Find out what's being said about SOLAR in the news.


Revised rules reflect heightened interest in solar power

July 22, 2019

Mick Zawislak, Chicago Daily Herald


Updated rules to address trends and advancing technology for solar energy in Lake County and its communities will be up for public discussion Tuesday.

The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals is hosting a hearing at 2 p.m. at the county's division of transportation office, 600 W. Winchester Road in Libertyville to consider proposed changes.

The updated zoning rules involve various types and aspects of solar energy systems for residential, business and institutional uses in unincorporated Lake County. The goal is to create a model ordinance that can be used by all communities.

A Solar Energy Task Force comprised of representatives of the county's planning, building and development department and representatives from 18 communities with input from solar energy experts has been discussing the guidelines for more than a year.

Solar installations have been allowed in the unincorporated area under the county's jurisdiction but interest has surged because of recently introduced state incentives and emerging technology. With that, officials wanted to provide clarity on available options and how to implement them and to modernize regulations to align with new technology.

How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World)

July 6, 2019

David Grossman, Popular Mechanics


Solar energy is crucial to many futures. On the micro level, there's a booming solar industry in America and across the globe. Since Congress passed a tax credit in 2006, the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) says that the industry has been averaging an annual growth rate of 50 percent in the last decade. In most fields, that would be macro news. But solar energy has a mission beyond making money—it's supposed to save the planet.

There's no plan to prevent man-made global warming from permanently warping the Earth's climate without solar panels and the energy they can convert. "The role of renewable energy solutions in mitigating climate change is proven," says the United Nations Development Program. Some in the industry think that solar will grow 6,500 percent as an industry by 2050 in order to mitigate that need.

But for all their importance, solar panels still feel mysterious. Stiff and slightly menacing black rectangles, they have neither the look or the feel of a savior. Majestic waterfalls and dams look heroic, but solar panels do not. do they work anyway?

On World Environment Day, everything you know about energy in the US might be wrong

June 4, 2019

Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY


The energy landscape changes so fast, even experts have trouble keeping up. Prices for renewable power are plummeting, technologies for storage are becoming more cost-effective and what's competitive today isn't what was competitive five years ago –shifts that will only increase in the coming years. 

"Air pollution" is the theme as we observe the 45th World Environment Day on Wednesday. Carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to the greenhouse gases causing global warming. To stop the process, we need to stop burning fossil fuels.

The debate over how to do so has gone on for decades. As it has, the energy field has changed dramatically, shifting the outlines of the discussion. Here’s a quick overview of where things stand:

Coal is over

Coal is more expensive than other major electricity generation systems. U.S. utilities no longer build coal-fired power plants because newer, more efficient natural gas and renewable power plants produce cheaper electricity.

Solar installer says it will create 200 jobs in expansion to Illinois

March 28, 2019

Brianna Kelly, Crain's Chicago Business


Freedom Forever, a home solar installation company, plans to expand to Illinois, initially hiring 35 to 50 people and growing to 200 employees by the end of the year.


Some of the new jobs will be based in the Chicago area and others will be spread across the state. Illinois installations will begin in June.


Freedom Forever says it chose Illinois for the expansion because of its recent commitments to renewable energy. The company says Illinois has introduced incentives designed to make renewable energy more affordable in order to meet the state’s target of producing 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.


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