Category: electricity

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Can different solar panels be mixed?

When it comes to self-consumption installation, there may be many questions about the solar panels associated with the size of the panels. As well as the best place in the house to place them and the number of panels that should be interconnected to produce more energy. Also, whether or not it is possible to mix them.

Combining solar panels: yes or no?

While you are wondering whether it is possible to mix different solar panels, you should also ask yourself what type of panels you want to mix. In a self-consumption installation, it is possible to install hybrid panels. These are a mixture that allows to obtain electricity, but also heat for the home.

But if you want to know if it is possible to place old and new panels, of different powers, different manufacturers or second hand with new panels, then it is necessary to pay attention to certain technical requirements.

To begin with, not all solar panels are the same. Manufacturers make them in different sizes, powers, measures, characteristics, etc.. These are data that you have to keep in mind before deciding to combine photovoltaic panels. You should also consider the type of silicon with which the solar cells or cells are formed: polycrystalline, monocrystalline or amorphous.

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Remember that all photovoltaic cells of all solar panels are made of silicon. This element has the ability to transform sunlight into electrical energy thanks to a boron coating on the cells. The captured light is transformed into direct current and, with the help of inverters, into alternating current.

In addition to these conditions, users should pay attention to the power of the panels, i.e. their voltage. It is common to find panels of 36, 60 or 72 cells. These will have different voltages: 12V, 24V and 48V.

How to mix photovoltaic panels?

It is important to take into account all the conditions described above, since it depends on them that the installation is adequate and that the necessary energy is produced. Also, that there are no deficiencies and damages in it. In order to combine solar panels, it should not be done in parallel with panels or series that have different voltages. The panels that are placed in parallel must have a similar voltage and have the same type and number of cells. You can combine a panel of one brand with another, or an old panel with a new one, but only if they have the same voltage and the same number of cells.

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If this condition is not met, it does not mean that you cannot use your old panels, but that you cannot combine them in groups of the same circuit.

Panels of different power

When it comes to panels of different power, you should know that it is possible to combine them, but only if a series of conditions are met. As we have already mentioned, the panels can come in voltages of 12, 24 and 48 volts, as well as different power ratings in watts (W); these can be 300, 320, 340, etcetera.

In line with the previous section, combinable panels have to meet one of these two requirements:

Not to be combined in parallel. Different voltages cannot be mixed in the series. All panels placed in the series must be of 12, 24 or 48 volts.
The panels used to complete a series or string must be the same.
When in a 12V installation the power is higher (even if the panels are also 12V), it is not necessary to modify the whole installation. It is enough to place a regulator that controls the power and the appropriate intensity. The same applies when the panels are 24V: a charge regulator will be enough to mix the different solar panels.

What happens when you have a 12V installation but you want to add 24V panels? In these cases, and if you want to save on extra costs, you should add an MTTP regulator. This type of device allows to achieve a better photovoltaic performance while combining different voltages. This device allows to regulate the output of a circuit to the batteries with a voltage of 12V.

Contrary to the above, if solar panels of lower voltage (12V) are purchased, in order to place them in a higher voltage installation (48V), an MTTP regulator must also be installed to regulate the voltage output to 24V.

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In case you want to replace 12V installations with 24V, for example, but you want to continue using your old panels, you will have to use the MTTP regulator again, which will regulate the output to 24V instead of 12V. The same applies to 48V voltages.

When the connection is made in parallel, it is very important that you install a fuse of approximately higher current. This avoids current peaks that could cause diode burnout.

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engineer team working on replacement solar panel in solar power plant;engineer and electrician team swapping and install solar panel ; electrician team checking hot spot on break panel

Now it’s Maricao: on the way to another solar urban center

The process for the urban center of Maricao to begin operating with solar energy has begun, the Mountain Hydroelectric Cooperative and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) announced this week.

As evidenced by the publication of its call for proposals, the collective has opened a proposal for the development of a facility to generate 140 kilowatts through solar panels, which will be installed on the roofs of five commercial, two municipal and three residential buildings.

