California is Now so Far Ahead in the Solar Energy Game, Can Anyone Else Catch-up?

Category: Solar Energy

It’s no surprise that the “Golden State” has taken the top spot in solar energy initiatives in the U.S. In size, California is the 3rd largest state, 3 of its cities—Sacramento, Fresno, and Redding – are among the “sunniest” in the U.S., and it also boasts the highest population of billionaires in the country.

California has more than just a combination of wealth, geographic space, and access to the sun, however. The underlying mentality of the state, is “laid-back”, yes, but is also a mentality that places the conservation of resources at the forefront of consumption. The words “drought,” “smog,” “water pollution,” and “landslide” are all common terminology for the California resident. This could perhaps explain the focus on creating a more sustainable environment, to preserve the beauty of the region and the health and welfare of its residents.

Supportive solar policies and falling costs have incentivized businesses, residents, and utilities to invest in solar resources to the point that headlines now read: “California sun produces so much power that electricity prices turn negative.”  With investments now leading to cost savings as well as environmental benefits it’s clear that the case for solar is a solid one. While the state is clearly at the forefront,  is it possible for another state to surpass California in solar energy and take the crown as the #1 solar state? The short answer is yes, the opportunity is still available to several states, many of them are close contenders on SEIA’s top solar states list:

  • North Carolina- Rising in the rankings from 3rd to 2nd place last year was no small feat. North Carolina’s recent focus on sustainable energy has created a big impact in the state: creating 7,112 solar jobs that contributed to solar installations totaling 922 MW in capacity last year.
  • Texas– Not only is Texas larger than California, it also receives an average of 2,850 hours of sun; priming it to take the first-place spot in solar energy usage. Although it is currently #9 in the rankings, we expect to see a big jump from the Lone Star State next year.
  • New Jersey– Ranked 2nd highest in the nation in a 2014 survey of median household income is the Garden State. Combine the progressive mindset of neighboring cities, like New York City and Philadelphia, with an average 2499 hours of sunlight per year and you’ll discover a state with the equivalent of 309,000 homes powered by solar energy.

There are several states that did not make the top 10 list that have ample opportunity to shine as it pertains to solar energy as well. Most notably:

  • Colorado – It may be a surprise to hear that one of the states that gets the most sun is Colorado. Grand Junction, for example, gets 3,204 total hours of sunshine annually. As the 8th largest state is isn’t a question of space, just when the state will prioritize solar energy.
  • Florida– As the Sunshine State it’s no secret that Florida gets more than its fair share of sunlight to utilize solar as a key renewable resource. With greater solar incentives, Florida could easily become a major solar player.
  • Maryland– With the nation’s highest average median annual income, Maryland has the $ for investment. It also receives 57% sun in the Baltimore area totaling ~2,582 hours of sunshine.

There has never been a better time to invest in solar energy. We applaud all states in their current contributions and look forward to next year’s rankings to see what incredible investments and returns are created.

For more information on the ConnecTable solar charging products and how you can make a solar impact in your state, contact info@theconnectable.com or call 267.419.8496.

 

Sources:
https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-annual-state-sunshine.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income
http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html#statesbysize

By now everyone has heard of solar energy. It’s one of the top sustainable tools for residential properties, corporate campuses and universities worldwide. While solar panels on the roof are the most common use, there are many other ways to seamlessly integrate solar energy into any property. Take a look at some of the more out-of-the-box/grid solar solutions:

  • Solar Car Station – For the many users of electronic vehicles, solar car charging stations provide a practical and sustainable method of “refueling.” Commonly found in general parking areas, these stations also provide good shelter from the rain or snow, and are a great place to get some shade during the summer months.
  • Solar backpacks – A mobile option great for hikers and other outdoorsy types, solar powered backpacks provide on-the-go energy. While not as powerful as fixed panels, the energy contribution made is still very valuable, especially in emergency situations.
  • Solar Charging Tables – Solar charging stations, like the ConnecTable provide an outdoor work space, social gathering area, and a sustainable charging zone. These stations are great for students, businesses, and parks, allowing users to plug in phones, tablets, and laptops.
  • Mobile charging devices – Tired of having your phone battery die when you need it most? A mobile phone charger, like the Grid2Go, might be an option for you. It can be charged via solar, or via grid/electrical energy, and provides you with the perfect, miniature charging resource.

