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By 2050, solar energy could throttle past fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear as the world's largest energy source. In reports just released by the International Energy Agency, solar photovoltaic systems are poised to generate up to 16% of the world's electricity. the combined ability of solar thermal electricity and concentrating solar power plants could provide up to additional 11%.
“The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “However, both technologies are very capital intensive: almost all expenditures are made upfront. Lowering the cost of capital is thus of primary importance for achieving the vision in these roadmaps.”
In 2010, then Governor Chris Gregoire announced the development of "that nation's first true electrified highway". This technological advance in highway travel connects Oregon to Canada along the I-5 corridor. However in 2013, things began to stall despite the fact that more Teslas were sold in our state than any other.
Here are a few things that might help turn that around:
Plug-in America Director Chad Schwitters had this to say,"Washington has very near the highest per-capita EV adoption rate.” Schwitters explained. “I think it’s partly due to the fact that we have a lot of software people up here. Engineers are likely to have both the money and temperament to be early adopters. We also have a sales tax exemption, which is significant because the tax rate is almost 10%. It applies to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), not Plugin Hybrid Electric vehicles, which may be why BEVs sell much better here.”
From a recent Seattle Times article.
A typical single American family accrues an average annual energy bill of $2,200.
Here are some ways to reduce that:
Starting in late December and continuing through Q1 2014, top ten lists will begin popping up — top ten manufacturers, top ten markets, top ten this, top ten that, top ten mistakes not to make ever again, top ten success stories to be emulated until we all want to scream, top ten losers, top ten winners, top ten conferences. In sum, there is a top ten list for pretty much everything that happened in 2013 as well as a few for the top ten things to expect in 2014. Thusly, here is the first (or just one of many) top ten list of things to remember in solar as we begin to exit 2013:
The feed in tariff incentive model drove photovoltaic industry deployment to multi-gigawatt levels and encouraged the entrance of new players. Many of these new players believed — as did most of the industry — that the FiT model was the future of solar. The early profitability of this model drove the multi-megawatt (utility scale) installation sector. Many of those who entered during these times left stunned when retroactive changes and underbidding (as well as underpricing) erased profits almost overnight. So, for an official number eleven: incentives and subsidies for solar always change over time.
Also, and this applies to everything including the lease model, today’s darling will almost always disappoint eventually. Solar is progress and is crucial in the battle against climate change; remember, enthusiasm is great but perseverance, hard work and steady progress will keep an industry going when enthusiasm wanes. Just as incentives come and go, enthusiasm waxes and wanes.
And Now a Word about Climate Change
Climate change, with a lot of help from humankind, is altering the ecosystem that we are all a part of — sometimes accidentally, sometimes blindly and sometimes by excusing polluting behaviors as necessary. Bluntly, if you are not a part of the climate change solution, you are the problem – solar is a key part of the solution. The fight to deploy solar requires old fashioned guts and is often gut wrenching. Nonetheless, there is no better fight to engage in than the one against those who argue that we have time to make an impact.
And this calls for 12. Remember that the real goals are energy independence (from polluting sources), energy security (against escalating prices), and ameliorating climate change.
Approximately 40 companies install solar energy systems in the state of Washington and many have been active in the policy arena for a number of years, but too often as separate entities.
With the formation of Solar Installers of Washington (SIW), possibly the first trade association of its kind in the United States, the coalition is setting aside their competitive impulses and working together to help shape the future of solar energy in this state. Their aim is to do so by representing their customers, teaming up with local manufacturers and suppliers. It is also their goal to work closely with elected officials, and build strong relationships with utilities and environmental stakeholders in order to increase awareness and create better policies for wider adoption of solar energy.
In addition to delivering clean, renewable energy to Washington, they will support the creation of hundreds of local jobs and prosperous local economies across the state. Climate change, ocean acidification, air and water pollution, and resource depletion are all daunting problems that require a team effort to solve. It is with this in mind that the SIW is making its expertise and resources available to elected officials and related stakeholders so that Washingtonians are better able to use our most abundant energy resource - the sun.
Sunergy Systems is proud to be a Founding Member and also have our company founder, Howard Lamb, serving as a Board Member!
Robert Redford has a Call to Action for you! As a trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council for almost 40 years, Robert dilligently continues the fight against drilling on public lands for some of the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet. Please take a moment and watch his PSA, and sign the petition to ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and move us further into a clean energy future!
The SEIA reports that in Q2 of 2013 was the second best quarter ever for solar PV! 832 MW of solar PV was installed, 15% over Q1 in 2012! What does that mean you ask? 9,400 megawatts is enough to fuel 1.5 million average American homes, removing 1.9 million cars from the road, or planting 236,000,00 trees! Learn more here.
OptiTrac™ - Sunergy Systems is excited to introduce to you SMA's new Made-In-America Sunny Boy TL inverter lineup that represents the next step in performance. Higher efficiency combined with their new OptiTrac™ Global Peak power tracking, that mitigates the effect of shade, results in the best performances to maximize your solar investment.
Secure Power Supply - What we're really excited about though is the Sunny Boy TL inverters' unique "Secure Power Supply"feature, making it the first grid-tie inverter to provide up to 1,500W of daytime power in the event of a grid outage! With most grid-tied inverters, when the grid goes down, so does the solar-powered home. SMA's Secure Power Supply provides daytime energy to a dedicated power outlet during prolonged grid outages, empowering homeowners with access to power as long as the sun shines.
Leading monitoring and control solutions - The monitoring and control options provide users with an outstanding degree of flexibility. Integrated wireless Zigbee communications allows for a highly controllable inverter and one that can be monitored on Sunny Portal from anywhere on the planet via an Internet connection. On the go, impress your friends with your system via the Sunny Portal mobile website or iPhone and Android apps.
Did you know that the window to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit for 2013 is closing fast? If you are looking into solar electric or solar hot water, book your consult now so we can get you in the queue for 2013. Our installation calendar is filling up fast!
This sizable tax credit could help with a big tax liability on your books. And that’s before you incorporate other incentives like the State Sales Tax Exemption, and the Washington Production Incentive, which pays you up to $0.54 per kW produced on your new solar system. This tallies up to thousands of dollars in savings for you!
Don’t get left in the dark this year, book your consult now to make sure you have time to take advantage of these great incentives before the year is out!
Sunergy Systems hit a milestone this year. We have proudly installed three megawatts of solar energy, and if you are one of the 650 people who’ve gone solar with us over the past eight years we thank you for this incredible achievement. When we opened our doors back in 2005 there were less than 50 net-metered solar electric systems in Washington State, now there are over 4,100 systems for a total of 20 megawatts of clean energy!
So what does Sunergy Systems customer’s 3.0 megawatts along with the one hundred plus solar hot water systems actually mean?
From when our 650 customer had their systems originally installed, to current date, their systems have done the following:
These numbers are just the beginning of what our solar customers have done so far, how about over the 25 year lifespan of their systems:
Even better news for this year is that “Solar in Washington” has catapulted with an astounding 75% growth over last year. We too have certainly experienced this great boom with now being at twenty employee-owners and for the year installed 140 systems totaling 3/4ths a megawatt
Sunergy’s vision of “taking solar to the masses” and making solar mainstream continues to manifest and we continue to be excited about the role that we and our customers have played in making this happen! Sunergy Systems Solar Design Consultant, Chris Herman notices the message, "Now when families sit around the dinner table, going solar is a common topic along with potential career opportunities."
Everyone at Sunergy is excited and passionate to be making a living in such a meaningful industry and all of us thank you for making this happen!