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2014 Could See a Boom in Solar Panel Installations
Jun03

2014 Could See a Boom in Solar Panel Installations

2014 Could See a Boom in Solar Panel Installations   Solar panel installations have been gaining ground all around the globe as the drive for a greener world intensifies. The United States is not left out of the solar power revolution, which has also received more boosts with drop in solar panel prices. From all indications, it looks like a bigger boom in solar panel installations is on the way in 2014.   Fall in Prices   A few years back, one main argument against solar panel installation was the costs involved. Things have changed for the better as more responsible governments and solar power companies combine to drive down the costs of these installations. Some governments, with the aims of tackling problems of climate change and creating new jobs, have been providing incentives for all forms of solar power installations. Some of the world’s top solar power companies are also doing their bit to ensure prices fall through the development of solar power panels that are more efficient in performance. In addition, the entry of more new firms into the industry has also helped to make costs of solar panel installations lower.   Boom in Solar Panel Installations   Access to solar power was almost exclusively left to wealthy individuals and ardent anti-global warming advocates years back. The simple reason for this was the associated costs of installations, which to many people, were not justified. But things have improved so much in the last couple of years, thanks to the revolution being witnessed in the solar power sector. Solar panels now cost about 60% less than they did just a couple of years back, making installations more affordable. The price drop is even more impressive over a longer timespan.   More middle-class families can now afford solar power installation. For example, in California, residential solar panel installations now cost less than $5 per watt, and that amount is expected to significantly drop further in the next few years. The upfront investments that have to be made are the main turn-off for most homeowners when talking about solar power. But all that is changing as residents of some states such as California and New Jersey can take advantage of rebates that take away the need for massive initial investment, with payments spread over several years (more details here).   Further boom in solar panel installations therefore looks on the way, as more people and businesses choose solar power. All indications point to a continuous rise in solar panel installations in the US, especially with the significant drop in solar panel costs. The argument that solar power can help save...

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Micro Solar, a Solution for Both the Industrial and Developing Worlds
May12

Micro Solar, a Solution for Both the Industrial and Developing Worlds

You often hear about home solar and megawatt solar projects, but micro solar devices are also important energy sources for both the developing world and for consumers in our own industrial world. Micro solar, sometimes referred to as “pico solar,” are portable solar chargers that typically consist of a small photovoltaic panel, some type of battery, and a USB connection. Mobile devices, such as phones, tablets, lights, and laptops can juice up from either the micro solar’s battery pack or directly via the solar panel. The benefit of a small solar powered charger is also a challenge, since most micro solar products have low-power solar panels that charge its batteries or external electronics very slowly. The good news is that more powerful micro solar products are coming into the market. The latest example is Harold Tan’s recent—and successful—Kickstarter campaign for the SunJack solar charger with battery pack. These compact 14 Watt and 20 Watt mobile solar chargers are designed to be the most portable solar charger ever produced. In fact, the SunJack can power 8 iPhones or 1.4 iPads with only 5 hours of sunlight, whereas similar portable solar chargers can charge only one iPhone in nearly twice the amount of time, or even longer. In the industrialized world, micro solar has many uses, from the campers and off-grid recreationalists, to the beach family that wants to keep all of their USB-based mp3 players, tablets, and mobile phones powered on throughout the day. On the more serious side, portable micro solar is increasingly the latest addition to home or car emergency kits. Whether it’s Super Storm Sandy or the recent harsh snow and rainstorms that have temporarily knocked out parts of the U.S. grid, a powered cell phone is today’s lifeline to an ambulance, rescue services, or it can be the main point of contact for distant friends and family. Cell phones are also the most common conduit for news and evacuation information. Quite simply, when the grid goes down, micro-solar with some type of battery storage is the best answer for consistent charging of mobile devices during emergencies and utility outages. Beyond our industrial world, people in rural communities often burn candles, wood or kerosene for lighting. Not only is this method expensive, flammable, and toxic, the villagers must travel long distances to either collect or buy these fuel sources, wasting time and money. Micro solar allows these rural residents to power their cell phones and lighting from solar instead of dirty and expensive fossil fuel sources and generators.     Case in point is Papua New Guinea, where rural village people commonly burn kindling indoors for lighting....

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Telemarketers Stealing GoGreenSolar.com Name
Apr29

Telemarketers Stealing GoGreenSolar.com Name

Over the past two years, we have had people call or email us to complain about a company operating a Telemarketing campaign identifying themselves as “Go Green Solar” or using a name that is very similar. Please be advised that this is NOT GoGreenSolar.com. We do not, and have never done any kind of outbound telemarketing. Our business is obtained only through passive advertising and referrals from satisfied customers. We have determined that these unsolicited telemarketing calls are the work of an unscrupulous lead generation company which is using our name or something very similar to deflect complaints away from their company. This company will apparently make multiple unsolicited phone calls – even to numbers on the National Do Not Call list. ??Solar telemarketers like this often imply that they’re with a government organization or claim to be the utility company.  So far, we believe we’ve identified one of these companies with a call center located in Van Nuys, California.  We have taken steps to try and stop them, but as of yet they are still continuing their unscrupulous tactics, evading prosecution through fake identities and changing phone numbers. Please understand:  GoGreenSolar.com does not do any telemarketing or door-to-door canvassing.   That being said, if you have any information about this company that is misusing our name, please help us put an end to their unethical business practices. File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by following the link below: File Complaint | FCC.gov Thanks for your...

