Solar 101

A primer on solar energy and the US solar industry trends.

There is a growing recognition of the high transferability of skills from the military to solar.  
As with any energy conversion process, there is a physical limit for the photovoltaic conversion process. The theoretical maximum efficiency for a crystalline silicon solar cell – a commonly used type of solar cell – is about 29 percent. The theoretical...
Like other household appliances, solar systems are rated and certified for electrical safety. Solar panel certification labs across the nation certify electrical safety and performance of new solar panel technologies before they can be sold in the market...
The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for residential and commercial solar systems will expire on December 31, 2016, after which the ITC credit drops to 10% for commercial systems and is eliminated for residential systems. The federal tax policy is...
Two federal tax policies, the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the 5-year Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), have underpinned the solar industry’s remarkable growth over the past few years.   Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Government incentives and subsidies, specifically at the federal level, are crucial to bringing any new source of energy to commercialization and allowing it to compete in the marketplace. Historically, the vast majority of government subsidies have gone...
While there are many different solar related policies on the federal, state, and local levels, the three most important and impactful solar policy drivers are the federal 30-percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC), state renewable portfolio standards, and...
Most current research has shown that, because US solar penetration rates are (so far) relatively low, adding solar energy to the grid has produced net benefits when the full value of solar power is considered. Those additional benefits include:
According to a 2008 analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, supplying all of the United States’ electricity needs with photovoltaic solar energy would require roughly 0.6 percent of America's total land area or 1,948 square feet per person...
Historically, home appraisers have been reluctant to include solar system values in their home assessments. As solar systems have become more popular, however, there is some evidence that appraisers and buyers have adapted to the changing market and...
The US solar industry is growing so fast that new data collected on the industry is almost out of date as soon as it’s published. The solar industry employs 208,859 American workers, according to the 2015 National Solar Jobs Census completed by The Solar...
There are many different technologies to generate electricity from solar energy. Most of them fall into two main categories: photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) systems, which each harness solar energy in very different ways.
GW is working hard to become a leader in solar energy and has created several projects to achieve its goals.
Now is a great time to be looking for employment in the solar industry. Last year solar employment grew almost twenty times faster than the national average, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2014, which The Solar Foundation conducted in...
While there have been some technological advances that account for the remarkable 80 percent reduction in photovoltaic (PV) panel prices over the last five years or so, most cost decreases can be attributed to scaling production and learning-by-doing ...

Pages