how many solar panels you need to power your electric vehicle (EV) with solar. 

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house with electric meter

Behind-the-meter: what you need to know

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The electricity system is changing, from the way we generate power to the way we distribute and use it. All grid-tied energy systems are situated either “in front of the meter” or “behind the meter”, and as more and more electric customers take control of their production and usage, it is important to understand the fundamental differences between these two positions on the larger electric grid.

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