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Solar Energy Conferences 2021

There is always a lot to learn about solar energy. Solar technology is still evolving and developing. If you want to learn more, check out upcoming solar energy conferences in spring 2021. Also, these will all be in the U.S.

 

Spring Energy Conferences

Keep in mind, some of these may be virtual and subject to change date/setting.

  • On April 14th, the SEIA and NREL will host a roundtable and demonstration highlighting Solar TRACE along with SolarAPP. This will cover solar technologies and city regulations. Sign up for this virtual free webinar here.
  • The American Solar Energy Society will be hosting webinar series. It contains information about solar technology. There will be one on April 14th and 15th. Also, there will be one on May 19th. Read more about it here.
  • New York has an abundance of solar conferences this month. Specifically, on April 22-24. It goes quite in-depth, such as the financial and political aspects of solar energy. For example, the Business in Renewable Energy Sources and Innovation Management Conference.
  • The Smart Energy Market Tour will be going on April 26-30 in North & South Carolina. It will be outside on all 3 days. CED Greentech will be the host. Whether you’re an attendee or a vendor, you can register here.
  • On April 22 & 23, Boston will host the International Conference on Renewable Energy, Green Technologies, and Environmental Sciences. This will be a scholarly event with dissertation presentations. The goal is for scientists and researchers to share their knowledge and discoveries. Sign up here. Additionally, the Solar Energy Engineering Conference will be going on simultaneously.
  • Here are more Boston clean/solar energy conferences.

May Solar Events

  • The Solar and Energy Storage Texas 2021 conference will be in Austin, TX, on May 27 & 28th. It will feature exhibitions, workshops, and networking opportunities for business. Sign up here.
  • Head out west for the California Solar Power Conference 2021 on May 14th. It will cover solar storage and installation. Read more about it here.
  • Back to New York: the Advanced Energy Conference will be going on May 19th all day long. Here, you can brainstorm with others on the future of solar power. Check it out here.

But wait! There’s more.

There will be more conferences and webinars coming up this summer! Stay tuned to see where you can attend your next solar energy conference in 2021. Feel free to let us know about any other events you know of. Additionally, check with your city for local conferences.

 

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Solar Power: Fact or Fiction

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, solar power systems’ demand continuously rises. Solar technologies take sunlight and convert it into electrical energy through photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. Since solar panels are relatively new, there are many misconceptions. Here are twenty common myths about solar power.

Myth 1: Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Fiction: Solar panels do not produce electricity from sunlight itself but rather from the photons found in natural daylight. Though panels can only harness energy during sunlight periods, the temperature does not play a role in determining how much electricity a panel produces. Read more cold weather solar power myths here.

 

Myth 2: Solar power systems are too expensive for installation.

Fiction: Solar power systems can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, depending on the type of solar power system. Depending on the state, most people qualify for tax credits, possibly reducing costs by several thousand dollars. Read more about solar panel pricing.

 

Myth 3: Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Fiction: Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including hard hail or extreme winds. If a solar panel is somehow damaged, most solar power systems come with warranties that would cover the cost of the damage. Read more about the low maintenance cost of solar power systems here.

 

Myth 4: Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Fiction: Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. This determines how much energy a house is producing and how much is being sent back to the grid. This grid acts as a battery system, as a home’s solar energy system can draw from the grid when needed.  The recent invention of solar batteries allows for a solar power system to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid. Read more about solar batteries.

 

Myth 5: Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Fiction: Many solar power systems actually help protect and preserve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking. Also, most solar panels can be easily taken off for temporary cleaning or minor repairs.

 

Myth 6: Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

Fiction: As one of the largest energy sources in the universe, the sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the whole globe’s energy needs for one year. Scientists are only beginning to understand how to take advantage of this information. Though a new development, photovoltaic technology/solar power systems are growing at an increasing rate globally. Read more about the possibilities of large-scale solar energy.

 

Myth 7: Homes with Solar power systems do not get power at night.

