Solar Builder

JUL-AUG 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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load shift or perform grid services like demand response. The code also more generally beefs up the energy efficiency stan- dards with better insulation and windows to reduce consumption. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates the better insulation and windows required by the 2020 code, combined with solar panels, will reduce energy use in single-family homes by a whopping 53 percent compared to current code. Was this the right policy? Economists don't love government mandates as a tool to bring changes. Here is one sample from an open letter to CEC Commissioner Robert Weisenmiller written by Severin Borenstein, Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy Economic Analysis & Policy Group at California Berkeley's Haas School of Business. "I, along with the vast majority of energy economist, believe that residential rooftop solar is a much more expensive way to move towards renewable energy than larger solar and wind installations. The savings calculated for the households are based on residential electricity rates that are far above the actual cost of providing incre- mental energy, so embody a large cross subsidy from other ratepay- ers. This would be a very expensive way to expand renewables and would not be a cost-effective practice that other states and countries could adopt to reduce their own greenhouse gas footprints." Garth Heutel, associate professor of Economics at Georgia State University, in a column for The Conversation made the case for market-based policies that rely on incentives instead of require- ments. Examples include a tax on pollution, like the British Columbia's carbon tax, or a cap-and-trade market, like the European Union's Emissions Trading System. He did agree that this argument in favor of the mandate was reasonable: "By drumming up more demand, the solar mandate will expand the solar panel market — thereby driving solar costs down, perhaps more quickly than a car- bon tax would. There's some evidence supporting the theory that these mandates can spur innovation in renewable electricity tech- nologies." Our two cents per kWh Politics often dictate the rules of engagement. Even if solar advo- cates agree that a carbon tax would be more effective in theory, this was the policy change that was possible in reality. Plus, a status quo disruption of this size might be what's needed to force utilities to make their own drastic changes. Lastly, they aren't economists, and we didn't ask them, but the sun-bathing polar bears out there are likely in favor of bold actions like this. Chris Crowell is the managing editor of Solar Builder. 10 J U LY / AU G U S T 2 0 1 8 IN THE NEWS Solar shingles are now available for installation by Sunrise Solar Solutions LLC, a residential and commercial solar installer in New York. "There are many home and business owners who have been wait- ing for a very long time, and are still waiting, for solar shingles promised by other companies that are guaranteed to be top-quality, reliable, effective and save money," says Sunrise president and CEO Douglas Hertz. "Their wait is finally over. We can deliver solar shingles to them today that are of the highest quality and feature proven technology." Hertz added that the "timing [for unveiling solar shingles] couldn't be better" because the current federal and state tax credits and incentives remain significant and in full effect until 2019, when the rates at that time will then start to decrease. Sunrise Solar Solutions has partnered with New York-based SunTegra, formerly known as Integrated Solar Technology (IST), for its solar shingle offering. SunTegra Solar Shingles attach directly to a roof and integrate with composition shingles and other low profile roofing materials, offering customers a durable and protective roof material and a high-performing solar system in one. The lightweight design and integrated wiring reduces complexity and increases the speed of installation. New York's Sunrise Solar to start installing SunTegra solar shingles A Hit Shingle

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