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Gifts for Solar Enthusiasts

Solar enthusiasts are individuals who promote green energy by advocating for or simply practicing alternative energy use. That said, solar devices are pretty easy to come by and you’d be sure these enthusiasts would love that you’re both endorsing it and also buying one for them. Despite any solar industry issues, any gift that promotes green energy would be greatly appreciated by any sensible person. Check out some of our solar gift ideas below. Solar Battery Charger You’d think that with all our technological advancements these days, we’d be rid of batteries (at least the A kinds). However, all around the world, devices are still being made to run on these non-renewable items. Good news though, solar battery chargers help make it such that you don’t need to keep replenishing your stock while saving the Earth at the same time. Giving one as a gift is a great idea as it offers unlimited returns to the recipient. After all, they get to keep using their rechargeable batteries forever without needing to plug it into a power outlet.   [Source] Solar Charger with Powerbank One step up from the solar battery charger is the solar powerbank. It’s not actually a powerbank directly hooked with solar panels. Rather, it’s a powerbank that has a solar charger (Sunjack Battery Charger). With this nifty device, you can power up to 2 of your small to medium devices like smartphones and tablets with ease. If you have USB devices such as bulbs, fans, or even portable fridges, it can also do the trick. A good thing about this powerbank from Sunjack is that it’s foldable and can be carried around easily by hooking it to your backpack. Solar enthusiasts who regularly go off-the-grid will absolutely love this gift. The powerbank also has a bright LED light that functions as a flashlight. If you’re after an even better deal with 2 powerbanks, check here. [Source] Solar Planter Not all solar enthusiasts have green thumbs but when they do, that would make an excellent combination and this would make the perfect gift as well. Solar planters are simply planters that give off light when charged. There are some that have diverse features such as color changing modes or you can simply opt for a single color mode. What’s great about these planters is that they give off light equally as long as they are charged. That means that you can just leave them outside all day and they’ll just brighten your night automatically. [Source] Rechargeable Headlamp A solar enthusiast who stocks power aside can surely use devices that would utilize this power. What better device to...

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Trump’s Steel Tariffs Affect Solar Pricing
Apr04

Trump’s Steel Tariffs Affect Solar Pricing

Trump’s tariffs on steel aren’t only adversely affecting the livelihoods of American manufacturers and the food you eat, but will take a toll on the nuts and bolts of the clean energy industry as well — literally.     Section 232 proclamation, which Trump signed into existence last month, places a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. The proclamation is expected to have a direct impact on renewable component costs, increasing the price of everything from the nuts and bolts hardware, to the racking and solar panel frames used to mount PV panels, to the general electrical products such as wiring and transformers.     While manufacturers and installers are expected to bear the brunt of the tariffs, the costs will trickle down to customers installing residential solar as well. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEI) estimates that the steel and aluminum tariffs could add 2 cents per watt to both utility scale and residential solar projects.   The increase comes at a time when there is already significant pressure on the solar industry to stay above water in the wake of 30 percent tariffs on imported solar cells and modules earlier this year.   “Steel and aluminum tariffs would be immediately impactful to the U.S. solar market,” Scott Moskowitz, solar analyst at GTM Research said. “Most mounting structures vendors source steel and aluminum from numerous locations, both in and outside of the United States. Tariffs would likely make the cost of importing these materials prohibitive, while increasing the price of U.S.-made steel, which has already risen due to the threat of tariffs.”   America is the world’s largest steel importer, buying about 35 million tons in 2017.   While American steel mills hail the tariffs as a positive step towards bringing the fabrication of raw materials back to domestic shores, manufacturers that need steel to create their products are apprehensive about what the diminished metal supply will mean for business. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic analysis, the U.S. steel industry employed approximately 147,000 people in 2015 while manufacturers and construction industry needing steel employed 12.8 million.   Among those numbers are jobs supported by the solar industry. As it becomes more difficult to retain employees over the next few years amist a whirlwind of destabilizing tariffs and smaller profit margins it appears there might be dark days ahead in the near future of installing affordable home solar.   Contact GoGreenSolar.com or call (888) 338-0183 to learn how you can install home solar before prices go...

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California SGIP Provides Rebates for Solar Batteries
Mar23