The microgrid must also have the capacity to store 169 kilowatt hours (kWh), according to the call published on

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This Wednesday and Friday

To facilitate the process for interested entities, the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña will hold a virtual proposal conference this Wednesday, December 14, starting at 3:00 p.m., and a site visit on Friday, December 16, starting at 11:00 a.m. in the urban center of Maricao.

Both will provide the details for the proponents to design, install and connect this solar energy system to the public electric system and answer all the necessary questions. Proposals must be submitted on or before Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

With almost 5,000 inhabitants, according to the 2020 Census, Maricao is the second least populated town in Puerto Rico.

The municipality is located in the mountainous area, on the western edge of the Central Mountain Range between the towns of Yauco, Sabana Grande, San Germán, Mayagüez, Las Marías and Lares.

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Due to its topography and location in the mountainous area, landslides are very frequent during episodes of rains and storms, which limits its access and lengthens the recovery time of essential services. Especially after the collapse of power lines.

This lack of energy recurrently affects the quality of life of its residents, especially the elderly population.

Second in two years

As Carlos Alberto Velázquez López, IREC’s director of programs in Puerto Rico, and C. P. Smith Quiles, executive director of the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, this is the second microgrid that both entities have promoted together.

The first was Microgrid 1 in the town of Castañer, inaugurated last May.

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Both microgrids are supported by the Puerto Rico Solar Business Accelerator, an initiative led by IREC and Pathstone Corporation, with a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.


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IEA forecasts global renewable energy capacity to nearly double in five years

The total capacity of renewable energy facilities will nearly double in the next five years, overtaking coal as the largest source of electricity generation. So says the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its new report ‘Renewables 2022’. Global renewable energy capacity is forecast to increase by 2,400 GW over the period 2022-2027. The IEA stresses that the world is poised to add as much renewable energy in the next five years as it did in the previous 20 years.

This massive increase in renewables forecast is 30% higher than the growth that was predicted just a year ago. The report reveals that renewables will account for more than 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years, overtaking coal to become the world’s largest source of electricity by early 2025.

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The IEA’s ‘Renewables 2022’ report highlights that the global energy crisis is driving a sharp acceleration in renewable energy installations. Energy security concerns caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine have prompted countries to increasingly turn to renewables, such as solar and wind, to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels whose prices have skyrocketed dramatically.

Rise of renewable energies in Europe

The amount of renewable energy capacity added in Europe in the 2022-2027 period is forecast to double from the previous five-year period, driven by energy security concerns and climate ambitions.

The report highlights that even faster deployment of wind and solar PV could be achieved if EU member states quickly implemented a number of policies, including simplifying and reducing permitting timelines, improving auction designs and improving the visibility of auction schedules, as well as improving incentive schemes for solar rooftops.

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Renewables also on the rise in China, US and India

Beyond Europe, the upward revision in renewable energy growth for the next five years is also driven by China, the US and India, which are implementing policies and introducing regulatory and market reforms faster than expected to combat the energy crisis.

Notably, as a result of its recent 14th Five-Year Plan, China is expected to account for nearly half of new global renewable energy capacity additions during the 2022-2027 period. For its part, the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act has offered new long-term support and visibility for renewable energy expansion in the United States.

Photovoltaics to triple, onshore wind to double

The IEA report identifies large-scale solar PV and onshore wind as the cheapest options for new electricity generation in a large majority of countries around the world.

Global solar PV capacity will nearly triple during the 2022-2027 period, overtaking coal and becoming the world’s largest source of power capacity. The report also forecasts an acceleration in residential and commercial rooftop solar panel installations, which help consumers reduce energy bills.

Global wind capacity, meanwhile, will nearly double over the forecast period, with offshore projects accounting for one-fifth of the growth. Together, wind and solar will account for more than 90% of the renewable energy capacity to be added over the next five years.

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The report sees emerging signs of diversification in global PV supply chains, with new policies in the United States and India expected to boost investment in solar manufacturing by as much as $25 billion over the 2022-2027 period. According to IEA forecasts, although China remains the dominant player, its share of global manufacturing capacity could decline from 90% today to 75% by 2027.


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How many solar panels do you need at home to save?

Have you ever considered using solar energy to save electricity at home? If so, how many solar panels do you need to do so? The answer depends on several factors, including the size of your home, the amount of light you need and the amount the sun can provide. In this post we will help you find out how many solar panels you need at home to save energy and answer all your questions.

