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Affordable solar energy may be closer than we think
Posted by: Solaricity

An interesting article I stumbled across in my travels.

Affordable Solar: It’s Closer Than You Think
By Marcia Goodrich
Michigan Tech News

It’s time to stop thinking of solar energy as a boutique source of power, says Joshua Pearce.

Sure, solar only generates about 1 percent of the electricity in the US. But that will change in a few years, says Pearce, an associate professor of electrical engineering and materials science at Michigan Technological University. The ultimate in renewable energy is about to go mainstream.

It’s a matter of economics. A definitive new analysis by Pearce and his colleagues at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, shows that solar photovoltaic systems are very close to achieving the tipping point in many regions: they can make electricity that’s as cheap— sometimes cheaper—than what consumers pay their utilities.

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Happy Holidays
Posted by: Solaricity

Solaricity would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and all the best for the new year.

Warren Buffett Ventures Into Solar
Posted by: Solaricity

Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, has ventured into the world of solar. With such an influential figure behind the solar industry I can see it going nowhere but up.

Buffett company purchase gives solar industry big boost
By Ronald D. White
The Los Angeles Times

Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings company has agreed to buy a giant, 550-megawatt photovoltaic farm currently under construction in San Luis Obispo County for $2 billion, giving a huge boost to the solar industry that could spur investment by other major players.

The “utility-scale” facility MidAmerican is purchasing is being built by First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz. A spokesman for First Solar, Alan Bernheimer, said the farm would produce enough power to provide for the energy needs of 160,000 California homes. But the investment had deeper meaning for an industry that still has only a small footprint in the nation’s energy mix and has been battered by recent bankruptcies.

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Election outcome in Ontario doesn’t mean green energy strategy doesn’t need some fixin’
Posted by: Solaricity

Tyler Hamilton speaks about the outcome of the provincial election.

Liberal win doesn’t mean all’s fine with green energy strategy
By Tyler Hamilton
Toronto Start Energy and Technology Columnist

Ontario’s new Energy Minister Chris Bentley has much to learn over the coming weeks about the province’s complex energy file, and hopefully with that learning will come some genuine listening.

It’s tempting to think that the Liberal win earlier this month was a vote of confidence in the government’s green energy strategy, warts and all.

But one could just as easily argue that the outcome of the election would have been very different if PC party leader Tim Hudak hadn’t taken such an extremely negative position against the Green Energy Act, the feed-in tariff (FIT) program and associated initiatives.

Voters, by and large, are supportive – and many quite proud – of Ontario’s green energy vision. They see that it’s the direction we must take. They also see economic opportunity by heading in that direction, if done properly. For this reason, it appears most voters weren’t prepared to let Hudak hit stop and press the rewind button.

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Energy double standard stacks deck against green power
Posted by: Solaricity

Another great article on energy subsidies and volume of scale costs by Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star.

Energy double standard stacks deck against green power
By Tyler Hamilton
Toronto Star Energy and Technology Columnist

There was an interesting moment during the provincial leaders’ election debate earlier this week when Premier Dalton McGuinty defended his government’s green energy plan.

McGuinty justified the Samsung deal and green incentives as necessary first steps to creating a vibrant, future-looking job-creation engine for Ontario, and a stable supply of clean electricity to power the devices and gadgets in our homes.

At this point, opposition PC leader Tim Hudak interjected: “But when flat-screen TVs were several thousand dollars a year people didn’t buy them, they waited for the price to come down.”

He was implying that we shouldn’t buy green energy until it costs the same or less than the face value of dirty fossil-fuel or risky nuclear energy, which as we know come with a litany of hidden costs that are rarely discussed or disclosed.

That, in a nutshell, is how conservatives on both sides of the border – from Hudak to the Tea Party – judge green energy technologies.

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