California SGIP Provides Rebates for Solar Batteries

If you live in California and are only using your solar battery for backup, then you’ve been using it wrong. A subsidy program to encourage home energy storage has already paid millions to solar battery owners since last May in exchange for reducing the total demand on the state’s four largest utility companies. Named the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the program is calibrated towards offsetting the costs of purchasing solar battery storage units such as the Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem ESS. “The purpose of the SGIP is to contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, demand reductions and reduced customer electricity purchases, resulting in the electric system reliability through improved transmission and distribution system utilization,” the program’s website states. In some instances the SGIP rebate covered up to 30-40% of the total battery system cost. Considered a win-win for both utility companies and people using residential solar, the SGIP has several more rounds of reimbursements to go before funds are exhausted. By offering homeowners generous per W/h incentives to purchase an energy storage unit, California’s four largest utility companies participating in the program hope to reduce energy demand by using customer’s homes a decentralized way to store power. The four utility companies participating in the SGIC — Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), Southern California Edison (SCE), SoCal Gas (SCG), and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) all offer five steps of reimbursements, which each step closing as the allocated funds run out. Currently PG&E, SCE, an SCG are nearing the end of Step 2, which pays small residential storage units $0.40/Wh.   CSE has been burning through its reimbursement funds at a faster pace and is waiting to announce the dates for its final Step 5. Because CSE did not get as much as the other utility companies they run a lottery for the rebate, which tends to get filled in 1 to 5 days. The four utility companies offer rebates based on reservation time. Each additional step up in the program reduces the per Wh subsidy by $0.05. While applying for a rebate can be a challenge, home solar companies such as GoGreenSolar offer assistance to customers looking to maximize the economic potential of their home units. Company reps will require a copy of the fully executed home solar contract with the make and model of battery, contract price, 10 year limited warranty, recent electric bill, and an application fee which is approximately 5% of the rebate amount.   Ready to start putting your battery to better use? GoGreenSolar can...

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Utah Smolders Over California’s Coal Tariffs
Mar06

Utah Smolders Over California’s Coal Tariffs

It hangs in air and glistens a rainbow sheen on top of water —  it’s the true cost of using coal powered electricity, which states like California have become all too aware of when calculating the promising ROI of home solar installations and other renewables. To offset the broader financial burdens of the negative environmental side effects of fossil fuels, California levies an extra $15 per megawatt hour on coal-fueled electric power purchased from out of state. Recently however California’s decision to economically encourage homeowners to go solar has come under fire from its neighbor. As of last week, Utah lawmakers approved a proposal that would set aside state taxpayer money to sue California over policies that make imported coal-powered electricity more expensive. Utah Republican legislators argued that the suit was to stop California from pushing it’s values of clean energy on Utah. The Associated Press recently quoted California Air Resource Board spokesman Stanley Young’s rebuttal to the lawsuit: “California’s cap and trade program is designed to reduce climate-changing gases and rewards electricity with lower carbon pollution used by Californians — regardless of where that electricity comes from.”     As one of the few states remaining that still offers solar rebates, it makes sense California would incentivise homeowners to generate clean power by making out of state coal power more expensive. Many Utah constituents and proponents of clean energy have expressed antagonism towards the attempted lawsuit as well. “This would be a gross waste of Utah taxpayer dollars.” Ashley Soltysiak, Utah chapter director for the Sierra Club told the Associated Press. “This is lawsuit is ridiculous.” The general consensus that the lawsuit stands a slim chance of winning can be seen as a promising sign of the times. Despite the fact that there is an administration in the White House that is bullish on fossil fuels, the reality about the energy source’s true soc-economic costs has become more difficult to sweep under the rug....

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4 Silver Linings in Trump’s Solar Tariffs
Feb21

4 Silver Linings in Trump’s Solar Tariffs

It’s no secret the solar industry has already faced some intense headwinds in 2018, as seen with President Trump’s aggressive tariff on imported solar panels at the start of February.   Incase you didn’t already know, about 80 percent of America’s solar panels come from imports, and while many spectators are wringing their hair on the sidelines, worried about solar’s future, there’s a few silver linings in the gathering clouds.   State Controlled Solar Incentives: Sure, the federal government might’ve put a squeeze on imported solar hardware, but luckily for us, states still have the power to offer financial incentives such as tax credits and net metering payments for excess power generation. While there are still a handful of states that offer such incentives, the outlook is questionable on how many will continue to provide them over the next few years. The domestic solar industry creates a significant amount of jobs and there will be a growing amount of pressure on legislators to use their authority under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act to establish competitive rates for small, renewable power generation and keep the solar market alive. Rise of DIY Solar:  Any sailor worth his (or her) salt knows that when the headwinds start to blow, you bring in the boom and start to tack. The current administration’s stance against renewables will not equate to its demise, but rather its change of course. The beauty about home solar is that it’s decentralized, and puts the power of energy generation back into the hands of individuals. To offset the slightly higher hardware costs of solar, we are sure to see a trend of more people opting to install parts, if not all, of the solar rigs themselves. Afterall, necessity is the mother of innovation, and converting a home to run off the grid has never been easier. World Trade Organization Says Nah:  Trump’s tariffs have attracted opposition from environmentalists, free-market advocates, alternate energy advocates, and players in the renewable energy industries. The noise has already caused enough clamour to bring the dispute up with the World Trade Organization in Switzerland, where countries like China and others targeted in the tariff are likely to claim it is in violation of international law. A closer inspection of the provision Trump used to ratify his tariff shows it’s one rarely used by governments. In fact, the last time America tried to use it in 2001 to put a tariff on steel imports, the WTO overturned it with penalties. Exactly how things will play out in the next coming months, however, remains to be seen. Freedom: The attack on consumer solar will not be the first...

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