Thanks to several outside good fortunes such as the eight-year extension of the uncapped Federal Investment Tax Credit, the crash in global solar panel prices, and the growth of third-party financing the California Solar Initiative (CSI) has been a tremendous success. It’s no secret that solar energy has enormous growth potential as individual homeowners and businesses are looking for less expensive way to operate.

Unlike other forms of renewable energy, solar is one of the few that can be implemented at a residential level without an exorbitant capital investment. However, some states (and countries) with similar programs to support the installation, financing, and implementation haven’t had the success of the CSI. That’s because the cost even with incentives was still somewhat prohibitive. Then why is the CSI “slowing” down, as the graph below (provided by Greentech Media) illustrates?

California Solar Initiative

In all actuality, the CSI isn’t slowing down, it’s just maturing as it should and going through changes thanks to its success. In it’s infancy, the CSI Program had a budget of $2.167 billion over 10 years. Its goal was to reach 1,940 MW of installed solar capacity by the end of 2016.

As it turns out, these goals were fairly modest and the program had surpassed these numbers midway through 2013 finishing at 2,746 MW of solar. Currently the program is expected to produce at least 1 GW of new solar power each year over the life of the original timeline. These future results, coupled with the early returns, will dwarf the original goal of 1,940 when 2016 rolls around.

The Future of CSI

Going forward the CSI has set a goal of producing 2.5 GW of new power each year by 2018 even as state incentives have been steadily declining. They are actually planning to achieve this number without any state incentives as early as 2018.

This can be accomplished thanks to the CSI’s early success, which grew an infrastructure where panels and photovoltaics are now being built for less money and installed more efficiently. Now that the state incentives are coming to an end, California is turning its attention to other issues. Components that are essential to the long term growth of the industry such as a net metering policy, storage procurement targets, distribution grid planning, and a bidding process for smaller solar plants are now at the forefront.

In the early stages of both domestic and foreign solar initiatives, a glut of news usually meant there were a glut of problems. This was no different for the CSI, but over time the project grew quieter and quieter. Very few of these programs achieved the success of the CSI and its reward is being able to come to an end quietly in 2016.

Although California wasn’t installing near the volume of solar that Germany and other leading countries, the state created a sustainable market without burdensome legacy costs. It now rivals those countries in terms of cumulative solar deployment. While the initial phase of the CSI will come to a close, its results stand as a shining example for other states to follow in order to meet our country’s growing energy demands.

This article was written by Brian Levesque, an electrical engineer and consultant to Ablaze Energy.  Brian enjoys researching topics assocaited with green energy and renewable electricity.  In his free time, Brian often contributes articles and content for distribution around the internet.

The top five reasons you should switch to residential solar power today are increasingly more convincing year after year. Whether you are looking for financial incentives or to make the world a better place, the time has come to install solar power in your home.

Save and Make Money

A number of convincing arguments for solar power exist, however few are as powerful as the potential monetary savings and earnings. In addition to greatly reducing or even eliminating your power bills altogether, you will also be able to make money from excess electricity. A number of states require that electric companies purchase excess solar power which allows you to save and make money from your solar transition. Each state and power company will have a unique platform, but essentially you get a refund from sending power back to the grid, sometimes eliminating utility bills all together!

More Affordable

Solar technology is becoming more affordable each year, and the government is providing a number of incentives to make the switch to alternative energy. Currently, the government is offering up to 40 percent back on your solar power investment. This figure may change in the future; however, at this time, the government is rewarding households looking to help ease the electricity burden that continues to grow year after year.  Tax breaks and cash back are very common when looking to obtain a home solar system.

Increase Home Value

Increasing your home value may be one of the lesser known reasons to switch to residential solar power. A number of recent studies have revealed that homes with solar panels are far more desirable for a number of reasons. These homes typically sell significantly more quickly, by up to 20 percent, and sell for more money, up to nearly $20,000 in certain states.  The solar systems that are installed on these homes are usually rated for at least 25 years with a warranty, and in some cases up to 40 years.  After the loan or lease term is up, your electricity is essentially free, which can be desirable to potential homeowners.

Maintenance and Storage

Solar panels have relatively low maintenance. The panels typically wash themselves with rain and because the parts are stationary, it is highly unlikely the parts will stop working due to mechanical difficulty. Also, your excess energy is automatically stored with the power company. Your account is then credited with your home-produced energy to use during days that do not produce much electricity and for the electricity required to power your home at night.

The Environment

And, perhaps the most important reason of all to switch to solar, you will help to save the planet. Solar panels reduce the use of natural resources and reduce the use of their potentially dangerous gathering and storing methodologies. By eliminating dependency on natural gas, oil and coal, the planet can begin to repair from the damage that has already been done and help to prevent further damage in the future.

Switching to residential solar power will help to save the planet and greatly improve your quality of life through both the health of your finances and your environment. Making a difference today will save the world tomorrow.

This article was written by Brian evesque.  Brian is currently an electrical engineer living in Denver, Colorado, and helps to provide solar soutions to residents around the country.  In his free time, Brian enjoys contributing content to Ablaze Energy LLC, the premier provider of solar solutions to residnets of California and New York.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of MiO Energy for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thinking what cover page to place in your Facebook Timeline can be hard at times. Until now I have not changed my cover page because I find it a hassle to have to think of what to really replace my current one.

The MiO cover photo Facebook generation tool has some great custom designs that can be worthy of my awesome life. Photos can also describe in some ways, you. These MiO cover photos bring out more color and vibrance to your Facebook Timeline page.

Here are the things you need to do:

MiO_Sponsored Blog Post Implementation Form (1).pages

  • Choose from among the available custom cover photo designs, then click ‘add photo’ to insert photos from your Facebook albums.
  • Use the ‘scale’ and ‘rotate’ sliders to position your image.
  • Once you like it, click ‘download image’ to copy your new MiO Energy cover photo to your desktop before uploading it to your Facebook Timeline page.
  • Upload image to Facebook.

Check out the cover page below image generated by the generation tool.

MiO helps me shake things up this summer with water drinks customized to my liking. This water enhancer enables me to server multiple custom drinks wherever I want to. It is handy, portable and the delicious flavors simply add to my craving.

Considering that these are calorie and carbohydrate free, I would say health conscious people can definitely find something new with MiO energy drinks. Being sugar free, gluten free and no artificial flavors all the more makes this an attractive complement for the summer.

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