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Bernies Love For Solar Burns Brightest
Apr28

Bernies Love For Solar Burns Brightest

  Of the three presidential candidates hoping to secure the oval office in 2016, Bernie Sanders’ advocacy of solar initiatives outshines his competitors Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.   As for the latter, Mr. Trump, who believes that climate change is a conspiracy theory and has publicized his dislike of clean energy, the policy agendas between him and Sanders are flagrant; while the differences between Sanders and his party opponent Clinton are less obvious, though still substantial.   Both Sanders and Clinton have publicized plans to transition the country’s energy from fossil fuels to renewable options, but unlike Clinton, Sanders’ plan openly opposes the fossil fuel industry by aiming to rid politics of corporate lobbyists, ban fracking and exploration for oil on public lands. Clinton, on the other hand, whose campaign has taken money from the fossil fuel industry, has avoided outright attacks on it, instead focusing on large government incentives to urge more people to convert to solar.   A look at both candidates’ plans reveals that Sanders is much more detailed when it comes to how he aims to steer Americans to become 100 percent dependent on renewable energy. He also, touches on issues such as bringing the United States’ transportation emissions to zero and taking a much more aggressive position in the global theater to reduce greenhouse gasses–all of which are absent on Clinton’s side.   Sanders’ past political initiatives leave little room for doubt that he will fight for his vision. In 2015 he introduced the Low Income Solar Act, which would provide $200 million in loans and grants through the Department of Energy to make solar more accessible to low-income families and communities.   Then there’s the fact that the environmental super PAC Climate Hawks listed Sanders as the No. 1 climate leader in the Senate for the 113th Congress and endorsed him as its choice for president.   Though Sanders is currently trailing in the primary elections behind Clinton, his efforts have given voice to millions of supporters that are not shy to demand better environmental policies from their government.        ...

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Hillary Clinton’s Sunny Side
Apr26

Hillary Clinton’s Sunny Side

As the dust for the 2016 presidential primaries settles, we’re left with three likely White House hopefuls–Trump, Clinton and Sanders–whose views on solar could steer industry policies in different directions. Earlier this month we reviewed the republican front runner Donald Trump’s inimical position towards renewable power, which is in stark contrast his possible democratic challengers Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. This week we’ll look at the Democratic party front runner, Hillary Clinton, who has aligned herself as a champion of the sun: To start, there’s her ambitious vision to produce enough clean energy to power all homes by 2027. The plan, a free PDF of which can be found by googling “Hillary Clinton Green Energy Plan”, calls for installing more than half a billion solar panels on homes by the end of her first term. It will also “aggressively” seek to extend Obama’s Clean Power Plan, cutting carbon emissions from power plants and aiming to reduce the country’s overall emissions to 30% of its 2005 levels.  The United States currently generates about 21 gigawatts of solar energy. To deliver on her goals, Clinton aims to bring this number to 140 gigawatts by 2020–more than double the industry’s projected growth should it stay on its current course: Clinton’s voting record and public tweets leave little room to doubt she will be a much more favorable candidate for the clean energy sector than her opponent Trump; though her party opponent, Sanders, has a track record that proves him to be as (if not more) favorable an...

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Solar farms and solar forests
Feb01

Solar farms and solar forests

Think of the sheep. Think of the bees, the birds and the little earthworms. When it comes to solar, sometimes we’ve got our attention so focused on the sky we can overlook what’s there, beneath our feet–the land. However, one of our suppliers, Canadian Solar, has a project-line of solar panels built especially to suit the needs of farmers and those closest to the land. They call it the CS6P-P and the difference is, instead mounting the PV panels on the sleek, metallic basis we’re all used to seeing, it’s mounted on wood.   “So, as far as the goats are concerned, the arrays are very like trees.,” said Eric, one of Canadian Solar’s construction engineers. “They provide good shade, absorb sunlight and convert it to energy without creating CO2 or other greenhouse gas emission. Every solar farm is potentially a unique eco-system that benefits the natural world of which we are all a part”. And faced with global environmental issues like the declining honeybee population as document by the United States Department of Agriculture, structures that create areas with wildflowers to grow and hives to flourish are a good thing. According to Canadian Solar researcher Dr. Shawn Qu, the CS6P-P panels have of a lifespan of 25 years and remain mostly undisturbed by humans after their installation aside from the occasional maintenance. The wooden panel bases equate to about a 5% footprint of the entire structure, allowing room for wildlife to flourish. Canadian Solar was established in 2001 and is currently responsible for generating 9 GW of power, while supplying customers with over 30 million PV modules.   Though the company is the third largest solar companies in the world and has been an industry leader pushing towards a solar-powered future, it has a done a noteworthy job at borrowing inspiration from the sun as well as the trees. So, on behalf of all the sheep,...

