Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists – The New York Times

“Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate.That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A number of factors are driving the reversal, from saturation in markets like California to financial woes at several top solar panel makers.But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

Utilities argue that rules allowing private solar customers to sell excess power back to the grid at the retail price — a practice known as net metering — can be unfair to homeowners who do not want or cannot afford their own solar installations.”


How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy

“How do Fuel Cells Work?Fuel cells produce energy electrochemically — without combusting the fuelDFC-schematic_smFuel cells cleanly and efficiently convert chemical energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and usable high quality heat in an electrochemical process that is virtually absent of pollutants.

Similar to a battery, a fuel cell is comprised of many individual cells that are grouped together to form a fuel cell stack. Each individual cell contains an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte layer. When a hydrogen-rich fuel such as clean natural gas or renewable biogas enters the fuel cell stack, it reacts electrochemically with oxygen (i.e. ambient air) to produce electric current, heat and water. While a typical battery has a fixed supply of energy, fuel cells continuously generate electricity as long as fuel is supplied.”

Source: How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy

Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States – The New York Times

“LAFAYETTE, Calif. — It was only two years ago that Elroy Holtmann spent about $20,000 on a home solar array to help cover the costs of charging his new electric car. With the savings on his monthly electric bills, he figured the investment would pay for itself in about a dozen years.But then the utilities regulators changed the equation.As a result, Pacific Gas & Electric recently did away with the rate schedule chosen by Mr. Holtmann, a retired electrical engineer, and many other solar customers in this part of California. The new schedule will make them pay much more for the electricity they draw from the grid in the evening, while paying those customers less for the excess power their solar panels send back to the grid on sunny summer days.As a result, Mr. Holtmann’s solar setup may never pay for itself.”

Source: Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States – The New York Times

I have installed 29 solar panels on the roof of my house. It covers 100% of my electrical usage at the time of installation. I hope that UI and the CT regulators don’t screw the first implementers in CT.

The Conservative Case for Solar Subsidies – by Ben Ho, The New York Times

Fast forward to today. Solar energy prices have continued to fall rapidly, twice as many Americans work in the solar industry as in coal mining, and last year one-third of new electricity generation came from solar power.Solar, long viewed through the lens of crony capitalism, has shown the ability to inject real market competition in energy distribution, one of the last monopolies in the energy sector, while improving the efficiency of the grid and putting more dollars in the pockets of middle-class Americans. Conservatives, in other words, need to take another look at solar.”

Source: The Conservative Case for Solar Subsidies – The New York Times