Friday, March 18, 2016

Guest Post: Five Clean Energy Advancements and Trends We're Thankful For

[Clean Air Watch periodically accepts guest posts that we think might be of general interest.  Today's post is by Alex Yackery]

Renewable energy is a hot topic these days as more homeowners and business owners are taking advantage of clean energy to be environmentally and fiscally responsible. Here is a list of the top 5 advancements and trends we are thankful for.

 Solar ITC and Wind PTC Extension: 

 In late 2015 lawmakers passed a spending package for a multi-year extension of solar and wind tax credits that support renewable energy. Under the bill the 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit is extended for another 3 years and gradually decrease to a permanent level of 10% by 2022, and the 2.3% Production Tax Credit for wind power will be extended through 2017. 

Solar PV Efficiency: 

 Photovoltaic, or PV, solar energy system are the most popular type of renewable energy available today. Solar panels convert sunlight (photons) into electricity, and the efficiency of these cells has increased as costs have decreased. A higher demand for solar means increased production which will continue to drive innovation up and costs down.

 Electric Vehicles: 

 EVs are becoming a popular choice for eco-friendly and performance drivers alike, with an amazing four-year CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 309%. As lithium-ion battery technology advances and prices come down we are looking forward to seeing EVs becoming the norm! We think PV + EV is the future!

Savvy Storage Systems: 

 Lithium-ion batteries are great for electric vehicles, but also a great alternative to traditional generator systems. Homeowners are taking interest in battery systems to back up their home’s critical loads in case of a black out especially in the wake of the major storms we have experienced over the past few years. Battery systems are also a great option for commercial and industrial scale PV systems to help offset peak demand charges when electricity is the most expensive. These battery systems know when to drain power from the battery to avoid paying a higher than normal rate to the utility, and also when to charge the battery from the PV system when electricity from the grid is in less demand and therefore less expensive.

Shared Solar and Community Distributed Generation: 

 Unfortunately not all homes and businesses have the right roof for solar. New regulations allow for large scale shared solar projects in certain states and utility zones. Massachusetts and New York are leaders in this space launching very aggressive community solar programs that make solar a reality for every home owner or business owner regardless of if their site is a candidate for solar or not. Now everyone in these areas can benefit from solar power!

Did we miss any trends that you are excited about? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section! 

 Author Bio: - Alex Yackery is a writer and co-owner of Venture Home Solar, an organization into solar panels installation service located in New York, United States. He is passionate about all things related to solar energy & clean energy. 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A quick primer on the 4 biggest recent developments in global climate change