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China is destroying the U.S. in renewable investment

China is destroying the U.S. in renewable investment

What does Chinese investment in solar mean for the U.S? Yes, Virginia, China is investing $144 Billion in its solar industry over the next 3 years. That's a lot of money. And it's just a part of a $361 billion package the Chinese government has put together to support renewable energy within its borders. That's likely going to mean a continuance of China's dominance in the solar marketplace. They make more panels, install more panels, and are generally a lot better positioned for the kind of explosive growth we will...
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How are Solar Panels Attached to my Roof?

How are Solar Panels Attached to my Roof?

It's ironic that the best place for solar panels (rooftops, yo) is also the most difficult place to mount them. Solar panels need a place that's sturdy, unshaded, and pointed towards the sun, and roofs fit that bill nicely. But getting up there can be a pain, and attaching panels to the roof means drilling huge bolts into the rafters. Also, because of the huge variation in roofing materials and construction techniques, the solar industry has had to invent many different methods to attach mounting hardware. Well, invent them it...
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Tesla’s new solar panels are beautiful and powerful. What else do we know about them?

Tesla’s new solar panels are beautiful and powerful. What else do we know about them?

April 11, 2017 This past weekend, Tesla updated the "Solar Panels" section of its website to include photographs of the company's new solar panels. Tesla's design replaces the sometimes-ugly aluminum racks of traditional solar installations with a sleek front-skirted system without visible racks, designed to look as good as the company's cars. That's all Tesla has let on so far, except to the alternative transportation aficionados at Electrek, who got the lowdown about the panels' power rating (325W), OEM (Panasonic) and manufacturing location (Tesla's new Gigafactory in Buffalo, NY). What...
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How to tell a good solar deal from a ripoff.

How to tell a good solar deal from a ripoff.

With falling costs and favorable laws and regulations in many states, the rooftop solar market has expanded wildly in the past decade or so. That kind of rapid expansion has proven tempting to scammers, and even good solar companies sometimes end up with salespeople who use underhanded tactics to make the sale. Here's how to be a good solar consumer, spot a good deal, and recognize warning signs if you're getting the hard sell: Be a good solar consumer So you've got a quote or three for solar panels on...
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Solar Panel Maintenance for Every Weather

Solar Panel Maintenance for Every Weather

This question pops up in the FAQs of nearly every solar-related website and seems to be a great source of fear for many considering the switch to solar. Fear not, however, as we're going to break down all the required maintenance for solar panels! Whether you live in the ever-dependable rain of the Pacific Northwest, the snowy Midwest, or the relentless sun of the South, read on to soothe that nagging fear of the unknown. The first thing to know is, if you sign up for a solar lease or...
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Our step-by-step guide to going solar

Our step-by-step guide to going solar

Going solar is much easier now that it used to be. There are big solar companies with offices across the USA that have streamlined the process as much as possible in the name of efficiency. You’ll get the same service and quality from a solar estimator in Providence, Rhode Island as you will in Prescott, Arizona. That said, some states don’t have great solar policies, which makes solar less of a financial sure-thing and more of a niche product for people concerned about the environment. The big solar companies avoid...
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Texas has 3 of the nation’s top 10 cities for solar potential

Texas has 3 of the nation’s top 10 cities for solar potential

A new survey of the top 10 cities with solar potential has Texas making a strong showing. Heading up the pack at number 1 is Houston, while San Antonio and Dallas take 4th and 9th place, respectively. The survey was conducted by Google using its Project Sunroof tool, which shows the solar potential of individual rooftops. Here's a look at the Top 10: Source: Google Sunroof if you add the numbers for the three Texas cities, you could generate a little over 35,000 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of electricity in a year....
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How to save big with California’s Net Metering 2.0

How to save big with California’s Net Metering 2.0

If you're a California homeowner considering solar, you need to know about net metering. California is in the middle of a switch from its old net metering system to "Net Energy Metering (NEM) 2.0," and it's going to change how you can get solar and how much you can save. Heck, if you're not considering going solar in California, you should, and you should also know why net metering is so important. Net Metering, California style If you know all about net metering and just want to see how to...
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PACE financing for solar is hot in Florida

PACE financing for solar is hot in Florida

If you're a Florida homeowner, you should know about a kind of financing that can help homeowners install solar panels and make other kinds of energy-efficiency improvements. It's called "Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and it's a government-backed loan program designed to help people who can't afford a large up-front payment but who still want to start saving money on their electric bills. A PACE loan can be used for many kinds of home energy improvements, and is paid back over time on your property tax bill. That's why it's...
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Go solar without the roof: solar for renters, landlords, and the rest of us

Go solar without the roof: solar for renters, landlords, and the rest of us

If you own your home, installing solar panels on your roof is a sound financial decision in almost every state in the nation. The estimated rate of return on a solar investment is better than the stock market in 26 states—in some cases two or three times as good. But those numbers assume you have a good-sized, un-shaded, structurally-sound roof. If you have a roof that gets sun, you owe it to yourself to find out how much solar panels can save you. But what about people who don't own...
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