Fiction: Though energy can only be produced by sunlight, most solar panels produce surplus energy during the day that can be used at night. This surplus goes back to the grid where homes can draw from at night or when necessary. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 8: Solar Power is more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

Fiction: Currently, the demand for fossil fuel energy is higher than the demand for solar power. So, the price of fossil fuel energy is slightly lower than the price of solar power energy. However, as the world becomes more eco-conscious, the demand for solar energy will rise exponentially. This will cause solar energy to become more accessible while decreasing in cost. Read more about future solar energy cost benefits over fossil fuel here.

 

Myth 9: Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly.

Fiction: On average, it will take most solar panels about four years to produce the amount of energy it took to produce the solar panel. So, any energy production after four years is helping the environment. Also, a solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods. Read more about the environmental effects of a solar power system here.

 

 

Myth 10: Solar power systems do not look good on houses.

Fiction: As solar panels and other solar power systems grow in popularity, solar panels are becoming less noticeable yet more common. Also, most solar panels are black or dark blue, often matching the color scheme with the roof. Thus, this helps make the solar power system more aesthetically appealing.

 

Myth 11: Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

Fiction: When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator, but this is only possible when the house owner supplies this; it does not include a solar power system. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 12: It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

Fiction: The price of installing solar panels in a house has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower. If anything, due to the rising demand for solar power systems, the price could potentially rise.

 

Myth 13: Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

Fiction: The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is located. A smaller house will not require as much energy from a solar power system as a larger house would, so it would be unfair to charge the same price. Here’s more on the varying price factors of solar power systems.

 

Myth 14: A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

Fiction: A solar panel can operate for up to thirty years, then can be recycled once it is no longer usable. Most solar power system manufacturers will recycle the system with little to no additional cost.

 

Myth 15: Clean coal is just as efficient and only slightly more harmful to the environment than solar power.

Fiction: Solar power is significantly cleaner than clean coal because no version of coal is genuinely clean. The more coal is burnt, the more damage is done to the environment because of the increases in carbon pollution. Read more about clean coal vs. solar power myths.

 

Myth 16: Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Fiction: Rather than raising property taxes, most solar energy systems raise the property’s value. Therefore, making it worth more with the solar energy system. However, some states have forms of protection in place. This prevents solar power systems from being included in the home’s appraisal to calculate property taxes. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 17: Solar power systems are loud.

Fiction: The most noise that a solar panel will emit is a subtle humming sound. This is due to the inverter turning DC electrical currents into AC currents. However, this is very quiet and can only be heard when standing less than two feet from the solar panel.

 

Myth 18: Solar power systems are not available everywhere.

Fiction: Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines. Some areas around the world might be slightly difficult to get a hold of a solar energy system, but many manufacturers are willing to ship their systems out. It just may require additional expenses. Read more about the availability of solar power systems.

 

Myth 19: Solar panels require a tracking system to be best positioned to receive the sun’s rays.

Fiction: When solar panels are first installed, they are strategically positioned directly in the sun’s path. Some solar power systems are equipped to allow the system to adjust its angle throughout the day to receive more sunlight. Still, research shows that the cost of installing these additional features is not often worth it, as it doesn’t bring in enough extra energy to make up for the costs.

 

Myth 20: You need to own a house to install a solar power system.

Fiction: The US Department of Solar Energy created a community solar program. It allows for residents, business owners, and other individuals who live geographically close together to split the cost and share a Solar Power System. This helps those who do not own a house access solar power.

 

 That’s a lot of myths to bust about solar power. Contact Redwood Creative if you have any questions about solar power myths!

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How To Find Out If Your Home Is Solar-Friendly

It is becoming apparent that electricity is moving from power plants to solar energy. Solar panels are becoming popular and for a good reason. If you’re ready to make the change to go solar, here are ways to see if your house is ready, too.

Solar-Friendly Home

For starters, there are several factors in this equation. Obviously, the location of residence is the most important. While solar panels prefer sunny climates, they still function in cloudy/rainy environments. However, if your panels receive more energy than what you consume, then you can sell the excess energy to the electric company. The next step is the roof. The roof must be in good condition and newer to support the heavy panels. The size and angle of the roof are critical as well. South-facing roofs are optimal because it best catches the sun going from east to west. The most effective roof slope is between 15-40 degrees. Additionally, the roof’s composition matters, too. Composite/asphalt shingle, concrete tile, standing seam metal best support panels. You can still install panels on other roof types, but make sure you get an expert specializing in your roof type.

