Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Up and Coming Solar Start-Ups

Fremont based Solyndra takes the cake with a whoppping $600M funding from DOE, followed by Signet Solar. If you would like to know the other top 10 funded start-ups in this solar space checkout these two respectable sites.

Solar Incentivizing Californians

With a program in place to deploy a Million roofs by 2017, we are looking at 8 years to acccomplish this golden milestone every Californian will be proud to achieve. What is the governement doing about incentivising fellow cal residents and commercial institutions to start solar energy adoption? For one thing there is the CEC's renewable energy branch of the UPCEC called Go Solar California which is offering rebates and other incenives to builders and contractors. This is a good start but more needs to be done at the residential level.

Top 10 California Solar City

Can anyone take a guess at which California city has the highest deployment of solar roofs?

As per a 2009 report published by Environment California Rearch and Policy Center, that city is San Diego with an installed base of 2,262 solar roofs generating 19,427 KWatts of power.

If you're wondering who are the remaining cities in the top 10 list, may I suggest downloading the report by clicking here.

Solar Power and California Jobs

Thanks to California's ambitious goal of 1 Million solar roofs by 2017, a 20,000-person years of emploment is projected with a steady job growth rate for the next 10 years. If you are interested in how these numbers were arrived at, here's a link to the Eelectric Power Research Institute (EPRI) which provided resarch data for the California Energy Commision(CEC).

What's behind the Solar Panels?

As a California resident you either have installed or planning on installing a set of Solar Panels on your rooftop. Ever wonder what the Solar Panels are made of and what makes them power the grid in your house? I have attempted to break it down in layman's terms. The main componets that make the Solar Panels tick are:
  • Photo-Voltaic Cell (PVC) array
  • Mechanical frame to mount these PVC arrays in
  • Core Inverter to convert to Direct-Current(DC) from the PVC to Alternating-Currenr(AC)
  • Synchronising circuit that puts the generated AC current on to the power grid

If you need more details, here's a decent site from our friends at Discovery.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

How's Solar Energy Deployed ?

With all the talk about solar panels, one wonders if electricity is the only end product being harnessed from soalr energy in this state? I did some quick research in the blogospere and what we have here is a myriad of applications:
  • Solar Panel producing Hydrogen (see picture above)
  • Solar Wind
  • Solar Hot Water
  • Solar Attic Fans

Hopefully there're more applications out there..

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Government Initiatives

Have been doing some research on the number of government initiatives in place to stimulate the deployment and harnessing of solar energy in California. Here are a few of the big ones I have come across:
- PUC, Solar Initiative Program
- Billion Solar Roofs (BSR) 1 Bill
- DOE, Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act

Hopefully folks out there can add to this list. I plan toi add more in the coming days, weeks..