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THE MOTLEY FOOL: Solar Investors Beware: The One Thing That Could Make Or Break Solar Energy

One of the more important and misunderstood parts of the solar industry is the impact policy has on making solar energy viable in the electric grid. Without policies like net metering — which allow solar customers to send extra electricity back to the grid during the day and only pay for net usage each month — companies like SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) and Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN) wouldn’t exist.

Policies like feed-in tariffs and renewable requirements that promote large solar energy projects in California, Japan, and Germany have also created demand for projects from SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and First Solar, which has allowed them to grow. I’m not talking about subsidies, like the US’ Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, but rather ways the solar industry gets access to the grid, particularly for very small projects.

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HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Report says wind, solar can’t compete for now without tax breaks

Wind and solar power unsubsidized by tax breaks could be competitive with fossil fuel generation within a few years in some regions, including Texas, while it could take 15 years or more in other parts of the country, according to a new study.

The paradox of renewable power is that regions with the greatest natural resource potential for wind and solar, like the Southwest and the Midwest, have relatively cheap electricity prices that make it harder for the renewables to compete, while the Northeast has higher prices but weaker wind and sun resources, according to a report last week from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions.

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CNBC: How a global solar drive will boost silver prices

Silver prices are likely to gain in the next five years as demand for solar panels grows on a concerted drive by governments to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions, an analyst said.

Silver, a key component of solar cells as it is the best metallic conductor of heat and electricity, has seen a slump in prices to a three-month low this week in line with a broad-based decline in gold prices. At about $14 an ounce currently, prices are 10 percent lower year-to-date.

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NBC RIGHT NOW: Solar Home Owner Shows Off House and Tells Benefits of Solar Energy

Dozens of curious families saw first-hand just what a solar powered home in Pasco looked like and how it operates.

The special open house in Pasco showcased a recent converter to solar power’s home and what she has seen so far. Environment Washington along with Hot Solar Solutions answered people’s questions, everything from the cost to the benefits of using solar power.

Environment Washington said solar power actually grew 132% in the state since 2012.

“Especially in this part of the state where we get sun most days out of the year. In Washington state, throughout the state, we can produce 21 times as much energy as we consume in a year, just from the sun,” said Cecile Gernez from Environment Washington.

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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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