As consumers, it is our responsibility to be informed about what we are buying and how much is should cost. However, very few of us work in the renewable energy industry. I attended my son’s basketball season wrap party this past weekend and was surprised when none of the parents really understood solar power. This is not an indictment on them, I think it highlights that the industry is 1) relatively new to consumers, and 2) more complex than anything they’ve purchased besides possibly a computer. Continue reading
Evaluating whether solar or photovoltaic (PV) power is right for your home is easy to do. If you have a proposal (see my proposal here) from a local firm, the process is extremely easy. If not, you simply need to collect some additional information.
During 2011, the question of whether solar power makes sense has been answered due to the drastic decrease in the cost of solar equipment. Yes! Solar power makes sense for most people given the current federal and local rebates and credits. Here’s what you need to know. Continue reading
First Solar (FSLR), a leading manufacturer of thin cell (thin-film) photovoltaic (PV) semiconductor modules has lost it cost advantage and must be rethinking its corporate strategy. Just as extreme price pressure from Chinese competitors crushed Solyndra and forced it to shut down amid the US Government grant scandal late last year, those same market dynamics coupled with dramatically decreased polysilicon prices will force First Solar to make changes.
As reported by Trefis for MSN Money, there have been significant decreases in the price of polysilicon, “…prices for polysilicon fell from a record $475 per kilogram in 2008 to around $33 per kilogram in Q4 2011.” Coupled with an increase in production estimated to double capacity within 3 years, it is obvious that there will be significant changes. Continue reading
What does a typical residential solar power proposal look like? What are the costs? Is photovoltaic (PV) solar power cost-effective? Which manufacturer’s panels are the best? Which company’s solar power proposal is the best for me? Does the solar power system have a payback or ROI that makes sense? All good questions that every consumer needs to answer before signing a contract.
Below is a proposal from a local company for a 5.8kW PV system.
Should I spend $26,850? Here’s a look at a recent proposal I received. Continue reading
The Enphase microinverter solutions include one of the best solar panel monitoring software packages, Enlighten, that I have seen. Enlighten is a web-based subscription-priced solar panel monitoring solution.
It is simple to install, remotely monitored, utilizes a web-based user-to-system interface and provides information detail to the module level.
There are two key differentiators to Enphase’s solution. Continue reading