Last week the Minnesota Public Utility Commission had a rare live public comment period on Xcel Energy’s long term planning process (called an Integrated Resource Plan). At the urging of several fellow clean energy advocates, I gave my 3 minute … Read More
The City University of New York (CUNY) released a solar map of New York City last week, allowing building owners in the city to determine the amount of solar power their roof could host. The cumulative impact is enormous, with … Read More
It’s rarely mentioned that a home with a solar array still gets most of its electricity from the grid. In fact, without storage, a typical home solar array might only serve one-third of a home’s electricity use, even if the … Read More
A new rooftop solar collector can provide thermal energy rather than producing hot water or electricity for space heating and cooling. With inexpensive fresnel reflectors to concentrate sunlight, the Chromasun could prove an interesting way to use distributed solar thermal energy for more than just hot water.
The unit produces temperatures up to 220 Celsius and promises to use less roofspace than comparable systems using solar PV.
Now, what will it cost?
But what’s most interesting is the state’s desire to make sure that investment in smart grid technology will pay off not just for utilities, but for consumers as well. For instance, Hawaiian environmental groups are apparently pushing for rooftop solar panels, a more green approach, than simply better managing supply and demand via a network-enabled smart grid.