What's behind solar price variability, and why utilities get the best deals By Herman K. Trabish Posted on March 5, 2015 It is not news that solar prices are dropping fast, but its high price variability means that not everyone can get a good enough deal to make a rooftop system economic. In 2013, the cheapest 20% of solar systems sold at less than $3.90 per watt and another 20% went for more than $5.60 per watt. Understanding the factors behind price variability can help installers and distributed energy... Read More


Exclusive: Google buys Altamont wind energy to power Googleplex By Matt O'Brien Posted on February 11, 2015 Google has spent $1.5 billion around the world on clean energy projects cutting the pollution from millions of users clicking on search links, watching YouTube videos and sending emails, but now it's found a powerful electricity source close to home. The company will announce Wednesday that it is buying power from the Altamont Pass, one of the nation's oldest, largest and most iconic wind farms that... Read More


Largest-ever study quantifies the value of rooftop photovoltaics on homes that sold across eight states and 12 years Berkeley, CA— A multi-institutional research team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, universities, and appraisers found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems —averaging about $4 per watt of PV... Read More


Berkeley, CA — Differences in local market conditions and policies, and other factors, particularly the size of the system, can lead to wide disparities in what consumers across the United States pay to install solar energy systems on their homes or small businesses, according to a recent study published by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). This translates into thousands of dollars difference in the price of comparable solar energy systems around the U.S.... Read More


Solar Energy prices see double-digit declines in 2013 Posted October 21, 2014 An article in Commodities Now features findings from the Photovoltaic (PV) Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections (2014 Edition) report.  The report was jointly written by authors from Nartional Renewable Energy Laboratoy (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). To see the full article, click here. To see the full report, click here. Read More


Andrew Satchwell, lead author of LBNL's Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities report, was recently interviewed by Dave Becker of Nevada's NPR affiliate.  To listen to the recording, click here. To see the report and a summary briefing, click here. A webinar of key findings from the report will be conducted on Thursday, October 9th at 10:00 am Pacific Time. Register for the webinar here. Read More


Posted on September 23, 2014 It's an accepted fact that the cost of solar has been continuously declining for the past several years. Many people, however, only have a vague understanding of this and do not necessarily know the exact costs and how much they have declined. A new study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, details just how much costs have declined up through 2013, as well as the first half of 2014. By looking at data from 1998-2013, and initial data... Read More


California is About to Give SolarCity a Helping Hand By Reuben Brewer Posted on September 10, 2014 According to the California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi it can take 65 days to install solar panels, "of which 64 of those days are spent wading through the local bureaucracy to get the necessary permits and approvals." That's why he sponsored a bill that will streamline the process and make installing solar on homeowners' rooftops quicker and more affordable. Reducing costsSolarCity, the country's largest... Read More


Alt Energy Rises...Again By Bill Tucker Posted on September 16, 2014 Tucker writes: "wind is very quietly reminding us that it is a friend with some nice benefits. While fracking has dominated the conversation, wind energy is getting cheaper and we are increasingly relying on wind as a source of power.  The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a study last month showing that since 2007, wind power has accounted for a third of country’s new electrical capacity. The report makes the bold... Read More


On September 18th, the White House announced executive actions and commitments to combat climate change.  President Obama's announcement highlighted the release of the three new studies by the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. To see the official White House announcement, click here. The announcement was also covered by USA Today and Breaking Energy. To see the USA Today article, click here. To see the Breaking Energy article, click here. Read More