Puerto Rico wagers on privatizing power grid

Jul 10, 2020
Three years after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electric grid, the island is still dealing with unreliable service and intermittent power outages, especially in rural areas.
Solar panels at a hospital in Vieques in 2017. Puerto Rico's electric power system has been plagued by the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria.
Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Solar energy heats up despite tariffs

Mar 14, 2019
In 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs of 30 percent on imported solar panels and set quotas to limit solar imports. This caused a slump in the solar energy industry. But two new reports show that last year wasn’t as bad as the industry feared, and predicts a boom in new solar installations this year. […]
A solar farm under construction in Punta Gorda, Florida, on April 22, 2016.
KERRY SHERIDAN/AFP/Getty Images

With California requiring solar panels on new homes, higher building costs and lower energy bills

Dec 10, 2018
California has become the first state in the nation to require solar panels on most new homes starting in 2020.
California has become the first state to require solar panels on most new homes.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What effect are tariffs having on the solar power industry?

Jun 7, 2018
With all the talk of steel and aluminum you might have forgotten that tariffs were already placed on foreign-made solar panels. Reuters is reporting that the tariffs have resulted in $2.5 billion in projects being frozen or cancelled, which far outweighs benefits to American solar manufacturers. But it’s still not clear what the lasting impact […]

Solar panel import tax could net $1 billion this year

Jan 23, 2018
A 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported from China will help U.S. manufacturers, but even with ramped-up production those companies won’t be able to meet domestic demand. Solar power companies will still use lots of imported panels, and pay up to a billion dollars in tariffs this year, by one estimate.

Solar power could be a model for Puerto Rico beyond Hurricane Maria

Oct 6, 2017
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, only a fraction of residents have electricity. The rest are facing a months-long wait for power. Now, a number of companies are looking to solar power, not just as a disaster response, but as way to power the island long term. The idea is to use several […]

Don’t expect Tesla to knock on your door to sell its solar roofs

Aug 7, 2017
Tesla has installed its first solar roofs on the homes of some of its company executives. Instead of large panels, these roofs use tiles that look virtually indistinguishable from regular roofs. Solar power that looks nice and protects your home? Sounds like an idea that could sell itself. At least, that’s what Tesla’s counting on.  […]

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In sunny Nevada, a defeat for the solar industry

Feb 23, 2016
Nevada regulators undermined the financial advantage for home solar customers
 Solar City pulled out of Nevada after state regulators cut the price that utilities have to pay for surplus electricity generated by home solar installations. The price cut undid the home solar industry’s business model. This month solar customers and former employees protested outside the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.
Adam Burke/Marketplace

Big boost for wind and solar in budget bill

Dec 17, 2015
The budget bill would extend tax credits for solar and wind energy for five years