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Solar PV Breaks Records in 2010

By |October 31st, 2011|

Solar photovoltaic (PV) companies manufactured a record 24,000 megawatts of PV cells worldwide in 2010, more than doubling their 2009 output. Annual PV production has grown nearly 100-fold since 2000, when just 277 megawatts of cells were made. Newly installed PV also set a record in 2010, as 16,600 megawatts were installed in more than 100 countries. This brought the total worldwide capacity of solar PV to nearly 40,000 megawatts — enough to power 14 million European homes.

Made of semiconductor materials, PV cells convert solar radiation directly into electricity. Rectangular panels consisting of numerous PV cells can be linked into arrays of various sizes and power output capabilities — from rooftop systems measured in kilowatts to ground-mounted arrays of hundreds or even thousands of megawatts. (One megawatt equals 1,000 kilowatts.)

There are two main types of PV — traditional crystalline silicon and newer thin-film PV. In 2010, crystalline silicon production was […]

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Anaheim Residents Save Amazing 65% on Home Solar Panels

By |October 31st, 2011|

The City of Anaheim may be one of the happiest solar places on earth.

Known around the world as the home of Disneyland, Anaheim’s solar incentive program is a something of a better-kept secret. The program has received little publicity since its launch in 2008, but for Anaheim residents who want to enjoy deep (read: unheard of) discounts on a home solar system, the savings warrant far more attention.

Rebates offered through Anaheim’s electrical utility are among the most generous of all California solar rebates. The $3.72 per watt rebate is incredibly high, especially when compared to Northern California’s current PG&E rebates of $0.25 per watt in most areas.

The extent of the program, however, is limited. Anaheim residents should prepare now to take advantage of next year’s program. Applications will be accepted for the 2012-2013 fiscal year beginning on January 4, 2012.

How much money can be saved by going solar in Anaheim? […]

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Are Home Solar Costs About to Plummet?

By |October 5th, 2011|

To predict the future costs of residential systems, it helps to understand not only how far prices have dropped in recent years, but what factors are behind those reductions in costs.

Two major organizations that track solar cost trends are the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), an industry group, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, funded by the federal government. Both organizations recently published studies that show reductions in all aspects of residential solar energy systems.

Overall, from 2009 to 2010, solar array installation costs have dropped by 17 percent. Costs for wafer and cells each dropped 25 percent, while the cost of a solar panel module dropped 12 percent. Non-module costs, which includes labor installation costs and the inverters that convert solar DC energy into household AC electricity, dropped 18 percent.

Both studies credited market growth as the major factor in achieving these across-the-board reductions. As the industry grows, more money is invested in […]

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A Bright Spot for Solar: Berkeley Lab Study Finds that Photovoltaic Systems Boost the Sales Price of California Homes

By |October 5th, 2011|

Berkeley, CA– New research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems.

“We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California have boosted home sales prices,” says the lead author Ben Hoen, a researcher at Berkeley Lab. “These average sales price premiums appear to be comparable with the average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California, and of course homeowners also benefit from energy bill savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.”

The research finds that homes with PV in California have sold for a premium, expressed in dollars per watt of installed PV, of approximately $3.90 to $6.40/watt. This corresponds to an average home sales price premium of approximately $17,000 for a relatively new 3,100 watt PV system (the average size […]

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