Solar

Welcome to the Graybar solar blog. We are looking forward to posting useful, timely information about solar energy; technologies, markets, policies, trends and any other interesting items that come to our attention. We hope you find the information here useful and enjoyable.

  • Public Energy Policy Sets the Stage

    The three necessary components for renewable energy success, innovative technology, reliable financial tools and sound public policy, have been written about quite a bit by me and others. Technological innovation continues, adhering nicely to Moore’s Law, and better financial tools are providing new ways to pay for projects and capitalize companies. Today, let’s look at a public policy success, or at least what appears to be a success. Read more.

    03/07/2014

  • Energy Storage: The Next Big Deal Part 2

    We recently looked at advances in energy storage technology which are approaching commercialization, moving from the lab to the marketplace. These developments are accelerating the adoption of storage for electricity produced using variable renewable sources, a long-sought-after grail in renewable energy. Now let’s look at some policy and market trends that are also helping catalyze that commercialization. Read more.

    03/04/2014

  • Energy Storage: The Next Big Deal

    The most exciting segment of the renewable energy industry in early 2014 is energy storage. Technological advances, driven by market demand and catalyzed by public policy, are poised to bring an array of better, cheaper energy storage solutions very soon. There are indicators all around that we are at a tipping point in energy storage. Read more.

    02/28/2014

  • America's Power Plan, Part 3: Smart Policies for Distributed Generation

    These days, it isn't a big challenge for electrical contractors to get into the solar business. Barriers to entry that were daunting if not impossible just two years ago are mostly gone. Read more.

    02/24/2014

  • FERC Revises Interconnection Procedures

    One way to measure the success of the solar energy market is to look at the growing number of small grid-tied systems. For this market to continue to thrive, we must ensure that these systems can access the grid safely and cost-effectively. And this means acknowledging that small systems need smaller hoops to jump through for evaluation of their safety and effectiveness. Read more.

    02/05/2014

  • Solar Demand: Beyond the Dollars

    The solar market has been driven by dollars for quite a while. Prices have plummeted and the holy grail of grid parity has been achieved in some regions of the country. PV modules have become a commodity, installation soft costs are being driven down by every means possible, and new financial tools and techniques have been introduced. There is another driver, however, one that demonstrates that the desire to be part of the solar energy "movement" runs deeper than dollars. Read more.

    01/30/2014

  • Solarize America

    Recently, we’ve seen the emergence of some interesting solar market drivers. Programs and trends that are well outside the traditional box-full of government and utility company incentives. Community solar and the trend of donating credits from net metering to churches and charities was written about here a short time ago. Now another program is gathering momentum: the Solarize initiative. Read more.

    01/27/2014

  • Solar Market Update

    Whether or not the past year or two has looked like a slump in the solar energy industry depends on where you are in the supply chain. If you are a contractor, system integrator or distributor, business has been good. Dramatically lower solar panel prices helped drive demand. If you are a panel manufacturer, on the other hand, it’s been a different experience – one that's important to observe. Read more.

    11/25/2013

  • Greater PV Efficiency through Nano-Technology

    Conventional photovoltaic solar cells are much more efficient than they were ten years ago: up from a conversion rate of less than 15 percent to over 30 percent. They still miss a big chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum, though.  Harvesting that heat and converting it to electricity is an area of significant research in the quest for more highly efficient PV cells. One on those efforts centers on a "thermal emitter." Read more.

    11/20/2013

  • American Corporations Love Solar

    The list is a familiar one. They are brands you know well, places you shop. They are among the leading companies in the U.S. And they have deployed 445 MW of solar electric production capacity – a 48 percent increase over a year ago. Read more.

    11/18/2013