Wednesday, January 24, 2007

U.S. Homeowners Can Now "Rent" Solar Panels

Residents of the United States will soon be able to install energy-efficient solar panels on their homes without paying significant upfront costs, according to the renewable energy development company Citizenre.

The Delaware-based business has launched a program that allows customers to “rent” the panels for specified periods of time, paying a per-kilowatt fee that takes the place of the local utility bill. The monthly rate is locked in when the 1, 5 or 25-year contract is signed, so as energy prices go up participants are likely to save money while significantly reducing their output of greenhouse gases.

The rental program, called REnU, is billed as a cost-effective response to the challenges many would-be solar users face when confronted with the high costs of solar system equipment, installation, and maintenance. The program’s only upfront charge is a security deposit of roughly US$500, which is paid back—with interest—at the end of the contract. The REnU website has a “solar savings calculator” that estimates the amount of money households will save by switching to solar power.
I think this is a great idea.

Many renewable energy and energy efficiency projects make sense financially but are hampered by financing issues. The projects have a high enough return on investment, but individuals are unwilling to make the upfront investment to make it happen and the projects are too small for banks and other companies with capital to come in and invest in them.

Citizenre becomes, in a way, a distributed power plant company that pays people to rent their rooftop space. Customers like it because they don't have the upfront cost and can rely on a expert to install and maintain the panels. Investors like it because they can aggregate a bunch of small investments into one larger one. They can get a good rate of return while knowing they are helping the environment.

via WorldChanging

4 comments:

Jay Draiman said...

Solar challenge: competition to save energy - State of the Art
Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy sponsored a Solar Decathlon, an event that pitted 14 teams of architecture and engineering students against each other to see which could design, build, and operate the most energy-efficient and aesthetically designed house powered entirely by solar energy. For two weeks during September and October 2002, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., hosted the “Solar Village,” where the teams’ houses were evaluated by industry experts and toured by the public.

To build the best energy-efficient, solar-powered home, the teams focused not only on design and aesthetics, but also on the building products they would use in their houses. The winning team, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, evaluated potential building products–from framing timbers and foundations to windows and photovoltaic panels–based on nine criteria: low-embodied energy; sustainably harvested; environmentally friendly manufacturing process; recycled; recyclable; value-added; nontoxic; low-VOC; and made in the United States. Each building product had to meet at least three of these criteria.

The Colorado team chose Primalite glazing for the skylights because it reduced the penetration of heat-transmitting solar energy into the structure while allowing visible light wavelengths in to illuminate the space. According to Brian Cross, technical support manager at PolyGal USA, maker of Primalite, the product “will reduce the sun’s near-infrared energy so that the interior of the space is cooler.”

Other teams found solar technology products to suit their requirements as well. For example, the Crowder College (Mo.) team installed solar cell panels from BP Solar, and the University of Virginia team used photovoltaic panels from ASE Americas.

SUNTube solar thermal evacuated tubes by Sun Utility Network collected solar heat for the house’s hot water system. In this system, solar energy is gathered, converted to heat, and then transferred to water stored in the tubes.

Daylighting played a large part in the Colorado team’s design. To reduce the house’s heat gain, the team speced Heat Mirror insulating glass by Southwall Technologies. “As you increase daylighting, you increase the amount of solar heat gain, and that creates a problem,” says Graig Young, vice president of architectural products worldwide for Southwall.

To gather solar energy, the students chose photovoltaic panels by AstroPower for the surface of the house’s main roof. A standard AstroPower solar energy system of 24 photovoltaic modules can generate nearly half the power consumed by a typical home, says the company.

The Colorado team found that at least one currently available, off-the-shelf building material in almost every category met the requirement. The team also found that these materials are priced comparably to conventional building materials while providing improved efficiency.


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Over the past four years, the demand for solar panels has increased by 20 percent each year, according to the Department of Energy. “Energy is presently a high-cost item,” says Les Hamasaki, executive vice president and sustainable development planner for Sun Utility Network. Solar energy “is the only source of energy that is provided free.”


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January 26th, 2007 at 7:33 pm
MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R11

In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
“Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. “Let’s face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy.” The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products should be reduced or eliminated)

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325
Jan. 26, 2007

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America’s capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis–the one in 1942–President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X’s 5 hrs per day X’s 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 2

4 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”)

Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on “performance based” (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product - that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.

Installing renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.

Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.

Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA 91325
Email: renewableenergy2@msn.com

Mark said...

you can got to my website at www.abetterwatt.com and get all your questions answered about renting solar panels.

Yehuda Draiman said...

Water is the source of life - treasure it! R4.
Water is the source of all life on earth. It touches every area of our lives. Without it, we could not thrive — we could not even survive.

