Solar-power Buyers At Risk Of Being Ripped Off, Says Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne | Phoenix New Times

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After seeing today’s release, we recalled a recent prediction by our colleague, New Times writer Stephen Lemons, that Horne would attack Brnovich “from the far right, because Horne has nowhere else to go.” Horne’s press officer, Stephanie Grisham, e-mailed the release to New Times and other news media this morning. The release comes a day after the pro-solar group TUSK, led by Barry Goldwater Jr. and political consultant Jason Rose, staged a demonstratio n at the State Capitol to protest a move by the state Department of Revenue to start taxing solar-lease companies for the equipment they’re putting on residential rooftops. Arizonans may be looking to lower their power bills, and they may have heard about various tax credits and rebates that make solar energy a more viable option, Horne’s release says. But he notes there is “no guarantee” of savings in deals that involve lease or finance payments. The dealer receives the rebates, then “mark up the component costs and labor so significantly that the costs of the system far exceed the potential benefits.” Competition between firms “has led some companies to engage in unethical behavior to obtain more customers and perform more installs,” Horne claims in the release. They use “high pressure sales techniques or deceptive statements,” and customers “may end up paying higher combined electricity costs after installing the system than before.” He then gives some tips to avoid being swindled. Of course, some solar advocates might say the reduction in pollution by solar panels is worth you paying the extra cost.
For even more, visit the initial resource here: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2014/06/solar-power_buyers_at_risk_of_being_ripped_off_says_arizona_attorney_general_tom_horne.php

Major breakthrough in solar energy: ‘Supercritical’ steam generated – National News | Examiner.com

Father slams teacher with baseball bat for texting his 15-year-old daughter.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) believes this could be the first step toward large-scale power stations fueled by solar energy instead of gas or coal. “It’s like breaking the sound barrier; this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources,” said Dr. Alex Wonhas, CSIRO’s Energy Director, according to Gizmag . “Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels to produce supercritical steam, this breakthrough demonstrates that the power plants of the future could instead be using the free, zero emission energy of the sun to achieve the same result.” The researchers used more than 600 directional mirrors known as heliostats to convert pressurized water in a receiver into supercritical steam, which then powers turbines and creates electricity. This process has worked for solar thermal power plants that run on subcritical steam, but those operations could not match the efficiency or output of the worlds most state-of-the-art fossil fuel power plants, according to CSIRO . Using this latest advancement, those plants could be converted to supercritical levels, which would vastly increase their efficiency and could help significantly lower the cost of generating solar electricity while negating the need to use fossil fuels to achieve the same result, Gizmag says. Despite this heart-racing development, CSIRO says that commercial development for the technology, may be a fair way off. “It’s important to remember that what we’ve done is really the first step along a fairly long path still in demonstrating that we can actually do these things with solar technologies, says project leader Robbie McNaughton. Nevertheless, the announcement signals that, when it comes to large-scale power stations, solar energy may soon be ready to move up to the big kids table.
All Of Us came across this really interesting optimistic news post on http://www.examiner.com/article/major-breakthrough-solar-energy-supercritical-steam-generated

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