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Mapping the Grid of the Future: How our Electric Grid is Changing in Very Big Ways

There is a far-reaching transformation underway in the electricity industry. The electric grid that has powered our lives for more than a century is undergoing major changes, in response both to technological advancements and the consumer demand these new technologies have unleashed. In short: the grid is modernizing and it’s happening all across the country.


Renewables Top Fossil Fuels as New US Power Source

Renewable energy was the biggest source of new power added to U.S. electrical grids last year as falling prices and government incentives made wind and solar increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels.


Solar Fact or Fiction

There are many myths when it comes to solar energy… Here are some facts about many common misconceptions:

Fact

Fiction

Statement Reason
 Solar Energy is better for the environment, and it can help combat global warming Solar Power Systems produce no atmospheric emissions or greenhouse gases, in fact they actually work to offset emissions because typical your electrical energy would otherwise come from burning coal.
 Solar Energy is a renewable energy source The sun has an estimated 4 billion years of remaining lifespan, so Solar Energy will be a reliable source for the forseable future
 Solar Energy can do everything right now Solar technology has room for advancements, but it can currently do a lot (power your home, heat your water, improve air ventilation, etc.)
 Solar Systems only work where there is abundant sunshine Anywhere the sun shines a Solar Power System will work (system size will vary), though some areas will have higher production values, depending on geography
 The government will share the cost of your Solar Power System 30% of the total system cost will be covered by the Residential Credit for Solar systems turned on between 2009 and 2016
 Solar devices require more energy to manufacture than they produce Manufacturing energy costs versus the energy production payback for Solar Power Systems is generally less than 4 years
 Solar Energy can’t meet any significant fraction of the U.S. or world energy needs Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire population uses in a year – in short the sun provides plenty of energy, we just have to capture it efficiently
 The process for getting Solar Power is long and complicated Check out our How to Buy Solar guide for info, tips and project timeline
 Solar Power Systems are too expensive There is a Solar Power System that is right for every budget, and leasing options also exist.  Advances in rebates, incentives/tax credits and technology make solar more affordable than it has ever been before.

With Solar Power, you can make your electric meter spin backwards
If you produce more electricity than you use, it will be fed back into the electrical grid for use somewhere else.  And best of all, your utility bill will carry a negative amount!
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