Microgrids, They’re Kind of a Big Deal

Thursday, July 17, 2014 14:17

 

For locals participating in the Pecan Street Demonstration in Austin’s suburban town of Mueller, TX, residential carbon footprint data is about as available as square footage. Their home utility consumption is monitored by the Pecan Street Research Institute at The University of Texas-Austin as part of the institute’s efforts to understand how individuals can lower their collective carbon impact and use energy more efficiently. This new technology, known as a smart grid system, has proven to be much more efficient than the traditional electrical grid used throughout the US. However, smart grids and the smart meters used to track energy usage of individual homes have come under fire for their ‘invasiveness’ as people have vocalized concerns about the lack of privacy that could accompany this advanced monitoring system. Fortunately for the anti-smart meter crowd, there are other ways to make a community more energy efficient.

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    Are solar thermal power farms still relevant?

    Monday, February 24, 2014 14:00
    Posted in category Clean Energy News

    392 megawatts, 173,000 heliostats, 347,000 mirrors, $2.2 billion investment and a $1.6 billion federal loan. These are the tremendous numbers surrounding the development and construction of the Ivanpah solar thermal power facility in the Mojave Desert, 40 miles south of Las Vegas. Such a plant, who can energizes up to 140,000 houses, is a massive solar energy provider, but with the decrease of governmental incentives and the collapse of some rival technologies’ prices, are giant solar plants still a viable option? Read the rest of this entry »

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      Expert Series: How to Get Involved in Solar

      Monday, February 24, 2014 10:42
      Posted in category Clean Energy Training

      Check out our latest expert series video! Solar Expert Michael Cafiero shares tips and information on how to get a job in solar installation.

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        Future positive prospects for solar should boost the public interest, but how easy is it to get and survive into solar?

        Thursday, February 6, 2014 10:43
        Posted in category Clean Energy News

        2013 was the year of the resurgence for the solar industry; more than 35 gigawatts of photovoltaic worldwide were installed last year. In the U.S it reached a 4.2 GW record, a 15% growth in a year. According to experts this bounce will continue in 2014 and they are expecting between 43 GW (Mercom Capital) and 49 GW (NPD Solar Buzz) of PV installations within the next 10 months. This represents a double-digit growth and a remarkable level for an industry that installed less than half this number four years ago.  Markets such as China, the U.S or even Japan, that had to compensate for the closure of its nuclear power plants, have pulled the demand and as a direct effect many PV constructors, SunPower for example, became profitable during Q2 or Q3 last year after months and sometime years of losses. Read the rest of this entry »

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          Training and Getting a Job in the Solar Energy Industry

          Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:08

          Find a job in solar energyWith steady advances in technology, solar energy has at last become an economically viable option to integrate into our economic infrastructure. The industry not only promotes environmental responsibility, but also creates domestic investment, job growth and global influence. Impressively, the Solar Industry has steadily increased since 2009, while many other forms of industry were burdened by the Great Recession. This “niche” market, as it has been dully called, has become a great underdog of economic stabilization although it is looking to take its rightful place as a suitable candidate. With solar installations increasing in value by approximately $3 billion a year since 2010, this industry is one of the last limited education vocations in need of skilled hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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            How To Add Working Solar Panels to a Dollhouse

            Tuesday, January 14, 2014 11:39
            Posted in category Technical How-To's

            Whether you’re a miniatures fan with a green lean or a parent looking to show your kids the impact and usefulness of solar power, making solar panels for a dollhouse can be a fun, inexpensive and educational experience.

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              What are the advantages of passing the NABCEP exam?

              Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:58
              Posted in category Clean Energy Training

              NABCEP Certification
              In an industry that keeps growing exponentially through continued investment and financing from both private and public funding, the search for quality and recognition will be necessary for the future. Even a medium sized solar system which generates around 815 kWh a month, and cost around $10,000 and has a lifetime up to 30 years, is a major investment for most homeowners. So how does the industry guarantee quality installations across the board for different markets and applications? The answer is the NABCEP Certification, a nationally recognized credential to that indicates an installer has the experience and knowledge to perform safe, effective work. It is not a mandatory certification, but is increasingly becoming more valuable as it demonstrates that you have a qualifying level of solar PV training and thus are competent in the field.

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                White Paper: Analysis of Clean Energy Training and Education

                Thursday, October 17, 2013 17:01
                Posted in category White Papers

                ROI on Clean Energy TrainingThe United States is poised for a major transformation in how it gathers, distributes and uses energy. Not surprisingly, the way in which the country educates its workforce must also be altered to handle this transition. As conventional energy sources become more costly in both economic and environmental terms, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries are accelerating.

                The nation possesses a tremendous diversity of renewable energy resources and a solid base of clean energy companies through which to exploit that potential.

                These companies are offering innovative, well-paying jobs, but are often not always able to find enough skilled workers to satisfy demand. In order to fill these positions, a system of education must be developed that utilizes existing skills, emphasizes job readiness, and is backed by industry certifications.

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                  Global Incentives for Wind Energy

                  Monday, October 14, 2013 13:09
                  Posted in category Clean Energy News

                  Spain Installed Wind Over TimeGlobal wind energy capacity has seen spectacular growth in recent years. The United States and China led the pack in 2012, each adding approximately 13 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity. While the most efficient wind turbines are already approaching grid parity, on the whole, wind still requires some form of government support to serve as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

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                    Opportunities in the Solar Industry

                    Friday, July 19, 2013 10:53

                    Solar is leading the charge for renewables. The price of solar panels dropped 46% (since 2011) and companies like Google and Bank of America are making huge investments in residential solar power.

                    The 2012 third annual National Solar Jobs Census reported that U.S. solar industry employed close to 120,000 people. In the last year, the employment in the industry grew by 13.2%. By 2030, according to the DOE SunShot Vision Study, the solar industry will create 290,000 new solar jobs.

                    “I see electricians going into the solar market, structural steel companies going into constructing solar mounting systems,” said Avi Yashchin, CEO of CleanEdison, Inc., the nation’s largest clean-tech training provider, in an interview with Bloomberg.

                    To support this growth, the industry will need skilled professionals. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created a Solar Career Map to help individual’s locate career opportunities in their area.

                    Professional Training and Certification
                    There are three major types of solar workforce training and education currently offered in the U.S.:

                    Entry-level Solar Training- the most prevalent type of training is offered by hundreds of organizations from colleges to vocational schools. Many of them are registered with North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and use its Entry-Level Learning Objectives.

                                                                  Job Openings 

                    Advanced Solar Training – targeted to specific jobs, for example installers, or sales professionals, or maintenance personnel. Typically, these people already work in the field and want career advancement.

                    Job Openings

                    Continuing Education - for on-going professional development to stay up-to-date with new equipment, installation or sales tools, codes and standards. A lot of this type of classes are sponsored by vendors and manufacturers.Even professionals who are very experienced in other areas of building industry, but not in solar, will benefit from training. The cost of mistakes is high.

                    Job Openings

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