With technology changing every day, it’s safe to say the capabilities of solar will only continue to grow. We encourage you to think beyond just “a solar panel on every roof” to see what possibilities lie in other applications of solar energy. A greener, more sustainable future depends on it.

For more information on ConnecTable solar charging stations or Grid2Go mobile chargers please contact us at info@theconnectable.com or call 267.419.8496.

 

What would be the impact if everyone installed solar panels on their homes? This was the topic examined by Quora and featured in a recent Forbes article.

solar energy efficiency The content explored some of the more hot-button topics in regards to solar energy, such as: how much solar is too much solar? (A.k.a. when does the law of diminishing returns apply?), is solar power enough for an off-grid power solution? Supported with simulated data for the potential situation of “a solar panel on every roof”, some of the key takeaways were as follows:

1. While solar is a great means of providing clean energy, a solar panel on every roof is not the answer. From a cost perspective, as well as an energy saving one, solar farms are much more economical.

2. Although there would be exorbitant amounts of clean energy available during the daytime hours, in the evening when demand is highest there would be an unequal distribution of energy that the stored up solar power from the daytime would not be able to support.

So while that excessive supply of solar energy generated during the day would be great to provide clean energy, it would not be enough to fully support the demand of nighttime use without help from another source. The article points to the need for technology that allows for more robust battery storage, which while available is also quite expensive at the current time.

3. Economic fluctuations have a big impact in establishing optimal conditions for solar energy to exist. It is tempting to point to solar as the total solution for clean energy, however this article does a great job at examining the subsequent factors that need to align in order to ensure true off-grid success.

solar energy efficiency So is there the potential for a ‘perfect’ off-grid world? Yes, and technology is closer than ever before to making it a reality. With continuous investments and improvements in renewable energy it’s only a matter of time before we have the means to create a renewable world.

For more information on solar energy or ConnecTable solar charging tables, please call 267.419.8496 or email info@theconnectable.com.

Less than a month ago, the Los Angeles Rams broke ground on their new $2.66 Billion City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California. It is being billed as the most expensive stadium ever built, but could it also be the most sustainable? What would the stadium look like if it adopted the best sustainability practices from around the league? Below we look at 5 of the greenest stadiums in the NFL. These teams have built and modified their stadiums, which for the most part remain dormant for 8 months out of the year, to reduce their environmental impact and set an example for other organizations to follow:

Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles) – Home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bleeding Green Nation, the “Linc”, as it is affectionately called was the first NFL stadium to make a serious investment in sustainability. Since it’s opening in 2003, the stadium has dedicated over $100 million in recycling efforts and now 100% of its team operations is powered by wind energy and augmented by solar power that is generated at the stadium. The Linc received its LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2013.

 

solider-field

Soldier Field (Chicago Bears) – Although it is the NFL’s oldest stadium, Soldier Field continues to set new standards. In 2012, Soldier Field was the first NFL stadium to be awarded a LEED certification. Soldier Field utilizes many energy saving methods including replacing the standard stadium lighting to energy saving LED lights as well as providing free charging stations for fans who drive electric cars to the game.

 

 

 

metlife

MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets) – Home to both NY football teams, but located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium signed an agreement with the EPA that states that the facility will work to conserve energy and water, reduce pollution, and improve waste management. Their efforts have resulted in the vast reduction in water consumption and a heat gain of 25%.

 

century-link

Century Link Field (Seattle Seahawks) – Century Link Field’s adoption of point-of-use lighting in concession stands, restrooms, and throughout the stadium has helped to drastically cut down their energy usage. Like Soldier Field, CLF also offers free charging stations for electric cars. And for the rest of the fans, Seahawks’ management encourages the use of public and shared transportation by providing easy and immediate access to local buses, subways, and trains.

 

mtbank-stadium

M&T Stadium (Baltimore Ravens) – In 2013 M&T Stadium became the first outdoor professional sports facility in the U.S to receive a “Gold” LEED Certification. The stadium uses a green cleaning program to reduce waste, saves over 3 million gallons of water with water-efficient restrooms, and recycles over 30% of their regular waste. M&T Stadium’s sustainability practices has helped them to offset over 120,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and save over 5,000,000 kilowatt hours since 2005.

 

 
Although the Rams have just broken ground in Inglewood, stadiums around league have already laid the groundwork for what a great sustainable stadium can be. These franchises have shown what it takes to become “green”- no matter what their team colors might be.

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