In first quarter findings it has been revealed that an increasing number of venture capitalists are investing in clean energy, by as much as 54 percent. Solar energy was among the dominating sectors of clean energy, rising roughly 39.5 percent. One of the largest investments was in the photovoltaic solar panel company, MiaSole; the company raised $106 million. Alta Devices, a company that improves solar photovoltaic technology, raised a whopping $72 million dollars. Both companies are based in California.
Costco will soon offer solar power systems to their wide range of products. In an effort to boost clean energy solutions in America, Costco will now offer ready-to-install solar kits including panels, inverters, and racking systems. Grape Solar will provide the panels and the kits will start at $3,600. The solar kits are designed for expansion, so customers are encouraged to start small, and slowly grow their at-home solar systems. The solar kits will come with a 10-year material warranty and a 25-year power output warranty. The kits will also be eligible for appropriate federal, state, and local incentive programs and rebates.
Solar power is quickly coming to the forefront of realistic clean energy alternatives, as evidenced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Bloomberg predicts that by the year 2013 solar energy could cost the same as coal power. Solar power installation costs, because of increasing popularity, demand, and technology are expected to drop by as much as 50 percent, making solar a viable alternative for traditional forms of energy.
The farming industry is quickly catching on to the benefits of solar power. The Gold Dust Potato Processors in Malin, Oregon are using a solar power system to cut their energy bills and move towards a greener approach to farming. The farming company utilized the Feed-in Tariff program that cut one-third of the solar power installation costs. Due to recent water shortages in the area, many farmers racked up their energy bills pumping water from under the ground. As a result, many farming companies like Gold Dust Potato Processors are looking for new and cleaner ways to power their operations.