California state board has signed the motion to require solar panels on all new homes. This movement, which will start in the year 2020, will reduce utility expenses although it will shoot up the cost of new constructions. Aside from reducing utility costs, it will lower greenhouse gas emissions which have been the aim of the state.

While other cities like South Miami and San Francisco currently have a requirement for solar panels on every home, California would be the first state in the country to have such requirements.

California has come up with a new rule that would cover every low-rise residential building in the state; however, houses that are regularly in the shade are excluded.

The new regulation was approved in mid-May by the California Energy Commission (CEC); however, this has not been approved by the Building Standards Commission (BSC).

Many organizations all support the plan, the same plan they have helped to grow over the past years. However, the leaders of the Republican legislative kicked against the idea saying Californians can no longer pay for housing in the state due to high cost.

The state organized a report and the result is that the requirement has an upfront cost of not less than $9,365. This cost will be balanced by utility savings in the coming years, however, homebuyers, developers, and real estate agents will still be hurt by the higher sales point.

According to statistics, the state with the highest housing costs across the country is California, and is also the state with insufficient housing.

Due to the way electric bills are calculated in California, bills of ratepayers are likely going to increase if the number of solar panels is increased in the state.

Above all, making solar panels a must have, is likely going to be cost-effective due to the fact that it is possibly the only current method for the state to achieve its aim of making new homes be produce as much as they use, in terms of power.

The California EPA released a report into the consequences for climate change in California the same day the new regulation was approved by the California Energy Commission.

According to the report, the following are as a result of global warming: wildfires, dying trees, droughts, and warming waters. Despite all of this, researchers are still optimistic that the greenhouse gas emission of the state is reducing even as the population continues to grow.

According to California energy commission, the state has been preparing for solar panels for a very long time. In a statement made by Beck, all new homes were required to be solar-ready in 2013. She went on saying there should be some spaces made available on the roof for solar panel just in case the homeowner feels like or it becomes necessary to add a solar panel in the future.

The idea is to make California homes energy-efficient and as well reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state below 40% come the year 2030.

According to a report released by California Public Utilities Commission, about 14% greenhouse gas emissions in the state is as a result of the electricity consumed by commercial and residential buildings. However, the benefits, the cost of the new requirement have been an issue. According to a homebuilder, it will cost about $30,000 to add solar panels to a home which is about three times the estimate of the commission. Another issue on the table is how this new requirement will help in fighting climate change.

The biggest climate issue the state is facing is from transportation which is about 40% emissions compared to the one generated by electricity which is just 20%. The idea to add solar panels to new homes is likely going to be difficult to increase housing density in the state which will definitely affect the reduction of emissions.

Utility companies have been yearning for an increase in solar operations as preferred to rooftop power. Their point is solar farms give the customers the opportunity to have solar power and the advantage being cost reduction.

There are only 8 pairs of NADO (North African Desert Ostrich) left in the world at the moment. The attempt made by Wildlife Conservation Network and Sahara Conservation Fund to revamp the NADO has birthed three plans which are: captive breeding, protection and to prevent extinction, the reintroduction of the NADO. This is almost impossible to achieve in the Sahara Desert. Team Niger and their partners have teamed up to build a one of a kind solar field station. The solar field station is made up of 4 modified containers which were delivered mid-April 2018.

The following are the specifications:

  • It comes with 32 kW of solar energy
  • It comes with 144 kWh of usable battery storage for hatchers, freezer, BACnet, incubator, refrigerator, water pumping, VSAT communications system, water heater, and lighting.

The field station comes with two high-end video cams, and it can be remotely controlled. Due to high temperatures, the containers are air-conditioning fitted. Most components are custom-made which were built in CA, and disassembled to assemble again when they arrive in Niger which is the final destination.

If you have ever worked in the solar industry you will know the importance of solar energy to the world at large. Solar energy is inexpensive to maintain, and it aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, what a lot of experts in the industry have failed to understand is that solar modules have some advantages and disadvantages when they are no longer useful.

The United States deployed 53GW solar capacity so far this year. Now, let’s say 250W was the average wattage of every installed solar module, the overall weight of panels deployed is equivalent to 44.5 million tons. To put it in perspective, that is equal to the weight of the Empire State Building times 22.

Being an industry that takes pride in its sustainability, there needs to be a concentration on recycling its panels after a solar project, so that our landfills don’t become saturated with them. The recycling of solar panels, as of now in the United States, is not a problem due to the fact that a many of the installations have been carried out in the past decade; however, the market for more places to recycle will only increase with time in the near future. According to a research by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), materials that can be recycled are expected to hit $15 billion by 2050.

How are they currently recycling?

The question being asked is if “solar modules are currently being recycled?” The quick and short answer to this question is, YES. Silicon solar modules basically consist of aluminum, glass and plastic, which are the three materials recyclable in large quantities.

The process involved for these materials to be recycled is not an easy one, and require the use of highly sophisticated machinery. The procedures for a silicon module to be recycled include:

  1. eliminating the frame of the aluminum
  2. separation of the glass with a conveyor belt
  3. the processing of thermal at no less than 500 degrees Celsius
  4. and finally, the etching away of silicon wafers and the smelting of slabs which can be used again.

Due to the fact that PV capacities were installed in the 1990s by a lot of European Nations, the recycling market of a solar module PV is booming gradually. The PV Cycle was built by the European Union’s WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) to structure a great recycling system.

This is why the United States has a lot to learn when it comes to the recycling of PV module form the European nations. Although last year, Washington turned out to be the first state to scale through solar product stewardship law, there is a need for other states to join this movement in order put enough pressure on producers to come up with recycling programs.

This process will not be as hard to implement as the life span of a solar panel is beyond 24 years. However, the success of the solar industry depends on how we get the raw materials needed for producing solar modules. If we aim at making our solar firm move to the next level in the coming years, now is the time to start thinking of ways to make sure modules stay out of landfills throughout our beautiful country.