How many solar panels do you need at home?

The first thing you need to know is that you will need a solar inverter and a battery to store the energy you have collected or are going to collect. This is known as a solar power system.

  • The size of the battery depends on the amount of solar energy you can collect during a day and the amount of energy you need to provide light to your home. And in order to put numbers to all this, you first need to determine the size of your home and how much light you need.
  • You also need to take into account the climate and location of your home.
    A house of 80 meters on one floor is not the same as an isolated country house, or a triplex in the heights. Neither is a house where the air conditioning system is through hot/cold split air conditioners, or a house where you have gas for heating and cooking, and only use electricity for appliances.

The easiest way to calculate the amount of solar panels your house needs to start saving as soon as possible is to use an online solar energy calculator.

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These calculators are an effective tool that will help you determine the amount of solar energy that the sun can provide in the location where you decide to put it (orientation, climate) taking into account the size and characteristics of your home (location, size, average daily energy consumption, habits, peak power that is reached and even the rate we have contracted).

  • Examples of solar calculators that may come in handy: the OCU solar calculator is quite reliable, but is reserved only for its members. Or use the one from IKEA in collaboration with a company called Contigo Energía.
    Putting solar panels at home whether they are roof or balcony solar panels is an investment that to be profitable must be calculated well, because if you do not take into account all the factors mentioned above you may be buying too many panels for your consumption needs (and those of your family), or you’re falling short.

As you know right now, saving electricity at home with solar energy is an excellent way to save money in the medium term, but not everything goes. Therefore, determining the amount of solar panels you need is the first step to start using solar energy in an efficient way for both your economy and the planet.

With the rise of these systems, situations as disparate as finding complete systems of solar panels with a large investment for houses with low consumption where elderly people live, or there is a low energy consumption by having heating and hot water with other systems are also detected. Therefore, it is not all about putting a plate and start saving. Before buying a lot and hanging it on the balcony or asking a company to install the “full equip” you should stop and make numbers.

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Ways to install photovoltaic systems at home

From a complete PV system to a small solar panel unit, there are a variety of PV installation options for your home that you should be aware of.

  • One of the most common (and also expensive) ways to install solar power at home is through a complete photovoltaic system. This would consist of solar panels, an inverter, a battery and other additional components. As you can imagine, these systems require a significant investment, but in return they offer a large amount of free energy for your home.
  • Another way to install solar power is through individual solar panel units. These units consist of a solar panel, an inverter and very rarely a battery storage. These units are less expensive than complete systems, but also offer a limited amount of power. A good option for all households that do not need a large amount of energy or that due to the characteristics of their house, or a question of budget, cannot put a complete system.

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Can I install solar panels myself and do I need professional help?

Ideally, once you have decided on the type of installation you are going to use, you should contact a qualified professional to install your system. However, many people choose to install their photovoltaic system on their own. For example, the famous solar panels for balconies. If it is advisable to have the help of a professional to ensure that the entire installation remains safe.

If it has been a long time since you have had a check-up, if it is a second-hand house, or if you have doubts that things are all right, don’t gamble with it. Before calculating how many panels are needed, where you would put them and all the cost, check the installation.

Conclusions and frequent doubts:

In conclusion, nowadays we have more and more ways to install solar energy in any home. From a complete photovoltaic system to be completely independent, to an individual unit of solar panels that you can hang from the railing of your balcony and plug into any nearby light point to help a little with consumption.

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A variety of options for every budget, need, home and even family. Of course, if you have any doubts, the best thing to do is to contact a good professional and make your numbers. In the end it is something that will make you save, but not from today to tomorrow. Do the math!



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Solar panels in communities of neighbors

The price of electricity is skyrocketing and one of the alternatives that people are beginning to consider is to install solar panels to have some self-consumption and thus reduce the amount of bills. On paper it sounds good and in individual houses and villas there is no problem, but what about solar panels in communities of neighbors?

In the U.S., most people live in apartments, which means having neighbors and complicated decision making, especially when it comes to things like panel installation, which has a considerable cost associated with it.

