Solar Energy in the Midwest

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Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article.

By Janet L. Sawin, Contributor
October 18, 2012

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report — an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide, relying on an international network of more than 400 contributors — reveals that the sector continued to expand across all its various segments.

Renewable sources supplied an estimated 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. Of this total, modern renewable energy (as opposed to traditional biomass) accounted for an estimated 8.2 percent, a share that has increased in recent years, while the share from traditional biomass has declined slightly to an estimated 8.5 percent. During 2011, modern renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors.

In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) accounted for almost 40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). By end 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1360 GW, up 8 percent over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25 percent of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity. Non-hydropower renewables exceeded 390 GW, a 24 percent capacity increase over 2010. For full article

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Donna on Radio show last weekend – hear it here!

Listen to Donna as she sets straight the myths about solar in Michigan on The Inside Outside Guys Radio show last Saturday. Her segment starts around 30:08, in the third podcast.

The Inside Outside Guys Saturday April 21th, 2012 Part 3 http://blog.theinsideoutsideguys.com/?cat=5

Solar Top 10: SEPA List Details Key Utility Trends | Renewable Energy News Article

Solar Top 10: SEPA List Details Key Utility Trends | Renewable Energy News Article.

By Steve Leone, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
April 19, 2012

This week, the Solar Electric Power Association released a preview of its Solar Top 10, an annual look at which utilities are taking the lead of solar development. The full detailed report will come out in May. The 2011 findings show a 38 percent growth in the number of installations over the past year and a 120 percent spike in megawatts installed. SEPA expects this trajectory to continue in 2012 behind continued price drops and the build out of large-scale projects.

While we already knew that solar had its best year ever in 2011, and that final installation numbers were higher than expected, it’s still valuable to see which utilities connected the most solar, and where new high levels of deployment are being seen.

So here are some takeaways from the recently released findings:

  • Large-scale solar farms make the headlines, but smaller installations remain the bread-and-butter of the industry. In 2011, utilities interconnected over 62,500 PV systems. Thirteen utilities interconnected more than 1,000 PV systems and 22 interconnected more than 500 systems. According to the report, this volume of smaller, distributed interconnections is unlike anything the utility industry has previously managed. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers fare next year and in 2013 when the impacts of the recently expired Section 1603 grant will be felt.

Click on title for full story.

Grand Rapids Ramps Go Electric

Grand Rapids Ramps Go Electric.

A group of middle school students from Grand Rapids Public School’s Center for Economicology crowded around Mayor George Heartwell on Tuesday to hear him announce five new Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging stations downtown.  Second Ward Commissioners Rosalynn Bliss and Ruth Kelly, as well as a representative from Cascade Engineering, were also on hand for the press conference.

“We have to keep up with the demand for electric cars,” he told the students. “I bet by the time you guys are driving, 10 percent of the cars will be electric cars.”

Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program

Application fees set for Ann Arbor’s new PACE program.

By Ryan J. Stanton
Political Reporter

The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday supported the final step to fully implement the city’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

A resolution approved by council sets the application fees for the PACE program, which is a special financing mechanism to help commercial property owners in Ann Arbor undertake energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Through the PACE program, qualifying property owners are able to borrow money for energy efficiency projects ranging from $10,000 to $350,000 and then pay back the loans through special assessments added onto their tax bills for up to 10 years.

Andrew_Brix_April_4_2011_2.jpg

Andrew Brix

The program is a joint effort of the city of Ann Arbor and Clean Energy Coalition. City officials believe the availability of PACE financing will support economic stimulation across the city, create jobs and reduce operating costs for business owners.For full article go to: Link

Renewable Sources Continue Explosive Growth | Renewable Energy News Article

Renewable Sources Continue Explosive Growth | Renewable Energy News Article. By Ken Bossong, SUN DAY Campaign

January 4, 2012

Renewables now provide 12% of domestic energy production, 14% more than 2010; and renewable electrical output increased 25%, which contributes to 13% of U.S. power.

For the first nine months of 2011, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, wind) provided 11.95% of domestic U.S. energy production. That compares to 10.85% for the same period in 2010 and 10.33% in 2009. By comparison, nuclear power provided just 10.62% of the nation’s energy production in the first three quarters of 2011 — i.e., 11.10% less than renewables.

For full article

Solar power advocates challenging proposed ‘standby’ charge by Dominion Virginia | The Republic

Solar power advocates challenging proposed ‘standby’ charge by Dominion Virginia | The Republic.

RICHMOND, Va. — Solar power advocates are challenging a residential charge proposed by Dominion Virginia Power they contend would create disincentives for a renewable energy source that is already lagging in the state.

The so-called standby charge would apply to large-scale residential solar customers when their thermal panels are not generating enough electricity, typically at night. The General Assembly approved legislation that allows the standby charge for residential solar generation systems ranging from 10 kilowatt hours to 20 kilowatt hours.

The State Corporation Commission is scheduled to hear the case Thursday. Regulators typically do not immediately rule on cases.

The Solar Industries Association, which represents the interests of manufacturers, installers and suppliers of solar systems, said Dominion’s proposal is flawed, would be punitive for the small number of Virginians who rely on solar power and would discourage further investments in the renewable energy source. To read full article click on title

The Energy Navigator | Solar Energy in the Midwest

The Energy Navigator | Solar Energy in the Midwest.

Finding the Right Solar Financing for Your Home

Buying solar panels for your home has never made more sense. Solar panels help to lower your home’s electricity bill and reduce your environmental footprint. With the right solar financing, you can easily bring solar power to your home. Here are three common methods for going solar:

For full article

End of the DTE Solar Currents Program

DTE announced this week the end of the residential Solar Currents Program stating that they had reached their goals and the program was full. This program paid $2.40 per watt of any residential solar electric (PV) installation up to 20kW/meter plus a net metering program of .11 cents/kW fed back to the grid for 20 years.

DTE will still be participating in the net metering portion but will not be paying any upfront installation rates. That means there is still the possibility for the homeowner to receive credits for the energy they produce and feed into the grid, and possibly having negative utility bills, depending on the size of the system installed.

There is some rumor that DTE may consider reallocating some of the commercial program into a new residential program. We are hoping that they do in the very near future.

Many of the solar companies we talked to have lost business immediately because homeowners were counting on the Solar Currents program to be able to install a system for their home. The announcement of the system end came abruptly and took many companies and homeowners by surprise.

The Federal Tax Credit of 30% of total installation of any solar system, accept pool heating, still stands until 2016. There is also the possibility of selling power to the open market as a REC (Renewable Energy Credit).

Link to DTE Press Release  http://dteenergy.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=614

Earth Day Open House April 30th 10am-3pm

See, Feel, & Touch Solar

Working solar systems are Solar Hot Water, 2 types of Solar Space heating systems, Solar Electrical (PV), solar attic fans, Solatubes and natural daylighting. We also offer solar pool heating systems. Experience matters! We have 26 years’ experience in the solar energy business with over 7,000 happy customers. Talk to us in person about financing options and find out how solar can work for you.

Have an old furnace? Not ready for solar yet? Save energy with high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners. Enter our draw to win a new high efficiency furnace. Bring your electrical and gas bills with you for a better idea of a best fit system for you.

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