Google “solar” and you’ll find 156 million web results–quite a long day out of the sun! The solar industry is big news right now. It is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet and the future is looking bright. But with all the hype and hoopla spanning the internet it’s easy to get hung up searching for quality, usable information on solar power. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of helpful online solar resources to aide you in finding quality information fast. Much of the information will overlap from site to site and many cover not just solar all renewable energy possibilities. Nonetheless, each has its own dynamic. And when you come out on the other side of this list, you’ll be well informed and ready to go on your solar way.
- American Solar Energy Society: This site promotes solar energy from every angle. From solar news and events, to green-collar jobs, to resources for going solar and system installers.
- The Interstate Renewable Energy Council is comprised of state, local, and other municipal agencies dedicated to the advancement of renewable resources as a practical, widespread power source. In addition to renewable energy events, news, and workforce development, the IREC also runs the DSIRE website; an excellent, easy-to-use site that breaks down the available tax incentives and rebates for any given state.
- The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is a trade organization, made up of several companies and individuals involved in the solar market, that focuses on industry expansion and increasing awareness of solar as a viable energy solution.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s solar division has up-to-date news on solar technologies and innovations. The laboratory, under the banner of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), conducts research on both solar PV and solar thermal.
- California Solar Center: California has single-handedly become the third largest solar market in the world. Jam-packed with news and events regarding the state’s solar industry, the Solar Center is an excellent resource for solar-hungry Californians and anyone who’d like to learn from their example.
- The Solar Alliance: Similar to, and closely affiliated with, the SEIA, the Solar Alliance is another collaboration of solar industry movers. Including manufacturers, integrators, and financiers, this advocacy group focuses on solar at the state level.
- Sandia National Laboratories conducts solar energy research for the DOE. Their website is not the most user-friendly site out there, but if you track across the “About PV” heading you will find all sorts of information, from the history of photovoltaics to its promising future. However, it should be noted that Sandia Labs are actually a division of Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers. So the labs also research weapons and nuclear warfare–something you will want to bear in mind.
- The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)website, run by the Dept. of Energy, is a well-maintained, informative resource for all kinds of renewable energy. The site has detailed news and information for homeowners on solar energy and other resources. You can find easy-to-understand instructions on all sorts of solar technologies and how to implement them.