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Let’s take it one step at a time: can they be installed? The answer is simple: yes. There is no law that prohibits the installation of panels, but a number of factors must be taken into account, such as having enough space to place the necessary panels or that the situation to receive direct sunlight is good.

Second, do I have to ask for permission? Yes, always, although the votes needed for a positive resolution depend on who is going to use the panels. The first case is if a neighbor wants to install the panels for himself, in which case only one third of the dwellings need to vote in favor. The second is if the panels are going to supply energy to the whole community (so all the neighbors will pay the costs of the installation), for which the approval of the majority of the neighbors is needed.

Although it is an installation with a high cost, in the long term having solar panels in the community of neighbors is something positive for several reasons:

  • There is no tax on the Sun, so it is a free energy for the use of the neighbors.
  • The savings in the electricity bill is considerable, especially if the community is in a sunny area.
  • The energy that is left over can be incorporated into the electrical grid, “selling” it and thus obtaining an economic benefit from the installation.
  • In addition, it is a type of renewable energy that helps the environment.

Currently, in addition, some autonomous communities offer subsidies for the installation, so it may be a good time to consider the move.

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Learn more about photovoltaic solar panels and their benefits

Solar energy has the advantage of being free and renewable. Therefore, it is the best alternative to generate electricity independently for the home. In Spain and other nations around the world, it is increasingly common to find this type of installation on the roofs of homes. The future of renewable energies focuses on these easily adaptable systems.

Photovoltaic solar panels help transform the sun’s electromagnetic radiation into electrical energy. It is a profitable investment in the long term because it reduces dependence on the grid for traditional electricity consumption or the use of natural gas. In addition, with one day of direct solar radiation, enough energy is obtained to supply the energy demand of a house or building.

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Photovoltaic solar energy

Photovoltaic solar energy is used to produce electricity, since it is produced when solar radiation falls on a photovoltaic panel. This requires investment in the installation of systems composed of several self-consumption solar panels.

It is expected that in the coming years investment in these systems will increase at the domestic level, since it is the most accessible and efficient of all renewable energies for this use. For this reason, it is a sector that continues to grow and the number of companies offering design and installation services has increased. Even the prices for panels have been reduced by 85% making them more affordable. Companies like Ubora Solar, photovoltaic solar energy are specialists in the sale, installation and maintenance of photovoltaic solar panels.

It is 100% renewable and is free, although an initial financial investment must be made to purchase the equipment and costs associated with the design and installation work. But eventually it becomes a profitable acquisition, allowing that investment to be fully repaid.

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Types of photovoltaic installations

  •  Solar panels for self-consumption. These are used in homes and businesses to help save on energy consumption. They have an average power of 100 kW.
  • Photovoltaic power plant. These are used to supply energy to medium and large communities. They have a power of 1500 MW and require large spaces for installation.

Both types have several main components and are as follows:

  •  Solar panels to generate energy.
  •  Solar inverter to transport the energy.
  • Solar battery to store the solar energy and make it available at any time.
  • Wiring and meters to transport and quantify the energy.

Types of photovoltaic solar panels

All photovoltaic solar panels are made of silicon. Depending on the purity of this material, a higher or lower yield is guaranteed. The different types and their characteristics are described below:

  •  Monocrystalline solar panels. They have a yield ranging between 24% and 25%. It is considered to be the type with the highest yield thanks to the high purity of the silicon. However, it is also the most expensive compared to others.
  •  Polycrystalline solar panels. They have a yield of 18% because the purity of silicon is lower, but when exposed to high temperatures there is less energy loss.
  •  Amorphous solar panels. Their efficiency is approximately 12%, and with the passing of time it decreases due to the low quality of the silicon used for their construction. For this reason, they are not used in large systems.

There are several companies that install solar panels in Malaga. For more information, it is recommended to request the services of a certified company with extensive experience in the installation and maintenance of these systems. It is important to have the advice of specialists who know how to choose correctly and design to measure, in order to effectively meet the energy needs of a family in a house or a community in a building.