The next thing to consider is your home’s surroundings. Panels cannot intake as much sunlight if trees or buildings block the path—factor in tree trimming/removal costs. The condition of your home overall matters. Some older or cheaply made homes may not be suitable for this fancy technology. Also, you may need to check with your HOA and city to obtain a permit and make sure your panels are adhering to regulations. There’s also the option to install panels in your yard.

The last and most important thing to keep in mind is finances. Solar panels may cost more than what they are worth. Make this commitment only if you are committed to your house and do not plan on moving. Solar companies recommend switching to solar if your energy bills currently run at $75 or more. Also, check with your city/state to see if you qualify for tax exemptions or rebates. If you are still on the fence about whether your home is solar-friendly, see if you can rent panels.

Image: Unsplash.com

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How To Write A Cover Letter

Almost every job/contract application requires a cover letter. It introduces you to the employer before they get to your qualifications. It covers who you are, your background, and how you got to where you are today. Here’s how to compose a job-winning introduction to your resume.

 

 How To Write A Cover Letter

First, start off with necessary information, such as contact information and address. Then, start with your basics: where you’re from, long-time interests, and hobbies. Also, don’t forget to note important skills, such as project management. This should be one short paragraph. Next, talk about your academics. You can transition from your intro to academics by noting your strongest subjects. Then, for the next paragraph, start by discussing your high school achievements. This will lead to talking about college/trade school. For this section, note any important classes and organizations. You could even mention a unique project that effectively instilled valuable information. Of course, don’t forget honors and awards! Next, discuss post-academics life. You don’t have to get specific, that’s what your resume is for. Just note field(s) you have experience in and skills you’ve gained.

 Letter Conclusion

Finally, wrap it up by explaining how everything in your letter qualifies you for the role. For example, explain how your best subject pushed you to pursue what you are going for. Next, let them know what your goals are. Then, end it by saying you look forward to working with the company. Use professional fonts and formatting. Your letter should be about a page long, and no more. Don’t forget to sign it at the bottom. You can sign off with “Thank you for your time,” or “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Indeed offers some tips on writing a cover letter here. Make sure you have one or two other people look over it as well.

 

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Energy Footprint

Green Energy Tax Benefits in Texas

If you want to turn to renewable energy but are worrying about the cost, fret not. Texas has tax benefits that will help make green energy more affordable. The Texas property tax code states that residents with solar panels or wind turbines could be eligible for up to 100% rebate on property taxes. Here are the tax benefits in Texas for wind and solar power.

 

Solar Tax Benefits

As one of the sunniest states in the U.S., Texas is #4 for solar energy. Meaning, there’s a chance that you could get by with solar panels only.  Texas solar incentives differ by city/county. Also, individual companies have their own rewards program. Starting in Austin, residents are eligible for a solar rebate of up to $2,500. The Austin electric company will also take 10 cents per hour off your bill. San Antonio also has enticing tax relief for solar homes. Residents there can enjoy $1.20/W per panel. The Big D also has big solar savings. Their electric company, Oncor, will save you up to $500 per year on electric bills. Over in Houston, excess energy can be sold back to the utility company for a 100% rebate. South Texas is an especially sunny area, so it’s no surprise that residents along the coastline can sell back excess energy and apply for rebates easily.

 

Wind Tax Benefits

Go to South and West Texas, and you’ll see fields of wind turbines. Texans can have their own wind turbine or two for their farm/ranch. In Lubbock, where there are more wind turbines than people, residents could save about half on installation costs, and every LBK company offers rebates. Turbines in Denton are becoming increasingly popular, and they are almost able to rely on just wind power completely. As part of their plan to do so, they offer loans to pay for wind installation. As wind power is more used on a larger scale, it is a little harder to find tax incentives for Texas’s wind energy. However, Abilene has great wind energy savings on a smaller and larger scale.