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Free Energy Classes by Southern California Edison

Did you know that every time you pay your electricity bill in California, Edison uses some of that money to provide the public with educational workshops?  These classes are a unique opportunity for everyone to learn how to save money, energy, and the planet. We recently attended a class about plug-in electric vehicle chargers at Southern California Edison in Irwindale, California.  When we first arrived, we sipped on coffee and walked around the interactive lighting display, which has an assortment of lamps for commercial and residential use. Prior to the class itself, we went on the “Smart Energy Experience” tour, which is essentially a tour through a model home designed to demonstrate how Edison plans to help consumers actively monitor their energy consumption in real-time. Our tour guide also explained how energy saving incentive programs can work for Edison customers. The futuristic “smart” electric meters and appliances will make it easier than ever to monitor and successfully reduce energy usage.  Our tour guide talked about the appliances and fixtures that the model home featured. Our tour guide went over all the changes the average household can make to create a more eco-friendly, cost-effective lifestyle. This model home had recycled glass countertops, bamboo floors, and a washer-dryer combo that communicates electronically to pre-set dry cycles. Our tour guide also explained how energy saving incentive programs work. Implementing natural light in the home is a powerful way to save energy. Check out this solar light pipe that utilizes natural light in the home!Edison offers a wide range of introductory and specialized classes that range from from LED lighting, to heating and refrigeration.  Be sure to sign up for a few of these free workshops and learn how you can save energy. Don’t forget to take the “Smart Energy Experience” tour before your class!...

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Bill Clinton Promotes Solar Energy at Solar Power International 2012

Bringing in more than 21,000 professionals from countries all over the planet, Solar Power International is the known to be the solar conference to attend in the solar industry today.  This event, which will be held on September 12 in Orlando, Florida, offers a series of workshops, exhibits, and networking opportunities for renewable energy enthusiasts and experts everywhere.  Solar Power International will feature over 1,200 companies on an expansive trade show floor, making for an exciting networking event.  Manufacturers, distributers, contractors, engineers, investors, and policy-makers are just some of the professionals who will be in Orlando come September.  This eclectic group of solar aficionados will be amassed at the Orange County Convention Center for this massive business-to-business event. Put on by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), all the proceeds of Solar Power International go towards advancement of U.S. solar markets through education and market-building initiatives. And there is no doubt that U.S. solar markets are already growing rapidly.  According to Scott Sklar, the United States has witnessed the start of more than 100 new renewable energy and energy efficiency manufacturing plants in the last 36 months alone.  With technological advancements and declining costs every year, solar energy markets are expected to continue to grow.  This year’s Solar Power International will kick off with a keynote address from a man whose vision taps into this bright future of solar energy. Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, will be giving the keynote speech at this solar convention.  Clinton is the most recognized speaker Solar Power International has had and will surely garner much publicity for the event.  Not only is Clinton well known, but he also has the ability to articulate his understanding of our planet’s current state and what the direction we need to move in to solve our energy problems at home and abroad. In the last decade, Clinton has devoted his valuable time and resources to promoting the use of clean energy such as solar.  Solar energy has also been an integral part of Clinton’s efforts to help Haitians recover in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010.  President Clinton has long been forthright in his criticisms of those who deny the causal relationship between human behavior and global climate change.  Clinton has been and will continue to be a powerful advocate for industries in renewable energy. Julia Hamm, CEO of SEPA, expressed the shared excitement about Clinton’s participation in Solar Power International 2012: “President Clinton’s global perspective and stature are sure to motivate and inspire our exhibitors and attendees. We are honored to present the former President...

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