News from NM

Recently, a three-judge panel of the New Mexico Court of Appeals agreed that the subdivision’s HOA covenants specifically permit solar panels on roofs, but do not expressly prohibit ground-based solar collectors.

News regarding the Public Regulatory Committee (PRC) and PNM

In a 4-1 vote, the PRC approves the PNM power plan:

Unfortunately, PRC does not have the authority to tell a utility what energy sources to use nor do they have the authority to approve or disapprove a contract for coal or oil by law. The IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) cannot compel PNM to use renewables past what the legislature requires in 2020. So if NM wants more renewable energy in PNM's portfolio, citizens need to talk and elect a legislature that will ask for it.

The laws only relate to reasonable costs, public interest, and fair sharing of risk of providing service between shareholders and customers. PNM’s contract affecting rates should be public and State regulators agree that PNM's power plan infers that the commission has authority over the power source. And as such, the PRC requests that PNM makes coal contract affecting rates public:

Solar News from Around the Nation

On Solar Thermal...

         Solar steam generation without mirrorsa combination of inexpensive materials collects and concentrates heat from the Sun.

Tesla helps Sierra Nevada Brewing make 'green' beer

SolarCity delaying Buffalo factory production

Powering Up Solar Energy for All

Solar Jobs on Track to Overtake Oil


Cost of Solar Energy Falls Every Time the Sun Rises

An Interesting New Solar Material: Cheaper Solar Cells with 20.2% Efficiency

Huge Growth Expected for U.S. Solar Market in 2016

Researchers Pinpoint the Drivers for Low-Priced PV Systems in the United States

SolarCity Building Solar GigaFactory in Buffalo

The Heating, Cooling & Transport Sectors Contribute to as much as 66% of Europe’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Utility Companies & Your Roof

Utility Companies Fight for Your Roof

What's happening in Nevada

Why We Should Let Utilities Own and Operate Rooftop Solar: The solar industry shouldn’t be afraid of utility proposals to own residential and commercial PV

In Which States is it most Advantageous / Disadvantageous to go Solar?

The Inequality Issue Linked to Solar Panels

US Town Rejects Solar Farm amid Worries it would Suck up All the Energy from the Sun

Although such a headline could be taken out of the Onion, it is unfortunately real...

Much of the fear in Solar Panels could be avoided with a bit of education:
Solar panels use the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. Some materials are able to absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these free electrons are captured, an electric current results that can be used as electricity.

The sun is about 5 billion years old, and has another 5 billion years to go. 
And whether the sun hits a solar panel or the dirt, it does not a make a difference to the sun. What happens here on Earth stays on Earth, as far as the sun is concerned. 

So, no, Solar Panels do not suck up all of the Sun's energy!!!

Whether solar panels are or can be an eyesore is a different story. This is why putting them on one's flat roof, mostly or fully hidden behind parapets seems to be an ideal solution.

International & Environment News

Solar Project Pairs Muslims and Jews to Aid West Bank Farmers

The Paris Climate Agreement

I'm hearing a lot of excitement about the Paris Agreement. It was nice to see so many nations working together to try and tackle a difficult problem. But the fact the agreement is not binding but rather voluntary and up the various countries and locals is concerning. This puts even more importance to local change and organizing.

Leave the Coal in the Hole and the Oil in the Soil

This seems to be a concept more and more agreed upon...

Laudato Si' of the Holy Father Francis on the Care of our Common Home 

Pope Francis' appeal in his Encyclical Letter from May 2015 for "everyone's talents and involvement" "to guarantee the protection of the home which we share" resonated with a great many people, including me. And it is about the time when the Northern Group of the NM Sierra Club started becoming more involved in its quest to Solarize Santa Fe!