 

Green Energy Benefits

We recommend switching to renewable energy, especially solar panels. If you’re worried about the HOA, make sure you’re approved before installing. Also, there is a 26% federal tax rebate for installing solar panels or wind turbines. This is the biggest incentive for the switch. But, companies want to help make clean energy more accessible, so most offer savings and rebates. Read here for more information on green energy tax benefits in Texas.

 

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Petroleum in February 2021

Now that Biden is in office, the clean energy deal is making way. As of February 2021, actions have already been taken to start the transition. Here’s the latest news on the petroleum industry.

 

Petroleum February 2021

In 2020, North America broke the record for exporting the most amount of oil to India. As of January 2021, 11% of India’s oil comes from the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, we know that the Keystone XL Pipeline is coming to an end. This massive 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline was the heart of distributing oil throughout America. Now, Biden ordered a halt to further construction. This is in order to protect Native American land.

Corpus Christi, TX Refinery

The massive blizzard that hit Texas had a huge impact on oil. The deep, long-lasting freeze proved some damage to the refineries. Therefore, reduced oil production will limit nationwide distribution. Also, companies are heavily under fire for lack of regulation. Specifically, not winterizing plants and refineries. The bottom line is that oil and gas may get a lot more expensive as petroleum companies financially recover.

 Shell is working to balance successful oil production and green energy. They claim their carbon emissions have peaked, and are moving to green energy. They plan to reduce emissions by 6-8% by 2023. With 2020 hitting their oil profits hard, they understand that renewable energy is moving up to replace oil & gas. On that note, many petroleum companies are aware that their options are either to go green or abandon ship.

The vaccine rollout, cheap hotel prices & flights, and reduced lockdown restrictions are driving people to go out again. As a result, gas prices are at the same prices as pre-COVID. And, they’ll only get higher as summer comes closer.

Oil Today

Between the hard financial hits of 2021, the Texas blizzard, and the rise of renewable energy, the days of oil and gas are starting to wane. For more information on petroleum in February 2021, check out Oil News Today.

 

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Current Update on Solar Power

Now that Biden stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline, renewable energy has now moved from the back seat to the passenger seat. This term, oil and gas will step aside for wind, solar, and electricity. Here’s an update on Biden’s plans for solar power.

Solar Power Update

So, Biden cracked down on petroleum and it’s looking serious. While oil workers are rightfully frustrated, Biden promises to give them clean energy jobs instead. Seeing how solar is more efficient than wind and coal, solar will likely assume power. First, the United States is now awaiting admission back into the Paris Agreement, a 2016 international treaty that focuses on battling climate change. This will aid funding and support for Biden’s claim to transition into a cleaner country. His total clean energy plan will cost roughly $2 trillion. For now, he’s focusing on reducing carbon emissions. Therefore, air-polluting factories will be first priority. However, the full plan will begin operations in the spring.

Because the plan will not go into effect until spring, there’s not much else to report. We just know the Biden administration is raising money and formulating the ideal proposal that will work for everyone. They’re focused on how to best allocate funding and alternative jobs in order to help those who may lose their oil jobs. In the meantime, we will keep a close eye on solar energy’s update. Let us know if you hear anything, or what you think!

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing services today!

 

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GameStop, Stock Market, and Reddit

On January 27, the stock market tables turned drastically. Reddit users banned together and bought large quantities of GameStop stocks, as well as Nokia and AMC. Almost a week after the incident started, it’s still going on. Here’s how it started, and how it’s going now with GameStop and the stock market.

 How it started

Big businesses love to play with hedge funds, betting on companies to go under to make a profit. As a result, the money that the company loses goes to the fund holders. In response, Reddit users on the wallstreetbets page collectively decided to buy GameStop, Nokia, and AMC stocks. Thousands poured their savings into driving up these stocks. GameStop took off the most when Elon Musk tweeted “Gamestonks!!” with a link to the Reddit page. Prior to this, GameStop was worth roughly $35/share. On the morning of Jan 28, GS was worth $469/share. Because of this, the hedge funds are now as good as invaluable. Wall Street struck back by pausing GameStop stock trading and having the Reddit page taken down. That same afternoon, the stocks plummeted to a mere $130 per share. The lines have never been all over the stock charts since the 2008 recession.