Sustainability – “We strive to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
We should discourage wastefulness and misuse, and promote efficiency and conservation.
"Conservation is really the cheapest source of supply,"
For the benefit of mankind, maintain the quality of life and preserve the peace and tranquility of world population. Water resources must be preserved - to sustain humanity. We must eliminate wasteful utilization of water, conserve our water sources and implement rigid conservation methods. We should utilize solar and or other source of renewable energy to operate desalinization projects from the oceans. Utilize renewable energy sources to purify and transport the water to its final destination. As world population increases the scarcity of water will become a cause for conflict, unless we take steps now to develop other sources of water for drinking, rainwater harvesting – storm-water and gray-water utilization. Designing of landscaping that uses minimal amount of water.
"With power shortages and a water scarcity a constant threat across the West, it's time to look at water and energy in a new way,"
To preserve the future generations sustainability, we should look into urban farming – vertical farming. The term "urban farming" may conjure up a community garden where locals grow a few heads of lettuce. But some academics envision something quite different for the increasingly hungry world of the 21st century: a vertical farm that will do for agriculture what the skyscraper did for office space. Greenhouse giant: By stacking floors full of produce, a vertical farm could rake in $18 million a year.
Jay Draiman, Energy and water conservation consultant
May. 2, 2008
PS.

Hydro dynamics: forget oil. Sharing freshwater equitably poses political conundrums as explosive and far-reaching as global climate change.
Quoted from other sources
Anyone who has ever stood on a beach and looked out into the vast expanse of an ocean knows that there is a lot of water on this planet. In fact, 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water. It may seem like water is all around us, but safe, clean, reliable drinking water is not a cease¬less resource. The problems facing drinking water range from failing infrastructure, to climate change, to insufficient supplies.

Personal Conservation
Preserving our water resources is not a job for water industry professionals alone. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that water remains safe, af¬fordable and available. Therefore, each individual American has a responsibility to monitor and control their water use, There are many simple ways for people to reduce excess water use, lower water bills and protect the environment, espe¬cially in die spring and summer months, Beyond the standard constraints of watering the lawn only when neces¬sary and washing car wisely by using soap and a bucket of water, some steps include: draining water lines to outside faucets, disconnecting hoses, shutting off outdoor water sources during cold weather and running a small trickle of water on whiter nights to prevent pipe from freezing.
Conclusion
Water supply management is an issue that affects us all. It may not be apparent to every citizen today, but with climate change and population shifts transforming the United States, it soon will be. Effective solutions need to be put into place today before we are faced with a water crisis. A focus on careful planning, treatments, innova¬tions and conservation measures will help to create stability for long-term water management. Commitment to keeping water at the top of the list for communities and citizens will better prepare us for whatever the future of water holds.

WATER!
The indispensable source of life-without water there would be no industry, no agriculture and, most importantly of all, no life. In dry parts of the world this essential commodity is even more precious. Almost all human actions involve water from taking a shower to reading a newspaper to driving a car or simply eating a sandwich - almost everything we do or touch is somehow related to this precious treasure. We ask that you stop and think how you use water and what you can do to conserve this essential natural resource.
*Water, beliefs and customs,
*Water as a vehicle of the economy,
*Water, source of art and life, irrigation and cultivation.
The people have decided to act to try and develop a real awareness program on the theme of water preservation and distribution in an attempt to help maintain the original purity of rivers and streams.
In many parts of the world water sources and wells are not equally distributed. Water as a source of life can also be at the source of conflict.
Whether we live in India, Iceland or the Atlas… we have always tried to trap and tame water. Dams, pumps, canals, water treatment centers; there are so many different ways to exploit this resource that we often forget how fragile this unique and essential treasure actually is.
Unfortunately, many of the things we do every day can harm our water. That’s why all people and government should be working with municipalities, farmers, business leaders and developers just like you to take action to protect our water and clean it up.
Small changes can make a big difference. This guide outlines practical things we can all do to preserve and protect our water. We all need to be part of the solution.
Concentrated Solar Power, which requires no solar panels at all. It works by concentrating sunlight onto a small pipe using cheap parabolic reflectors. The pipe contains a liquid that’s heated to very high temperatures by the sun and drives a steam boiler that rotates a turbine to generate electricity (much like nuclear power plants, but without the nuclear waste). It’s cheap, low-tech, and far more affordable than solar power. Plus, it can be built in practically any desert, so it doesn’t take up valuable land. As another bonus, when CSP operations are built near the ocean, they can desalinate ocean water as a side effect, providing fresh water for irrigation to grow food. This is the only renewable energy technology I know of that can produce cheap energy, fresh water and crop irrigation all at the same time. Plus, it has no emissions, no toxic chemicals, no nuclear waste and very little environmental impact..
“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today” - Abraham Lincoln said it.
“That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest” – Henry David Thoreau.
“To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed” – Theodore Roosevelt.
“When the ‘study of the household’ (ecology) and the ‘management of the household’ (economics) can be merged, and when ethics can be extended to include ‘environmental’ as well as human values, then we can be optimistic about the future of mankind. Accordingly, bringing together these three E’s is the ultimate holism and the great challenge for our future” – Eugene Odum.

Solar Panels said...

This is a good development. With the high rising cost of electricity, it is really important that there are alternatives to reduce costs. This can even generate additional revenue.

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