A Fresh Look at How to Meet Society’s Future Electrical Needs

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Our electrical utility system works so well that headlines are made only when it fails. In many other parts of the world, the headlines celebrate when the system works continuously for more than a few days!

Until recently, almost half of all electricity generated in the USA came from burning coal. Another quarter came from natural gas, a fifth from nuclear power, and about one-twentieth from hydroelectric dams.[1] As the public health, environmental, and weather-changing impacts of coal and natural gas have gotten clearer, much attention has focused on finding better ways of keeping our televisions and refrigerators humming along.

In some parts of…

Read more: A Fresh Look at How to Meet Society’s Future Electrical Needs

Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

High School Produces Solar Electricity and Saves $25,000 Annually

by Jon Kennedy

School districts across the country are saving money and energy by installing large solar arrays on their rooftops. What is normally considered to be an expensive undertaking is now possible by a growing number of financing options in the world of solar electricity.

Our schools are a significant source of energy consumption. The air conditioning and heating in these large buildings often run continuously, which translates into large electricity bills and fossil fuel use.

The perceived cost of switching from traditional sources of electricity to renewable ones is often considered to be too high to justify. In our educatio…

Read more: Creative Financing and School Adds Solar

Loan Programs for Renewables and Efficiency

Florida - Orlando Utilities Commission - Residential Solar Loan Program

Last DSIRE Review: 02/03/2009

Incentive Type: Utility Loan Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Terms: PV: up to $20,000; SWH: up to $7,500
0-5.5% interest rate, depending on technology and loan term

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), in cooperation with the Orlando Federal Credit Union (OFCU), provides its customers with low-interest loans for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water heating (SWH) systems. Customers may borrow up to $7,500…

Read more: Utilities Loan Customers Money for Solar Energy!

Innovative Agreement Stimulates Major Increase in Solar Electric Sites!

Innovative Agreement Stimulates Major Increase in Solar Electric Sites!

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

A straightforward contracting mechanism has proven to be a major enabler of solar electrical energy installation. We spell out the details below. But first - let’s create some context: Did you know that a lot of electrical energy sold to you costs more to make than you are billed for? That is because of two different phenomenons which hide the real cost of your electricity. These two phenomenon are called “peak” power generation costs, and new vs. old capacity generation costs.

Peak Power Costs: Your electrical meter can only describe how much energy you use, not when you use it. Electric utilities have a large number of generation stations…

Read more: Innovative Agreement Stimulates Major Increase in Solar Electric Sites!