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  •  Free and inexhaustible energy is produced and used. The initial investment can be somewhat costly, but eventually a large profit margin is obtained.
  • The subsidies for self-consumption in several communities in Spain for the installation of solar panels are a great opportunity for many households. You can even receive financial compensation for surplus energy.
  •  It is renewable energy that does not emit pollutants or greenhouse gases.
  •  Total availability of solar energy in remote locations or homes isolated from urban centers, since the power lines do not reach them.
  • They are low maintenance and are even guaranteed to remain in operation for 30 years. They only require superficial cleaning and periodical supervision of the joints.



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Without mining, there can be no sustainability

The First International Academic Conference on Sustainable Development Goals was recently held at Utah Valley University, representing a major boost in the world’s sustainable development efforts. This conference is one of many steps toward a net-zero emissions world, where the amount of emissions the world emits matches the amount we remove, a fundamental goal for a sustainable earth. We do not have a realistic roadmap to achieve this in the short term. However, one thing is certain: without the resources that only mining can provide, we will never achieve net zero.

The imperative for electricity

Most carbon emissions come from continuous electricity generation. Most existing plants (coal, hydro, geothermal, geothermal, natural gas, nuclear and biofuels) operate by heating water and creating steam, which spins a turbine to power a generator.

The impact of electricity on humanity has proven difficult to quantify, but certainly the alternating current electrical system developed by Nikola Tesla paved the way for improving our quality of life. Prior to this development, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was surprisingly low; although incomplete records make it difficult to state accurately, historians agree that life expectancy for white men was less than 50 throughout the 19th century. By 1980, life expectancy in the United States had risen to 73.8 and world population had skyrocketed. Not to mention that electricity enabled computers and space exploration, technologies never before imagined. To say it was impactful would be an understatement.

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Historically, reliable access to electricity has proven key to lifting people out of poverty. Electrification has greatly reduced human suffering here on earth. Yet, we now realize the need to make sure this electricity is sustainable. And for that, we need to mine.

The need for mining

As of 2019, the world generated 27,000 terawatt hours of electricity:

  •  75% from steam generation fueled by coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and biofuels
  •  16% from hydroelectric power
  •  5% from wind turbines
  •  2% solar panels

Generating, distributing and using electricity requires a large amount of natural resources. Metals such as silver, copper and gold are the best electrical conductors. While silver and gold are very efficient, they are considered precious metals, so the default is copper. However, modern applications require a lot of copper The more electrified they are, the more copper they need:

– An internal combustion vehicle needs 50 lbs.

– An all-electric vehicle needs 183 pounds

– A single-family home needs 439 pounds

– Offshore wind farms require 9.6 piles (subscription required) per megawatt of energy produced (onshore wind farms require 4.3 tons).

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If these numbers sound big, that’s because they are. When extrapolated to meet ambitious net zero targets, it becomes clear that we cannot meet the increased need for copper. The world produces about 21 million metric tons of refined copper annually as of 2021. If we were to replace the world’s existing 1.45 billion vehicles with electric versions, 119 million metric tons of copper would be required. If we were to allocate 25% of the world’s current copper production for electric cars, it would take 192 years before we would have enough to meet demand. The math doesn’t add up without more mining, serious innovation and the implementation of the use of other fuels such as hydrogen.

Other yet-to-be-discovered technologies will place additional demands on the world’s mineral supply. For example, theoretical battery networks that could support an entire city would require large amounts of lithium and cobalt, which can be hazardous to humans if not properly managed, and have a short life span of 20 to 30 years. In addition, without batteries, we cannot shift more electricity production to wind, solar and EV power.

Sustainable mining and the road to net zero

It is clear that we need more metals to get to a net-zero world, but what is not clear is how we will get there. We know there are methods and technology that can help us extract minerals from the earth responsibly and sustainably; we just need to implement them.

There are a number of goals attached to a net zero concept. The UN has established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include such things as the elimination of poverty, clean and affordable energy, and sustainable cities and communities. The critical component of these goals is to maintain the quality of life enjoyed by the developed world while improving the quality of life for populations in developing areas.

Mining can support most of the UN’s 17 SDGs, but the mining industry needs to partner with the energy sector to innovate. Part of this involves the technologies we have today, but to achieve the ambitious goals of the future, we will need to innovate and push the boundaries in developing new technologies for energy production. We must be smart, responsible and efficient in harvesting the ocean and mining the land in pursuit of our goals.

