Rooftops in California

San Francisco is just one example of a jurisdiction that is encouraging the installation of solar panels.

San Francisco will offer up to $6,000 for homeowners installing solar panels.

Aggressive plans to expand renewable energy in San Francisco moved ahead Tuesday as the city’s lawmakers approved grants to help homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits add solar panels to their buildings. Solar power companies are gearing up to meet an anticipated jump in demand in the city.

Over the next decade, between $3,000 to $6,000 will be available to each homeowner to cover the installation of solar panels, as well as $10,000 for businesses and nonprofits, and $30,000 for nonprofit affordable housing.

      SolarMap_270x238 Existing rooftops in San Francisco with solar panels. Source:

With the evolution of better technology the cost of solar panels has decreased so that if the trend continues solar panels will compete with other forms of renewable energy in a few years. However, there are always rumblings of some disruptive technology that would make other technologies obsolete and suddenly put solar panels in the forefront of the renewable race.

Enter into the picture something that makes solar panels much more attractive.

Jim Kelly of Southern California Edison defined storage as the "game changer" of the industry, allowing utilities to "inventory" electricity for the first time. SCE has proposed installing 250 MW of utility-owned rooftop solar PV on large commercial rooftops, claiming that this will transform the U.S. PV market, while utilizing unused rooftops. Kelly asserted that if storage was coupled with PV it could shift the peak from noon to later in the afternoon, remove intermittent output and provide emergency back-up power. Source:

[B]ulk energy storage for utilities [is] touted as [having big] potential. The unpredictability of wind and solar power currently limits their share of the grid, whereas storing excess energy for later release enables a steadier – and therefore more lucrative – supply.

One company aiming to capture this market is Canadian firm VRB Power Systems, which markets vanadium redox-flow batteries (VRBs). Unlike conventional large-scale batteries, VRBs can charge and discharge indefinitely without losing capacity. Source:

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