Nationally, the residential solar company is booming but if Nevada sets a precedent, that could affect more homes like this one in Scottsdale from installing panels.

Solar Wars: Big Utilities Versus Rooftop Power Generation

It may be lights out for the solar industry in Nevada. That state is hemorrhaging jobs after a controversial decision in December to raise rates for customers with rooftop solar panels. The move has jarred the solar industry nationwide, especially in other southwestern states like Arizona.

Holly Copeland in front of the family's house and their newly-installed solar array.

Solar Economics Looking Sunnier, Even In Coal Country

Wyoming’s solar potential is among the best in the nation, but even as residential rooftop solar has boomed recently in places like California, Colorado and New Jersey, it’s barely made any inroads in the state. Economics and politics both play a role, but with the price of photovoltaics continuing to drop, some people are starting to ask whether momentum is building for solar in nation’s largest coal-producing state.

In 2020, when 33% of California's electricity is supposed to come from renewable sources, the net load curve will look like a duck.

Renewable Storage Is Key

As we talk about the future of renewable energy, there’s one aspect that should be at the forefront of the conversation: storage. We’ve already figured out how to capture wind and solar energy, but it’s equally important to figure out the best way to store this energy and use it when it’s needed.

Solar Panels for municipal energy production in Del Norte, Colorado

Why Residential Solar Can’t Keep The Lights On (Yet)

The vast majority of all solar systems, regardless of size, are designed to shut down during a utility power outage. Backup batteries or generators help solar-powered homes keep the lights on when grid power goes down. However, these reliability enhancements are beyond the financial reach of most homeowners.

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Rooftop Solar: The Next iPod?

The drop in the price of a residential-sized solar system suggests that it is possible that distributed solar will be as disruptive of the electrical transmission grid as the iPod was to the music industry.