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How Much Carbon Emissions Do Solar Panels Offset?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar | 0 comments

 In pursuit of cleaner energy and reduced carbon emission, it would be imprudent to not consider the carbon costs in the creation of solar panels themselves. Luckily, solar technology has been around the block, and analysis have been done on how much they offset versus how much carbon has been emitted in their creation. It is calculated that 1kWh of solar energy is equivalent to approximately 105 grams of carbon emitted when carbon emissions in their creation is divided by their lifetime (30 year) total production. Coal, on the other hand, has an average of 990 grams of carbon/ kWh and oil/diesel average at about 821g of carbon/ kWh. Natural gas comes in at a comparatively low carbon cost of 465g/kWh, but this does not take into account the negative externalities of fracking which often leave aquifers irreparably damaged. Wood/biomass — which is renewable and often considered rather clean — has a massive 1500g/kWh carbon emission (less of the other nasty nonsense coal emits like sulfur dioxide and acid gases).   When photovoltaics are compared to other commonplace methods of electrical generation in such a way the measures energy produced as opposed to emissions to create the product, it becomes self-evident that their creation, though somewhat carbon intensive from the factory point-of-view, pays for itself in very little time compared with their usable life.   Read More Here: http://solarenergy.net/energy-saving/putting-solar-savings-into-numbers/...

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Site Progress Update For Our Newest Array

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Site Progress Update For Our Newest Array

 Our latest project has been a doozy; its been one of our largest at 660 kW and the site has been a hard nut to crack with ledge and rock being a pervasive obstacle. Luckily, we’re equipped for the job. We’ve been using a pneumatic drill to bore into the ground to place our poles. It’s been quite a process but the results are turning out quite nicely.   Here are some pictures of the site as of Tuesday, courtesy of Higher Perspectives Dronography....

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As Coal Loses Its Stranglehold On The American Energy Market, Solar Can Pick Up Those Out Of Work

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar | 0 comments

 A new study was released by the Journal of Energy Economics has proposed the notion that there may be a great amount of cross applicable skills between the U.S.’s current coal industry workforce and the emerging solar industry workforce, and that retraining of coal workers to work in solar is not only cost-effective for the solar industry, but also equates to better wages for the workforce. In the study, published by Joshua Pearce of Michigan Technological University and Edward Louie of Oregon State University, findings indicate that skilled labor involved in coal extraction to coal consumption could easily be brought into the renewable energy fold with minimal retraining. This is good news for the U.S.’s coal workers, as the coal industry is likely to continue to downsize its workforce as coal becomes an increasingly unattractive means of producing energy and the costs of clean renewable options continue to come down. The labor-intesivity of solar installations means that many more jobs are created in solar then are lost in coal when replacing a coal fired power plant with photovoltaic panels, while also reducing danger to workers in comparison to coal extraction. Read more here:...

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MASDAR Institute Storing Thermal Energy in Sand

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Clean Electric, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 The MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), based out of Abu Dhabi, UAE, is at the forefront of environmental engineering and sustainable design. The City of Masdar and MIST we founded upon the desire to create an epicenter of international environmentalism. The city showcases some of the latest technology mixed with ancient architectural practices native to the region to create a synergistic approach to eco-friendly urban development. MIST, which currently is accessible solely to graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is quickly earning a reputation for the green technology powerhouse of the world. One research project that has captured our interest in the use of sand for thermal storage. Most conventional solar thermal systems utilize salt, oil or some other type of high boiling point, low environmental-friendliness agent to store thermal energy. Using sand could prove to be just as effective and environmentally sound if MIST’s new tech turns out to be viable. Reducing our carbon footprint is essential to the wellbeing of our planet, but it is not just as simple as devising new energy generation systems which do not pollute while producing electricity. We must constantly strive to create clean energy technology which can also be manufactured with the least amount of environmental impact. Using lithium ion batteries is one of the current standards for energy storage, but comes at a high price in terms of environmental externalities. Utilizing sand, which is readily abundant, requires no refining, and can be used without creating less-than-ideal byproducts, could very well play an important part in the future’s clean energy mix. Keep your eyes peeled for any tech coming out of Masdar and MIST, as it is sure to be on the cutting edge of eco-friendly.   Read more here:...

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Community Solar Loved by Residents and Businesses

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Clean Electric, Community Solar, Solar | 0 comments

 Here at Soveren we know we have some great deals to offer, but there is a gap to bridge between us being able to accurately portray the opportunities we offer and a customer coming to understand how community solar is a hot ticket item. So, in lieu of going into depth about it here, I’d like to point you towards an article Forbes posted the other day about why they love community solar. Take a look at what Forbes is saying about community solar and its benefits. Here in Vermont we may be the some of the least capitalist-leaning Americans, but when a business magazine who’s motto is “The Capitalist Tool” decides to praise business models centered around community, we may do well to pay attention. Read More Here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/edfenergyexchange/2016/08/01/10-reasons-why-we-love-community-solar/#35cfad691c4d...

