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New Electric Vehicle Announced by Nissan

Nissan just announced their first mass market EV, called the Leaf.  It is a 4-door and is said to take you 100 miles between complete charges.   Probably you will need to to buy or lease the battery separately, but Nissan appears to be focused on keeping the total cost more reasonable than the other announced EVs of similar quality level, such as the Mitsubishi i MiEV.  Some of the reports indicate that the car itself may only be available via a lease.  It is planned for introduction to selected areas of the US market late 2010.... read more

Funding for Homeowners to go Solar: AB811

California bill AB811 was passed a year ago.  It allows cities and counties to make low interest loans to homeowners for the purpose of installing permanently attached energy efficiency and solar electric systems.

Renewable Funding

What makes the idea different is that homeowners would pay the loans back though assessments on property tax bills.  The liens transfer to any subsequent owner if the property is transferred.

It should be easier for cities to raise bond money to finance these programs because the loans are secured by liens.  With property values lower, and more people out of work, perhaps many homeowners will get a better rate for funds if they get it through this new type of program compared to a traditional second mortgage.

Now cities need to step up to the plate and implement the program for their residents.... read more

SunPower, Wells Fargo in $100M Solar Deal

Check this great news about SunPower and loosened financing for large solar projects.

SunPower, Wells Fargo in $100M Solar Deal

PV Prices Are Down Again

Solar photvoltaic prices continue to drop.

PV Prices Are Down Again

July 20, 2009

In late April I made a post about tracking solar PV price trends.  Prices have continued to erode.  The module index price reported on US Solarbuzz is now at $4.56/Watt.  They report:

“The reductions in recent months are a function of a major structure shift in demand, most notably a less attractive PV policy in force in Spain than prevailed last year.  This severely cut demand in the country and, in turn, caused reverberations around the world, as PV companies seek to re-balance their supply/demand positions.”

More specifically, Spain set a 500 MW cap on their solar subsidy program.  See this link for more detail.  Interesting that a European feed-in tariff can result is solar prices going down.

And here is their latest chart:

 ... read more

Solar photvoltaic prices continue to drop.

Remotely Enable/Disable A Thermostat

I wanted a way to remotely enable and disable my thermostat for turning the system on when returning from vacation, or turning it off when I realize I will not be home when originally planned.  It should save energy and increase our comfort.  The wiring itself was actually fairly easy.Here is a link to a post with pictures describing the project:http://www.thomaswlewis.com/?p=567

Thermostat... read more

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