News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Justin Doom / Bloomberg / September 11, 2013
Solar panels are the next granite countertops: an amenity for new homes that’s becoming a standard option for buyers in U.S. markets.
At least six of 10 largest U.S. homebuilders led by KB Home include the photovoltaic devices in new construction, according to supplier SunPower Corp. (SPWR) Two California towns are mandating installations, and demand for the systems that generate electricity at home will jump 56 percent nationwide this year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“In the next six months, homebuilders in California and the expensive-energy states willRead More
Amory B. Lovins / Rocky Mountain Institute / September 5, 2013
Popular media and political chatter are abuzz with a cacophony of energy news and opinion. Amid the chaos, some orderly strands can be discerned. Here are three themes that merit attention:
EFFICIENCY IS ACCELERATING
Government forecasts predict U.S. energy intensity (primary energy used per dollar of real GDP) will continue to decline roughly two percent annually through 2040, but that the drop will be steepest in automobiles.
Motivated in part by more stringent fuel economy standards coming down the pipeline, lightweighting—the core of the new “platform fitness” approach,Read More
Zak Stone / Fast Company / August 30, 2013
Sure, some sun-soaked states are great places to get some power from the sun. But the complicated mix of tax credits and electricity prices make some less bright states good bets, too.
The best states to install solar panels at home aren’t necessarily the ones with the most sun. That’s one of the more interesting findings from a recent report produced by the personal finance site NerdWallet.com that ranks the 50 states by how much financial sense solar photovoltaics makes for homeowners.
The top two states crowning the list may come as no surprise: California and Hawaii, both richRead More
Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg and Kyle Thetford / Mother Jones / August 20, 2013
It’s taken 60 years, but solar energy is tantalizingly close to beating fossil fuels on price.
The prices of solar cells are falling rapidly, and will keep doing so for the next few years. The big questions revolve around the rate of the price declines. And the panels themselves aren’t the only place where cost reductions will be found. America has very high “soft costs”—installation, permitting, marketing etc. Whittling down these expensesRead More
YaShekia King / US Green Technology.com / July 15, 2013
The green jobs road is looking pretty saturated for 2013—for a variety of reasons. Whether you like to spend time in the sun or prefer crunching numbers behind a cubicle, you’d benefit from knowing what prospective job fields will look like in the new year—and what areas will be worth your time to invest in school-wise and job applying-wise. Here are the top 10 green jobs predictions for 2013.
1) Jobs related to green building are expected to skyrocket. This year, green building is expected to jump to between $98 billion and $106 billion—a huge jump from the estimated amount of $85 billion