Archive for March, 2010

Spring is in the Air and Solar is in the Backyard

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Spring is in the air in Washington, DC after a long winter of snow and blizzards. People have finally retrieved their snowbound cars and are back jogging in the park and tending their gardens. This is the perfect time to think about taking solar outdoors. As the weather is getting better, we are getting a lot of inquiries about how to size your solar RV kit or your marine solar kit. Like sizing other solar energy systems, it all depends on what your energy needs are—not on how big your RV or boat is, but how much energy you need on your RV or boat. You need to know what your energy usage is before you purchase a solar RV kit or marine solar kit. Whatever solar energy system you use on your boat or RV, one thing is for sure, you are going to enjoy it much more than if you had to listen to a noisy generator as you are trying to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.

Solar Economic Incentives: Fragile as the Wind

Friday, March 5th, 2010

The solar industry applauded when the 30% federal tax credit was extended to 2016 and the legislation lifted the cap. The reason of course is that for all intents and purposes, the solar industry is just emerging and needs substantial support, and the stability in the incentives provides this support. But now one important part of this program, known as the treasury grant program, has been placed in jeopardy. Four senators released a letter in which they urged the Obama Administration to suspend this program until the legislation could be amended to allow only for clean energy projects “that preserve and create jobs in the United States.” You can read the full text of the letter here. The abrupt fits and starts of incentive programs, and not just this federal program, only serve to stall the march to solar.

The Solar Generation

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Buried on page 20 of our local paper was a news item “Students push solar for NCS.” The National Cathedral School may not qualify as you your average American school. (For those of you not in the know, NCS is a private school home to some of sons and daughters of the elite of the Nation’s Capital.) But what is going on at NCS may be a glimpse of what the future holds. The article in the Northwest Current chronicles how NCS is now planning on installing 32 solar panels on a century old (read historical) building at NCS—due to the insistence and perseverance of two students at NCS, Charlotte Zimmerman and Christina Boulineaux. The two raised $20,000 and even interviewed solar contractors so that they could place these solar panels on NCS.