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How can industry leaders impact the planet?

– Advocate for sustainability initiatives within the industry.

– Increase awareness by ensuring that the general public understands the goal of responsible mining on our path to net zero and can make informed consumption decisions.

– Continue to implement sustainability initiatives in your company, community and at home.

– Embrace future technologies that will impact sustainability and enable safe mining practices, such as AI.

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The future needs electricity and electricity needs materials

We need electricity to continue to lift humanity out of poverty, but that cannot happen without resources. Innovation and optimization must occur at every part of the life cycle chain, not just during resource extraction. Through improvements in design, manufacturing, processing, distribution and even recycling, along with the use of advanced technologies such as digitization, machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can increase our ability to improve the quality of life for everyone in a sustainable way. I believe this will not be possible without mining.



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Clean energy, a call of the present to protect the future

As the years go by, clean and renewable energies are gaining ground. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act passed this year by Congress will serve as an impetus for the dynamics to continue and provide greater support to the neediest communities.

On this topic, Rafael Ulloa, Vice President of Content of El Tiempo Latino, exclusively interviewed Carlos Velásquez, Director of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council in Puerto Rico, who gave his opinion on how this will be able to give a leap in quality to the most vulnerable areas of the region.

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What is the Interstate Renewable Energy Council in Puerto Rico?

Although in Puerto Rico it has been around since 2017, at the continental level it has been around since the 1980s. We have been working for 40 years to encourage the adoption of clean and renewable energy.

We came to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and worked with health clinics to provide them with solar panels and battery systems so that they would never be without energy in situations like that.

What are the clean energy benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act?

One of the most significant factors in inflation in recent years was the volatility in energy prices caused by those fossil fuels that in turn are reflected in the transportation chain, distribution and operational costs of our small and medium-sized companies.

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Any long-term investment to develop renewable energy, whose prices are always stable, has benefits for the entire population, particularly Hispanics.

What are the job opportunities for Latinos with clean energy?

The Inflation Reduction Act itself has a significant investment in funding centers to make the transition to renewable energy and pays special attention to disadvantaged communities.

Forty percent of all funds allocated to invest in those centers must be in our communities. $4 billion for our communities and that is a significant impact.

How is the implementation of solar energy going to change in Puerto Rico?

This happened after Hurricane Maria and our organization, as well as others, have worked with vulnerable and remote communities to co-develop microgrid projects based on solar panels and storage systems, meaning batteries.

Having just completed the last project, along came Hurricane Fiona. There were nerves because it was one thing to put it on paper and another to put it into practice, but it worked perfectly and the communities had electricity before, during and after the hurricane.

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These are things that should be replicated across different communities, not just in Puerto Rico. They are useful models that work and should not be called pilots because they already work.

A message for the Latino community on clean energy and climate change
Our Latino community always thinks of family and clean energy has something for all those generations. We are protecting the planet that our children and grandchildren are going to need to have opportunities and quality of life.

They protect today’s communities because fossil fuel power generation in some areas pollutes and sickens our most vulnerable people who may have cardiorespiratory conditions.

Clean energy also empowers our entrepreneurs to innovate, create jobs and wealth in the communities that need it most, and these are things that should be replicated throughout different communities, not just in Puerto Rico. They are useful models that work and should not be called pilots because they already work.

A message to the Latino community on clean energy and climate change

Our Latino community always thinks of family and clean energy has something for all those generations. We are protecting the planet that our children and grandchildren are going to need to have opportunities and quality of life.

You may be interested in: Solar providers near me Fort Hartford, Connecticut.

They protect today’s communities because fossil fuel power generation in some areas pollutes and sickens our most vulnerable people who may have cardiorespiratory conditions.

Clean energy also empowers our entrepreneurs to innovate, create jobs and wealth in the communities that need it most.


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7 pillars of the EU Solar Industry Alliance’s Strategic Action Plan

The Alliance, which was presented today by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, and the CEO of EIT InnoEnergy, Diego Pavia, aims to redevelop and re-launch the European photovoltaic industry “in all segments of the value chain” and make it competitive “in the context of the growing demand for solar PV in Europe and worldwide”. Right now, the world’s leading solar panel manufacturers are Asian, and the European market’s dependence on these suppliers is extremely high.

