Feb 6, 2017

Apartment dwellers and renters can still get solar panels

Jim Mone / AP

As solar power's technology becomes more cost-effective, utility companies are making moves, per the AP.

What does that mean for me?: You could go off the grid and install your own solar panels, but for a lot of people — like apartment dwellers or citizens of Seattle — a personal solar array isn't an option. Utility companies are well aware that many would like to utilize solar energy but cannot, so they're both trying to get ahead of the curve and preserve their own business by investing in community solar projects.

Community solar?: You'd agree to buy or lease solar panels at an array maintained by your utility and the panels' energy production credits your account. One such proposed plan: pay $70 upfront for a share in power potential from a community array, which estimates say should pay for itself in 3 years, allowing customers to rack up the savings from that point on.

Can I get in on this?: 4 states (CA, CO, MA, and MN) already mandate their utilities to get involved with community solar projects by law. Even beyond that, utilities now maintain 20% of community solar programs, representing 70% of potential output, in 32 states across the country. And Duke Energy, the largest electricity utility in the country, just announced a massive community solar project of their own.

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Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee faces heat after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."