 

 How it’s going

As it made national news, the ordeal is still ongoing. While GameStop was temporarily paused, it went back up after re-opening.  GameStop, a place so dear among millennials, is now revived thanks to loyal fans. Previously, the height of GameStop stocks was in 2007 and 2013 when it was at $50/share. Now, it is at $99/share and still being heavily traded. Wall Street is now regulating the stock market more heavily thanks to GameStop and Reddit. The elites’ hedge funds are shaken, and the middle class is ready to take more control over the stock market. Also, wallstreetbets Reddit page is available again.

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The History of Electricity

For our fourth and final article of ‘History of Energy Sources’, we have the History of Electricity. This one is a little more diverse as electricity has several different sources. Read about electricity’s journey from the sky to everywhere around you.

 

Darth Sidious, master wielder of Force Lightning

Discovery of Electricity

Like all other energy sources, electricity has been around since the dawn of time. It was only in lightning and static charge. Unlike other sources, it wasn’t used until 1752. Ben Franklin discovered the powerful energy source with his kite lightning rod. Franklin conducted his electricity experiment by attaching a metal rod to a kite. Hemp and silk rope strung the kite. Eventually, Franklin noticed little threads of the hemp rope upright. Then, he felt a spark with his finger. People now have a way to draw electricity from the sky.

After Franklin’s experiment, scientists globally became very interested in electricity. Then, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta created the first battery in 1800. Apparently, an argument with a physicist pushed him to create the battery. It was made from zinc, copper, and silver. With this battery, he discovered positive and negative charges. Thus, also electric current.  “Volta” turned into volts/voltage. He also discovered methane.  Now that Volta discovered how to make electricity, it made way for our things today. A couple of decades after Volta’s battery came the first electric motor. Here is a timeline covering electric inventions.

 

Electricity Now

Electricity started appearing in homes in the 1880s. It is debated whether Nikolai Tesla or Thomas Edison invented the first lightbulb. Regardless, lightbulbs came out in 1882. The wealthy were the first to ditch dim lamps and candles for the bulbs. By 1940, nearly all homes have electricity, thanks to Roosevelt’s 1936 Act. GreenSun LED Lighting vintage light bulbs

Now electricity is everywhere, especially in the digital age. Every city has a power plant. They’re usually in a body of water to keep cool. Other electric sources are wind turbines and solar panels. Panels are becoming more popular. Solar is cheaper and more effective than wind. As electricity becomes more important, so does solar power. Soon, we will see electric cars and 5G. Biden hopes to replace oil and gas with electricity.

Thanks for reading about the history of electricity. Let us know what you think about our everyday electricity use.

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The History of Wind Power

For part 3 of the energy history series, today’s article will be about the history of wind power. Humans have been utilizing Earth’s resources for hundreds of years. We use wind for sailing, power, paragliding, and even just to freshen up our homes. Here’s how wind contributes to our way of life.

Wind Power

First, let’s go back to 5,000 B.C. Egypt, when Egyptians were exploring the vast Nile River. They discovered how to travel up and down the Nile in boats, using papyrus leaf to catch the wind. Then, a few thousand years later, the Chinese discovered wind-powered water pumps.  Around the same time, the Persians were developing the earliest windmills to grind their grain. Soon, papyrus leaves turned into thick canvas for sails, and wind mills were aiding in production of flour, grain, and salt.

Wind turbines are a descendant of the windmill, which became popularized around 1100. The first of wind-powered turbines to generate power started in 1887 in Scotland. Professor James Blythe constructed a 10 m high wind turbine with cloth sails in his garden. This was the first successful wind turbine to power a home. Blythe wanted to share his convenient discovery with his community, but they rejected it. They thought it was the work of the devil. However, Blythe’s work took only less than a year to reach the U.S. when Charles Brush built a wind turbine to power his Ohio mansion. In 1891, Poul la Cour, develops a regulator to control electricity flow. He then worked off of that and built a small power plant in Denmark 4 years later.

Now, wind turbines are prominent in the Great Plains in the United States, offshore, China, and Germany. You can install a personal wind turbine for your home for a couple million dollars. Turbines typically last about 20-25 years.

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