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Tesla Aims to Bring the Same Appeal Apple has Cultivated to Solar

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

 As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post , Tesla Motors is on track to buying SolarCity for $2.85 Billion in order to bring energy generation (solar), energy storage (Tesla batteries) and energy consumption (home and Tesla vehicle), and Musk has chosen an interesting model to follow in terms of marketing. Bringing solar panels, Tesla batteries and and Tesla vehicles into the same show room will allow would-be customers to learn the first steps about going fossil fuel free in a no-pressure, educational environment where they can get first hand, hands-on experience with the products they may be purchasing. The model being pursued is akin to the one Apple developed with its Apple stores, a model which caused its market share to boom from an unrecognized/ undifferentiatable company to the tech behemoth and household name we know today. Soon Tesla Energy may emerge as an even more prevalent entity than Apple is today, powering the transition to a clean energy future. Here at Soveren we applaud their efforts. Read more here:...

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Solar Boom Takes 2016 by Storm, More Brewing on the Horizon

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar | 0 comments

  2016 has already been an enormous year for the solar industry. In the first quarter of 2016 the U.S. has installed 1.665 gigawatts (GW) of Solar — a 25% increase from the first quarter of 2015 — and is on track to seeing a 94% increase in installed solar capacity in the U.S. from 2015, with 64% of new energy generating capacity in the U.S. to coming from solar. For reference of scale, the average Vermont household requires about 12 kW of installed solar to offset their consumption, so the amount of solar installed in the first quarter would be enough to offset approximately 140,000 average Vermont homes. While the amount of domestic solar installed will have nearly doubled by the end of the year, this is comparatively small when compared to the solar behemoth emerging in China. China has reported that they’ve installed over 20 gigawatts in the first half of 2016, already beating their government mandated quota of 18.1 GW to be installed this year.   Read more here:   http://www.seia.org/research-resources/us-solar-market-insight  ...

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SolarCity & Tesla Officially Set to Join Forces

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar | 0 comments

 Elon Musk has his fingers in a lot of pies, but now two companies he serves as chairman on will join forces as it’s been officially announced that Tesla is on track to buy SolarCity. As those in the innovative-know have been aware of for some time, Musk has a certain propensity for bold initiatives and out-of-the-box thinking. He’s the kind of innovator to reach for the stars, and literally has with Space X (a company he is bother founder and CEO of), so the tech world is curious to see what initiative will come out of the SolarCity-Tesla combination. Already Musk has revealed part of his plan to provide solar, battery storage and electric vehicles all under the umbrella of a single company in what he calls “end-to-end clean energy”, thereby making Tesla the one-stop shopping solutions for those with the financial liquidity to completely overhaul their lifestyles from fossil fuel to renewable energy. While expensive at the moment, with the opening of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada and their rolling out of the Tesla Model 3 at a fraction of the cost of the Model S or Model X, the cost to complete this transition could be affordable to many middle class Americans within the next few years. From there it is likely Tesla will seek to bring prices even lower — as seen in the transition from the Tesla Roadster to the Models X & S to the Model 3 — as their production capacities eliminate much of the soft costs associated with the creation of Teslas, home batteries, and the like. Now if we could just figure out renewable energy powered spaceflight… Read more...

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Solar Powered Drones Soon to Take Flight

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar | 0 comments

 Here at Soveren, we are always interested in solar innovations, and as such we often pay attention to new initiatives even if they aren’t directly related to our operation. Facebook announced yesterday that they have successfully completed their first test flight of their new solar powered drone with the intent of constructing a fleet of them large enough to provide internet to the far reached of the world. It seems the Solar Impulse – the worlds first solar powered airplane to circumnavigate the globe – won’t be the only aerial craft harvesting the sun for long. The idea of a solar powered aircraft isn’t entirely new. In the 70’s American and British companies experimented with solar-powered flight with the creation of the AstroFlight Sunrise, the Mauro Solar Riser and the Solar one, none of which were very successful and the projects were all canned within a few years of the first models being produced. Today is a different story and the future of solar powered flight seems bright, especially when behemoths like Facebook decide to embark on what would once be considered far fetched missions such as using solar powered drones to provide internet globally. Read more...

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Solar Explodes Worldwide as Installations Expected to Grow Exponentially Over Next Five Years

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Clean Electric, Solar, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 For those of us living in ecologically conscious communities, not secret that solar has been experiencing quite a bump in installations as we’ve seen panels appear on rooftops, over parking lots, large arrays rolling across green fields, and even unseen arrays now covering many warehouse sized buildings’ roofs such as Walmarts across the nation. The commitment to going green is no longer the expensive lifestyle choice it was in the the 80’s and 90’s — a time when the best argument for solar was the “eco-bling” factor — , but in the 2010’s solar has come down in price massively making it not only affordable but a sound investment. This is caused by a multitude of factors; demand worldwide has increased, increasing production and competition in the market which has brought prices down, technology has improved allowing solar PV to be more efficient than ever, and a general consciousness about the importance of moving away from a fossil-fuel-based energy economy has permeated conversations on governmental, utility, community and individual levels. Looking forward to the future we can expect to solar installations to increase exponentially as fossil fuel reserves dwindle, decentralized generation increases causing the need for a smart-grid which will be better equipped to deal with renewable energy production, and the impacts of climate change become increasingly undeniable to those who still have their heads in the sand. Read more about the economics of the future of solar here: http://www.rechargenews.com/solar/1439394/solar-on-track-to-reach-grid-parity-this-decade-frost-and-sullivan And here: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-industry-data...

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