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Article | March 4, 2020
Traditionally, home solar inverters have had just one key function in support of your home solar installation: They convert the direct current moving out of your solar panels to alternating current your home appliances use. Over the past decade, inverter technology has advanced to add enhanced capabilities like data monitoring, communication, and executive functioning. In these ways, inverters have absolutely become more intelligent. These smarts don’t just help prevent blackouts, they can also save you a significant amount of cash over time. In this article, we introduce you to three ways a smart inverter can save you money: smart charging, standby mode and home energy monitoring.
You know things are getting exciting when German bureaucrats are turning emotional, as happened one month ago in Berlin: “Hydrogen is the shit! And we need it desperately.” Thomas Herdan, the bureaucrat in question, is a prominent policymaker in the German Economic Ministry and, until that moment, was known for analytical thoughtfulness rather than for enthusiastic outcries.
His excitement, however, is shared by governments and businesses around the world. The International Energy Agency IEA estimates that every year, the world’s governments pour $700 million into R&D for hydrogen applications alone. A few months ago, the U.S. announced $40 million in funding for 29 hydrogen projects across the country. As IEA puts it, hydrogen currently has “unprecedented political and business momentum”.
Many discussions abound on how Australia can reach renewable energy targets of 50 per cent and much more. Many experts believe achieving this goal will depend on the availability of a low cost, bulk energy storage infrastructure. Pumped hydro has received much attention in this regard. While technically feasible, bulk storage still requires transmission and distribution infrastructure that is not only costly but will take considerable time to implement. A far simpler and cost effective route is the bottom-up approach of turning each house into an autonomous energy unit. The use of solar panels in homes and small industry has proven to be remarkably successful.
The U.S. renewables industry was left out of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed last week, but the battle is far from over. Congress is already considering further legislation to rescue the economy from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and renewable energy groups are ready to bring their proposals back to the table. As with the last stimulus bill, the industry's plans center on securing changes to two federal policies: the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar power and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power. Renewables groups have a powerful claim to make as they push for those changes: Unlike many of the industries seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in collective aid, the desired tweaks to the renewable tax credits would not add significantly to the federal government's costs.
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