US Department of Energy Sunshot Tools for Solar Power Installations

Tools for Solar Power Installations
DOE NREL Solar Sunshot program tools for solar installations

Tools for Solar Power Installations – ( Solar Thermal Magazine )

The SunShot initiative was rolled out by the Department of Energy (USA) as a response to the high cost of installation of the solar infrastructure. It recognizes that solar energy is one of the most abundant sources of energy and thus it aims at making it more affordable and accessible to the average Americans.

DOE Tools for Solar Power Installations

The PV Watts calculator is used in estimating the energy production and cost of energy of grid connected photovoltaic (PVC) energy systems throughout the world. In this regard, homeowners, installers, and manufacturer, can have a deep understanding about the potential of PV installations.

The Systems Advisory Model (SAM) is a performance and financial model that is designed to facilitate decision making among the people that are invoked in the renewable energy industry. These include researchers, technology developers, policy analysts, project engineers, and managers. Its applications including selling electricity through Purchasing Power Agreement (PPA), consumer side of the utility meter, and selling and buying electricity using retail rates. Using a SAM file involves choosing a technology and a financing option of the project. Consequently, SAM automatically populates input variables as well as a set of default values for that particular project.

The Electric Utility Rates offers the public a list of utility companies that are available in the United States. The Utility Rate Database gives you information on the amount you will be charged for the use of electricity. Thus it helps one determine the economics and value of distributed solar power generation.

The Solar Road Map is a solar energy tool that is used to help electric utilities, governments, and solar energy providers to make the solar energy provision and use easier, faster, and more effective more so at the local level. It records regional initiatives and success stories in regard to solar energy. It also helps in diversifying energy portfolios and also strengthening the relationship between solar energy providers and their clients.

The American Energy Challenge was rolled out by The Department of Energy. It will award $ 17, 500 in prizes for the best solar energy designs. Participants are supposed to use creativity, data and information, and graphic design, in order to increase the value, useability, and transparency, of the featured data for a secure, clean, and reliable energy future. Other featured submissions include 2D and 3D representation, animation, formatting, and standardization. One can combine featured inputs with other public or open data in the submissions and eventual contest.

Growing Solar Energy in the USA.

The Department of Energy will continue encouraging Americans to seek affordable solar energy solutions through its present initiatives. It is also seeking more ways of reaching out to more Americans in its solar energy campaign through further reduction of the cost of solar energy and its associated expenses.

The SunShot initiative aims at achieving a future where Americans can achieve the following:

-Reducing emissions of greenhouses and other pollutants.
-Creation of jobs through local solar manufacturing and distribution.
-Making clean, reliable, and low cost solar energy power available to the communities, home owners, businesses, and the government.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.

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