The main objective that the Alliance, together with the European Commission, has set itself is “to develop an industry that supplies an annual capacity of 30,000 megawatts, generating 60 billion euros of annual GDP in Europe and creating more than 400,000 new direct and indirect jobs”. To that end, and among the “priority actions” identified by the Alliance, these three stand out: (1) mobilizing public and private financing to expand the EU’s clean energy technology manufacturing capacity (the vast majority of solar panels that are installed in Europe are of Asian origin); (2) ensuring sustainable market conditions “and stimulating demand for photovoltaic products and systems.” (3) deepening the “eco-design” of photovoltaic systems and products “and public procurement actions”; and (4) training the workforce that will be needed to realize the solar photovoltaic revolution (the European Commission plans to launch a European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance Academy).

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These are the seven pillars of the EU Solar PV Industry Alliance Strategic Action Plan.

  • Identify manufacturing bottlenecks and provide recommendations.

Identify bottlenecks to the rapid development and expansion of EU solar PV manufacturing capacity to reach a pre-determined target for 2025 and 2030 that matches the REPowerEU plan. This will include technology, permitting new production sites, addressing bottlenecks in the supply chain and raw material and component needs, and addressing labor and skill shortages. Collaboration with entities such as the European Raw Materials Alliance will leverage joint expertise. The Alliance will act as a channel for its members to raise problems with the European Commission and EU Member States, and to work together to find solutions.

  • Facilitating access to finance, including the establishment of commercialization pathways for solar PV manufacturing.

The Alliance will identify investment opportunities and available financing options. It will also develop investment projects, with the aim of attracting private investment to support the de-risking, scale-up and market deployment of innovative and competitive PV products manufactured in Europe.

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The identification of investment opportunities to support the solar PV manufacturing value chain in the EU will focus on critical linkages to enable the commercialization of innovative solutions. It will also take into account critical needs coming from standards, metrology and eco-design, as well as from technology transfer and business scale-up dimensions.

  •  Create a framework for joint development and implementation actions.

The Alliance will facilitate exchanges between EU manufacturers and large public and private buyers, notably by sharing best practices in renewable electricity procurement through innovative mechanisms, to respond to aggregate public demand for solar energy and feed into technical specifications for the purchase of new solar technologies.

  •  Generate international agreements to build resilience in the global value chain.

To achieve the goal of ensuring supply diversification, the Alliance will organize discussions to explore the potential for alternative international suppliers, partners and buyers through existing and future partnerships, dialogues and business forums.

  •  Supporting the solar PV research and innovation base

The Alliance will consider the most innovative results from the European innovation ecosystem to identify new innovation-driven industrialization opportunities.

This will include past and future results from EU-based start-ups, EU research and innovation framework programs, as well as research and innovation activities from other EU programs.

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  •  Circularity and sustainability

The Alliance will focus on circularity and sustainability, including reducing carbon footprint, pollution and biodiversity loss. It will facilitate and increase communication along the value chain to encourage reuse and recycling/recovery, consider material substitution solutions, carbon and environmental footprint reduction options, material recovery potential, and monitoring and anticipation of potential bottlenecks, including in relation to access to raw materials.

  •  Competencies

The Alliance will study the competences needed for solar PV adoption and manufacturing and propose solutions such as training programs and cooperate with the EU Large Scale Competence Partnership for onshore renewables. The possibility of creating a solar skills academy inspired by similar initiatives of other industry alliances will be explored.

EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy in Europe, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU agency, has been appointed by the European Commission to serve as the secretariat of the European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance. EIT InnoEnergy will be joined by SolarPower Europe and the European Solar Manufacturing Council on the steering committee of this alliance.

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EIT InnoEnergy operates at the heart of the energy transition and is the leading innovation driver in sustainable energy, bringing the technology and skills needed to accelerate Europe’s green pact and decarbonization goals.

