4 reasons to be excited about sustainability in 2017

2016 brought significant progress on global sustainability issues.

The beginning included the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at addressing global poverty and environmental protection.

Then, about halfway through the year, the Paris Agreement received a significant boost with support from the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters: the U.S. and China.

Despite the headway made, the end of the year brought serious uncertainty and fear about some gains being reversed. While we can expect progress on many fronts in 2017, in others, environmental advocates will have to cross their fingers. To that end, here are four highlights to watch in 2017 — the good, bad and the ugly.

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SunSpark USA Joins YGrene Clean Energy Financing Program

(RIVERSIDE, CA) –  High-efficiency mono and poly solar panels manufactured by SunSpark USA have received formal approval from national alternative energy financing specialist YGrene, making the modules eligible for zero-down financing.  Panel power outputs range from 250 to 355 watts.

Through the partnership, SunSpark products become accessible to homeowners and contractors in more than 300 communities across the United States participating in YGrene’s property assessed clean energy (PACE ) funding initiatives.  The innovative program offers financing – with no upfront payments – for environmentally friendly property upgrades such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and, in some areas, hurricane protection. YGrene is the nation’s leading provider of residential, multifamily and commercial property assessed clean energy financing.

SunSpark USA, whose domestic power production capacity exceeds 150MW annually, views the YGrene alliance as a key piece of its broader U.S. distribution strategy.   By giving homeowners and contractors easier access to its UL-Certified panels, the company figures to increase market share for its branded and OEM product lines.

“SunSpark USA Vice President Hans Liu said, “YGrene helped pioneer the concept of alternative energy financing for communities.  Their groundbreaking program builds the bridges between stakeholders that are necessary to increase solar adoption in the United States.  We share that innovative spirit and are proud to join with them in our mutual quest to build a more environmentally friendly planet.”

About SunSpark USA.

Launched in 2015, SunSpark USA’s mission is to sustainably produce solar panels in support of a cleaner, greener world. The Riverside, California-based company maintains all operations – including manufacturing, product assembly, distribution, finance, sales and customer service – all under one roof.

Solar Industry Sees Largest Quarter Ever

Quarter after quarter, the solar industry grows more and more, but never like this. The solar industry just experienced its largest quarter ever with more than 4,143 MW of PV installed, according to SEIA & GTM Research’s Q4 Solar Market Insight report, which provides third quarter data.

The booming utility-scale solar market accounted for roughly 70 percent of this growth, particularly in California, which became the first state to ever install more than 1 gigawatt of utility PV in a single quarter. Read more:

Has Solar Energy Finally Passed the Threshold to Beat Gas?

Solar energy enthusiasts, evangelists, and even doubters take note: the energy singularity may have happened and we didn’t even notice.

A new scientific review claims that scientists are using solar panel data that is at least seven years old, and therefore drastically underestimating the efficiency of modern solar power.

Which brings us to the most astounding claim of all: for every unit of energy invested, solar energy can now generate the same if not more energy than oil and gas. Read more:

Robert Redford: Solar Power Must Continue to Be Affordable

by Robert Redford

There are not many things the vast majority of Americans agree on. The election certainly reminded us of this fact. In an increasingly divided country, it is becoming harder and harder to find common ground, particularly surrounding the issues of energy development and climate change. Read more: