By Joshua Lindenstein January 3, 2014

BOULDER – After years of declining attitudes toward clean and renewable energy concepts, public attitudes in 2013 improved significantly, according to a new study released this week by Boulder-based Navigant Research.

The survey of 1,084 adults in the United States was conducted in the fall, and asked respondents their level of favorability – very favorable, favorable, neutral, somewhat unfavorable, strongly unfavorable, not sure or not familiar – on 10 clean-energy concepts. Those included solar energy, wind energy, nuclear power, hybrid vehicles, electric cars, natural gas vehicles, biofuels, smart grid, smart meters and LEED certification.

Solar energy continued to lead the way, with 79 percent of respondents answering favorable or very favorable to the concept. Wind energy was close behind with 72 percent viewing the idea favorably.

Those numbers came after each technology had declined in ratings in recent years. Solar energy’s favorability rating increased from 69 percent in 2012. Wind, meanwhile, had statistically significant drops for the last three years before jumping up from 66 percent last year.

Ratings for hybrid vehicles, electric cars, natural gas vehicles, biofuels and smart meters all experienced statistically significant increases. Only nuclear power saw a large decline, from 41 percent to 32 percent. The other two concepts changed only marginally.

On average, the favorability rating was 51 percent for all 10 concepts, up from 44 percent last year and the highest it’s been since 2010, also at 51 percent. The 2010 rating was down six percentage points from 2009.

Navigant officials said they generally don’t comment on what they think the reasons are for the shift in attitudes as the study doesn’t address causes specifically. The only real cause-and-effect relationship mentioned specifically in the report had to do with nuclear energy.

“The low rating for nuclear energy may be due to a combination of events, such as the continued alerts from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan to severe weather events, which raise the concern about another nuclear disaster,” the report stated.

The report addressed the ratings of clean-energy concepts against each other. Solar and wind have maintained the lead in favorability ratings for years.

“The similarly high levels of favorable views toward solar and wind energy indicate that consumers are generally supportive of the more established renewable energies that harness naturally occurring power sources,” the report stated. “Since these two concepts have retained their most favored status year after year, Navigant Research asserts that consumers consider these renewable energies to be important pieces in the power generation portfolio of the future.”

Comments Off on Attitudes toward alternative energy improve

By FELICITY BARRINGER

Jack Smith/The New York Times When Bill and Suzann Leininger put solar panels on their Escondido,
Calif., home a few years ago, they most likely enhanced its resale value, a new study says.

All those homeowners who have been installing residential solar panels over the last decade may find it was a more practical decision than they thought. The electricity generated may have cost more than that coming from the local power company (half of which, nationwide, comes from burning coal), but if they choose to sell their homes, the price premium they will get for the solar system should let them recoup much of their original capital investment. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Study Finds Solar Panels Increase Home Values

Targeted News Service
DENVER, Aug. 16 — Xcel Energy issued the following news release:
An Xcel Energy program designed to provide solar power opportunities to customers who previously could not access existing programs in Colorado opened today for project submission and all available capacity was reserved in approximately 30 minutes, the company announced.
The Solar*Rewards Community standard offer was designed for Colorado customers who could not, for various reasons, take advantage of other solar programs, because they were renting, lived in multi-family dwellings or did not have homes or businesses suitable for solar installations. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Xcel Energy Announces Successful Launch, Quick Close of the Solar*Reward Community Standard Offer

By MARK JAFFE The Denver Post

The Department of Interior has made 285,000 acres at 17 sites in six western states, including four in Colorado, Solar Energy Zones where development of utility-scale solar projects can be fast tracked.

The aim of the zones is “facilitating faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on America’s public lands,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Big Solar Plants on Western Public Land Could Power 7 Million Homes

The Most Sensible Tax of All

{ July 9th, 2012 }

On Sunday, the best climate policy in the world got even better: British Columbia’s carbon tax — a tax on the carbon content of all fossil fuels burned in the province — increased from $25 to $30 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, making it more expensive to pollute.

This was good news not only for the environment but for nearly everyone who pays taxes in British Columbia, because the carbon tax is used to reduce taxes for individuals and businesses. Thanks to this tax swap, British Columbia has lowered its corporate income tax rate to 10 percent from 12 percent, a rate that is among the lowest in the Group of 8 wealthy nations. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on The Most Sensible Tax of All

Thornton’s Ascent Solar Technologies announced today it has received an order for 50,000 of its EnerPlex solar chargers for the Apple iPhone.

The product takes advantage of Ascent’s ultra-light, thin and flexible solar panels and enables iPhone users to provide supplementary charging of their iPhones with sunlight, said Ascent in a statement.

The order is from Ascent’s exclusive distributor in Asia, TFG Radiant, which has advanced orders from its channel partners for retail distribution throughout the Asia region. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Ascent Solar of Colorado Lands Solar-Charger Contract for iPhone

By Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post

Two Colorado start-up companies aiming to cut the cost of residential solar panel installations received a total of $1.8 million in federal grants, the Department of Energy announced Wednesday.
The two companies Boulder-based Concept3D and Parker-based Simply Civic are focusing on cutting the so-called soft costs, such as permitting and inspections.
Those soft costs make-up twice as much of the price for a residential installation as the solar panels themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Solar Effort in Colorado Aims to Sunset High Permitting, Survey Fees

In recent years, the price of solar-electric, grid-tied power has been dropping. Advances in technology coupled with rebates and tax incentives and new financing mechanisms are making solar-electric power available to more people than ever before. Western Colorado has excellent solar resources, and in recent years solar leasing has become a popular choice for many home and business owners.

“By mid-May, we had just as many leases signed up as systems we installed in all of last year,” said Steve Haines, solar consultant for Sunsense Solar in Carbondale. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on An Affordable Way to Harness the Sun: Solar Leasing

The Many Faces of Solar

{ June 19th, 2012 }

Compliments of Circular Energy

Comments Off on The Many Faces of Solar

Solar*Rewards Installer Update: June 15, 2012

We want to provide you with an update on the current status of the Solar*Rewards program. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a written order on the 2012 RES Compliance Plan on June 8, 2012. As a result, the 2011 Solar*Rewards Settlement period ended and we stopped accepting applications under the terms of that agreement.

Program Launch
The new Solar*Rewards programs, as designed in the 2012 RES Compliance Plan, will open Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. MST. Thank you for your continued patience as we work quickly to modify internal business systems to accept applications for the new programs. This also allows time for application deposits to be remitted and applications to be reviewed that were received by the June 8, 2012 program close date under the Settlement period. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Xcel Solar*Rewards Program Update (Program Re-Opening on 6/20)