SolBid: Clean Energy News

Why It Is Crucial to Ensure that Solar Panel Installers are Licensed Electricians



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Finding the right contractor for any project can be difficult – finding one for your next solar installation can feel even more daunting. Here’s everything you need to know in order to ensure that your PV system will be installed correctly and safely.

Solar contractor licensing started in the 1980s alongside the introduction of solar incentive programs. State regulations and licensing of solar contractors have been evolving as the solar industry has continued to grow. Most states require a licensed electrical contractor for PV installations, and some have even stricter requirements. Further, every state and municipality has different laws, regulations, and rebates for installing solar.

A Local Non Profit Leading by Example: Making the Switch to 100% Renewable Energy




Local non profit organization Mass Audubon, with tagline “Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts”, is doing what it’s preaching. After focusing on energy conservation and efficiency improvements for several years, Mass Audubon turned its attention to renewable energy, as clean energy is good for people & wildlife. They have installed solar PV systems at their sites throughout Massachusetts, including their wildlife sanctuaries, education centers and headquarters. So far, they totaled 434 kilowatts installed. They are really focusing on generating as much of their own clean energy as possible, and they purchase the rest from renewable sources.

The Full Value of Solar

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Solar energy adoption is on the rise, and public policy has been a key factor in spurring growth in the solar energy sector. In order to keep developing smart public policy, many “value-of-solar” studies have been conducted in an attempt to quantify the monetary value of the benefits (and costs) derived from adding solar to the electric grid. Many studies are sponsored by utilities to support changes in rate structure and often do not account for societal benefits. Consequently, “the narrow scope of those studies leads to undervaluing solar energy and, in turn, justifies policies and electricity rate structures that make it harder to embrace this renewable resource” (Searson, 2019). In fact, the full range of benefits from solar go far beyond the electric grid, and it is crucial that these types of studies account for the full value of solar energy, including societal benefits to the environment and public health, to best serve the public interest (Environment America).

How Solar Can Reduce the Budget Impact from Roof Replacement



The replacement of the roof system can be one of the largest expenditures for a building owner during the life cycle of the building. In fact, given the significant costs associated with roof replacement, many companies delay or shy away from roof solar projects because of this. However, if it’s determined that your roof should be replaced prior to going solar, it’s a smart move to consider moving forward with both projects, as solar can actually reduce the budget impact from roof replacement.

Transparent Solar Cells Could Generate Power from Everyday Object Surfaces

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Your home windows or electric car windows, or simply your smartphone, could easily turn into power generators thanks to transparent solar cells. At Ubiquitous Energy, MIT startup co-founded by researchers Barr, Lunt, Bulović, and Bart, they are continuing development work to optimize their transparent PVs. These new solar cells selectively absorb only infrared and ultraviolet light, which are invisible to the eye, while “visible light passes through the cells unimpeded, so our eyes don’t know they’re there” (Stauffer).

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