Recognized globally as the most active sustainable energy investor and one of the largest investors in climate technology and renewable energy in 2020, EIT InnoEnergy is behind investments in multiple energy areas. Some of them are energy storage, transportation and mobility, renewable energy and sustainable buildings and cities, always accompanied by an ecosystem of more than 1200 partners and 29 shareholders. The 180 portfolio companies are on track to generate revenues of 72.8 billion and save 1.1G tons of CO2e annually by 2030.

EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy in Europe, with the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU body, has been appointed by the European Commission as the secretariat of the European Photovoltaic Solar Industry Alliance. EIT InnoEnergy will be joined by SolarPower Europe and the European Solar Manufacturing Council on the steering committee of this alliance.

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EIT InnoEnergy is the driving force behind three European strategic initiatives including the European Battery Alliance (EBA), the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC) and the European Solar Initiative (ESI). Founded in 2010 and supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), EIT InnoEnergy has offices throughout Europe and in Boston, USA.



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A plan that shines in the United States

Students at Rincon High School in Tucson (Arizona, United States) decided to test their city’s climate by planting carrots in the middle of summer. Its location, between several mountains in the Sonoran Desert, one of the largest and hottest in the world, made many think that the plan was unfeasible.

However, the harvest paid off. The students took advantage of the shade provided by the photovoltaic panels installed at their school to plant the vegetables, which grow in cooler climates. Otherwise, they would have scorched under the hot desert sun.

Today, one in ten public schools in the United States has solar panels that, in addition to facilitating experiments like this one, generate free, renewable and non-polluting energy. Many of these schools are in low-income neighborhoods, so they take advantage of the economic savings to reduce costs for students and the community.

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In 2015, several public schools across the country began a plan to harness solar energy. Seven years later, 9% of the nation’s schools (some 8400 K-12 schools, those spanning elementary and secondary education) have solar panels on their facilities. As a result, more than six million students are enrolled in schools where much or all of the energy used is renewable.

The 1644 megawatts installed in these schools generate the energy needed to power 300 000 homes each year and prevent the emission of 1.56 tons per year of carbon dioxide (CO₂, one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change).

These are data from the report ‘Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. K-12 Schools’ prepared by Generation180, a non-profit organization that inspires to take action and support the transition to non-polluting energies. Among other activities, the organization analyzes the adoption of solar energy in U.S. K-12 schools.

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“With nearly 50 million students attending more than 130,000 K-12 schools, the U.S. education sector plays a significant role in addressing the climate crisis and transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy future,” they explain in their report. According to their estimates, powering all U.S. K-12 schools with solar energy would prevent the emission of 60 million tons of CO₂ each year. It would be equivalent to shutting down 16 coal-fired power plants.


Although access to financing is one of the main difficulties in installing solar panels in schools, the Generation180 report notes that many schools in underprivileged areas have had the capacity to do so. Currently, 40% of the more than six million young people studying in solar-powered schools come from low-income families.

With the money they save on electricity, the schools pay for everything from school supplies for students to part of the teachers’ salaries. In some cases, projects have been created that benefit the entire community. For example, the North Community High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers disadvantaged families access to the energy it generates.

Currently, 65 homes already have access to their own solar panel thanks to the initiative. “This is very important and empowering for communities that are often left behind in many ways,” said Kristel Porter, executive director of Minnesota Renewable Now.


As fall came to a close in Tucson, the students harvested their carrot crop and demonstrated that solar panels can also create a microclimate different from that of the desert. The school has a garden that takes advantage of what are known as agrovoltaic practices, those that use the land for the mutual benefit of solar energy and agriculture.

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In this case, the panels shade the plants so that they can grow despite the high temperatures. In addition, the vegetation itself generates a more humid environment that contributes to the cooling of the panels and helps them operate more efficiently. Another example of an agrovoltaic practice, they note in the Generation180 report, is raising sheep and other grazing animals in fields with solar power installations. They take care of the low grass and prevent it from ending up covering the panels.

Thanks to their garden, Rincon High School students also have the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Arizona conducting research. In addition to testing new crops, they have compared garden temperatures with other areas of the school, studied how the shape of the panels can affect plantings, and analyzed whether rainwater collected by the panels is better or worse for irrigation.

“Schools have a mission to prepare students for a bright future,” says Generation180. By switching to clean energy sources, they teach our youth and communities how to achieve a stable climate and a healthy planet.”