California leads nation in Q2 solar installations

September 5th, 2013 / By: Ed Sztukowski

Despite uncertainty, California breaks records

The latest NPD Solarbuzz report should put aside worries that solar shows any signs of slowing in California.

Even though the last few months were filled with conversations questioning net metering and solar incentives, California added over 512 MW of solar capacity in the second quarter of 2013.

That's another record-setting moment for California's solar industry. No other state has added that much capacity in a three-month period.

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Innovations in solar financing

September 4th, 2013 / By: Ed Sztukowski

How crowdsourcing is changing how we think about solar funding

Solar panels are more affordable than ever, but larger systems can still cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to install. Even smaller residential systems can prove unaffordable to some consumers, who might want to go solar but lack the funds.

That's too bad, considering that solar potential in the United States could generate over 399,700 terawatt-hours of electricity annually if enough solar systems were installed, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In order to reach our full solar potential, we'll need to think up new, innovative solar financing methods to expand installations throughout the country. While loans from banks and local organizations have helped finance many projects, the future might belong to individual investors.

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The coming fight over net metering

September 3rd, 2013 / By: Ed Sztukowski

Why AB 327 is causing controversy in California

Depending on who you hear it from, Assembly Bill 327 is either a cost-cutting savior or the destroyer of California's solar industry.

AB 327 proposes to change California's electricity rate structure, letting utilities lower some of the higher-priced peak hour electricity rates, but also giving them the option to charge users a flat monthly fee for electricity use.

Lower rates sound great at face value, but the monthly fee cuts sharply into net metering benefits solar customers see each month. While solar lets you reduce your monthly electricity charges, it wouldn't make a dent in the proposed flat fee utilities could enact.

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