U.S. solar industry passes oil, coal and gas for job creation
Solar employment now accounts for the largest share of workers in the U.S. power generation field, surpassing coal, gas and oil, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  In 2016, the solar workforce increased by 25% over the previous year to 374,000 employees, compared to 187,117 electrical generation jobs in the coal, gas and oil industries combined, according to the DOE's " Energy and Employment Report for 2017 ". Employment in the wind turbine industry increased to 102,000 workers, a 32% increase over the previous year, the report said.  In all, 2.2 million Americans are employed in the design, installation and manufacture of energy efficiency products and services, according to DOE.  Solar employment, which includes both photovoltaic electricity and concentrated solar steam generators, accounts for 43% of the electric power generation workforce -- the largest share of workers in that market. Fossil fuel generation employment now accounts for 22%. More

Trump administration orders media blackout 
at EPA
The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants.  Emails sent to EPA staff since President Trump's inauguration on Friday and reviewed by the Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning news releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts.  The Trump administration has also ordered a "temporary suspension" of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders are expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide.  Similar orders barring external communications have been issued by the Trump administration at other federal agencies in recent days, including the Agriculture and Interior departments. More

SEPA and ScottMadden Issue Summary Report on California and New York Energy Market Transformation
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and ScottMadden have released a summary of the differing approaches California and New York are taking toward regulatory policies and technical issues related to the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) onto the grid. The report, "Distributed Energy Resources Integration: Policy, Technical, and Regulatory Perspectives from New York and California," is a summary of thousands of pages of regulatory filings in both states, allowing readers to quickly understand the areas of overlap and divergence in the goals and execution of energy system reform in each state. The report is also the latest publication generated by SEPA's 51st State Initiative -- a collaborative platform across the power sector to discuss the future of the electric industry. Designed as an alternative to the contentious debates surrounding market and rate reform occurring in many jurisdictions, the initiative creates an ongoing forum for experts and industry leaders to sound out, and provide feedback on directions and innovation to support energy sector evolution.  More

Residential Energy Pilot Explores Use Of Storage To Balance Neighborhood Solar Generation 
A new residential energy storage pilot seeks to better understand how batteries installed in homes can be used at the neighborhood level by grid operators to absorb solar power generation excesses during the day and discharge them when needed later in the day. A partnership between battery manufacturer Moixa, electricity distributor Northern Powergrid, and the community energy company Energise Barnsley aims to put the idea to the test with a new pilot. Specifically, 40 homes will have Moixa lithium-ion batteries installed, including 20 x 2 kWh batteries and another 20 x 3 kWh batteries.  More

It was the worst nuclear accident in history,  directly causing the deaths of 50 people , with at least an additional 4,000 fatalities believed to be caused by exposure to radiation.
The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine also resulted in vast areas of land being contaminated by nuclear fallout, with a 30-kilometre exclusion zone, which encompassed the town of  Pripyat, being declared in the area round the facility.  Now two companies from China plan to build a one-gigawatt solar power plant on 2,500 hectares of land in the exclusion zone to the south of the Chernobyl plant.
Ukrainian officials say the companies estimate they will  spend up to $1bn on the project over the next two yearsA subsidiary of Golden Concord Holdings (GLC), one of China's biggest renewable energy concerns, will supply and install solar panels at the site, while a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Machinery Corporation (Sinomach) will build and run the plant.  More

Videocon Launches Solar Energy Air Conditioner
Videocon, the consumer electronics and home appliances company, on Tuesday unveiled a Hybrid Solar Air Conditioner (AC). The company claims it's the world's first AC to run on solar energy. "With the ability to be operated with naturally obtained energy, Solar Hybrid AC is the future," said Akshay Dhoot, Head of Technology and Innovation, Videocon at the product launch. Videocon Hybrid Solar ACs eliminate the need to consume electricity from the grid, allowing 100 percent power savings and a lower carbon footprint in contrast to the energy guzzling conventional ACs. However, if the battery runs out of charge, it automatically shifts to regular electricity supply. Also, the surplus energy generated via these solar ACs can be exported back to the grid to receive bonus payment as per the government regulations. The company also has plans to make its entire AC portfolio compatible with solar energy, added Dhoot.  More


ISES Webinar: Solar Professionals for the New Energy Era: Activating engineering and business careers with online education 
February 8, 2017 14:00-16:00 GMT/UTC

March 7-9, 2017, Boston, MA

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Fronius USA Job Opening

To see the full job descriptions and apply, visit: 

Solar Energy - Junior TPO Account Manager

This position supports Third-Party-Owner accounts by facilitating sales and post-sale support.  The Junior TPO Account Manager works closely with the Key Account Management and Product Management Teams; serving as an onsite dedicated resource. The Junior TPO Account Manager has discretion to provide onsite technical support, installation trainings, FSP trainings, and design & engineering assistance, as deemed necessary.

- Engineering degree preferred. Minimum technical Bachelor's Degree
- Minimum of 3 years' of Solar PV technical experience in an installation and design role
- Experience providing technical support, both on-site and remote locations
- Experience providing technical trainings
- Knowledge of NEC Code, and UL and IEEE Solar PV standards
- Knowledge of communication protocols, including ZigBee and WiFi, is preferred
- NABCEP Certified required