Sunday, January 31, 2010

Solar Company Launches Rental Program in Boulder

A few weeks ago I spoke about SolarCity's efforts to bring solar leasing to Colorado (read: SolarCity's Solar System Leasing Option Coming to Colorado). Now we have a second firm (I'm sure there are more) that is bringing a solar leasing program to Boulder. SunRun from California is now offering folks in Boulder the ability to rent solar panels at a fixed rate for a certain period of time. This solar leasing market is interesting to me. Anybody have some info on the financials of this type if plan? Is it similar to buying or leasing a car? I'm not a finance guy, but at first glance I think that leasing allows people to get something that they would otherwise be unable to afford in addition to a reduced risk. Are government tax credits and incentives from utilities just not enough to justify an outright purchase of a solar array for your rooftop? Curious minds would like to know. Any finance peeps out there?

Alamosa County OKs Solar Proposal

Although it's not a full approval (it's "conditional") this one looks promising. 35-megawatts of clean energy for 30 years built by Iberdrola Power in southern Colorado. They don't say exactly what type of solar plant it is, but it appears at first glance that it will be a photovoltaic plant and not a solar thermal plant. I also wonder if they are going to use concentrated PV. Good work Alamosa County government officials.

Geothermal-power Site Withdrawn Again from BLM Auction

Rats. They say they are postponing this sale in order to complete some more environmental impact testing. I'm all for making sure that the environmental impact is at a minimum, yet I hope they can come to some sort of compromise. There aren't too many places in Colorado that have the hot water near the surface necessary for an effective geothermal plant.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colorado Gets $6M for Green-energy Job Training

And the good times keep on rollin' for Colorado. The good Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has delivered a cool $6 million for, "worker training in emerging industries including renewable energy." Training for a new industry like renewable energy is critical in order to keep that industry afloat. I look forward to the good things that will come out of this gift. Thanks U.S. Department of Labor!

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Solar Brews in Colorado

Mmmm beer powered by the sun. First it was New Belgium and now it's Odell's. Colorado breweries keep generating electricity from the the sun's FREE rays. So pick up a sixer of Fat Tire or 90 Shilling and support those who support renewable energy. You won't regret it.

Rural Colorado Counties Get $2.2M from Stimulus for Energy Efficiency

President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act keeps on giving. Colorado counties received some serious coin to promote energy efficiency. How smart is this? Figuring out ways to make your buildings, homes, or cars more energy efficient provides a greater and quicker return on investment, not to mention the incredible reduction in CO2 emissions and other pollutants. Have you supported your local economy by getting an energy audit for your home by a qualified professional? You can get tax credits on your 2010 taxes for completing weatherization/energy efficiency initiatives for your home or business. Look into it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Six Colorado Companies Share $75.2M in Stimulus Credits for Clean-energy Manufacturing Projects

Here it is from the Denver Business Journal, six Colorado companies will share $75.2M of the $2.3 billion in tax credits President Obama awarded late last week. These companies say that this stimulus money will create about 17,000 (yes, I typed that correctly) jobs in Colorado. How cool is that? I was beginning to feel a little lull in the renewable energy action in the U.S., but President Obama and Secretary of Energy Dr. Chu have shown that they fully support moving the United States to a renewable and sustainable future.

Obama Awards $2.3 Billion In Renewable Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits

Nice. A cool $2.3 billion for renewable energy manufacturing. And from the list it looks like more than a few Colorado companies have made the list. I will do some research to see how Colorado is impacted by this. Renewable energy's future in the U.S. is looking way bright.

Wishful Thinking

*Before adding PV, wind, or solar thermal to your residential or commercial structure, the first step is to analyze this structure's energy consumption through a professional energy audit. I'd like to see some public education on the importance of an energy audit for any structure. Remember Smokey the Bear's forest fire shtick drilled into our heads over the last few decades? How about something like, "Henry the House" desperately wanting to know how much energy he consumes and wastes throughout the day?

*With over 300 sunny days a year on the Front Range is it too much to ask for solar PV and thermal modules on every residential and commercial unit (after an energy audit of course)?

*How about affordable plug-in electric cars that go more than 100 miles on a charge with PV and wind powered recharging stations?

*Dreaming of companies large and small adopting business sustainability practices to maximize profits, reduce their carbon footprint, and enhance the lives of their employees and the communities that surround them.


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