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Net Metering, Value of Solar Tariffs, and What They Mean for Installers and Their Customers
Apr25

Net Metering, Value of Solar Tariffs, and What They Mean for Installers and Their Customers

One of the hottest topics right now in the solar industry is the future of net energy metering (or “net metering”), a policy that allows solar customers to be credited on their utility bills for any extra power that their solar systems produce. What’s to become of net metering, what might replace it, and what do these changes mean for installers, customers, and utilities? That’s hard to predict right now, but some recent events may give us some clues as to where we’re heading and what the future holds for each stakeholder.     Net Metering’s Benefits To understand what’s at stake, let’s first go through net metering’s benefits for customers, installers, and the utility: For solar customers: Net metering allows customers to install a larger solar system that meets their total day and night annual energy usage without having to purchase expensive onsite battery storage. Thus, it gives consumers the ability to save more on their electric bills than they would without net metering. Until energy storage prices come down, net metering is the next best thing to having a battery. For solar installers: Net metering allows solar installers to design larger solar systems that meet the entire day and nighttime needs of their customers’ homes and businesses. Without net metering, it would only make financial sense for customers to install enough solar to offset daytime energy consumption. Since many residents work outside their homes, a home’s daytime energy usage can be relatively small, so installers would see a significant drop in installation sizes without net metering. That would of course reduce their business and probably require a smaller workforce, which would in turn affect workers in the solar industry. For utilities: While utilities may claim that net metering unfairly subsidizes solar customers by allowing them “free” energy at night, they discount the value of extra solar power being fed into the grid and being used by neighboring homes and businesses. Utilities also benefit from the avoided costs of not having to build more power plants or use expensive peak power plants, plus they receive grid efficiency savings by not having to transmit energy for long distances over inefficient electric lines. Finally, utilities ignore the value of decreasing pollution and their carbon emissions.     Current Net Metering Battles So, utilities see net metering and solar as a problem to their bottom lines. As a result, they and their lobbyists, such as ALEC and the Edison Electric Institute have been trying to devalue solar and net metering by asking public utility commissions to credit solar owners with only half the kilowatt-hours that they generate or by imposing monthly...

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SunJack – World’s Most Portable 20W Solar Charger Live on Kickstarter
Apr17

SunJack – World’s Most Portable 20W Solar Charger Live on Kickstarter

Harold Tan, one of the team members at GoGreenSolar.com, has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to build and market SunJack, the world’s most portable 20-Watt solar charger and battery pack for off-grid applications and emergency mobile power. The campaign will also benefit the rural villages of Papua New Guinea with smoke-free lighting and energy. As an off-grid camper and extreme outdoorsman, Tan knows how important charged electronics can be in isolated areas. But whether power was needed for light, weather information, or communication, Tan saw that solar powered chargers on the market today were flawed. They gave too little power too slowly. With today’s power-hungry mobile devices, off-grid campers could wait 12 hours or more to fully recharge and have enough stored energy for map apps, rescue calls, night lighting, or just enjoying music at night. Realizing the need, Tan designed the SunJack system, a 14 Watt or a 20 Watt fast-charging solar powered battery system that’s lightweight and easily folds into the size of an iPad. When completely opened, the lightweight SunJack systems can be securely attached to a backpack and fully replenish its batteries in approximately 5 hours of direct sunlight. With the 14 Watt model, SunJack’s 8000 mAh lithium-polymer battery can charge two USB devices simultaneously, run independently from the solar panels, and has a built in LED light for off-grid lighting. With the premium 20-Watt SunJack model, family campers can receive 16000 mAh capacity, enough to power up to 8 iPhones, or 1.4 iPads or 8 hours of 5 Watt lighting. SunJack is unique for its proprietary USB port and a lithium-polymer battery that was specially designed for faster charging from sunlight. “Think of it as being able to get more water out of your faucet faster,” said Tan. “The SunJack is able to get more electrons flowing into the battery faster than any solar charger available, which means you get wall-outlet charging speeds in an incredibly portable form-factor.” But SunJack is more than an off-grid power system for boats, beach days, emergencies, and rock climbing trips. It’s also a path for non-toxic lighting for the rural villages of Papua New Guinea. For certain levels of Kickstarter investors, Tan will donate a SunJack and an LED light to a rural village, enabling rural families to learn to read and perform indoor chores at night without breathing noxious kindling wood fumes. The SunJack Kickstarter campaign is running from now until Thursday, May 15th and will offer backers several early investor values, including portable solar lights and significant discounts off SunJack’s projected $250 retail price. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, backers should receive the first production...

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