Solar Auction Turns Roof Space into Energy and $$$

June 8, 2012

When you understand the potential of the rapidly evolving renewable energy revolution, you get why fossil fuel interests, and their reliable Fox News echo chamber, are so desperately trying to distort the good news, and block progress on the emerging industrial revolution.  One of the world’s leading industrial nations, Germany, on a recent sunny afternoon, was producing almost HALF of its electricity from solar arrays on millions of roofs.

Wharton Business School:

Germany’s substantial investments in solar energy go back decades, and progress has been building gradually. But it passed a notable benchmark last week when its solar power met almost half of the country’s electricity demand at mid-day on a Saturday, and a third of its needs on a Friday, when industry was cranking full steam.

The development broke all records for solar power — at peak output, Germany used 22 gigawatts of solar generated electricity. That highlights Germany’s leadership position in the field — it has nearly as much solar power capacity as the rest of the world combined. And, in a country that plans to eventually abandon all nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the amount produced on these very sunny two days was equal to the generating capacity of about 20 nuclear stations, according to press reports.

And that revolution will not be stopped here in the US, any more than buggy  whip manufacturers could stop Henry Ford, or Rush Limbaugh’s ridicule could stop “Al Gore’s information Superhighway”.


Your most overlooked piece asset, your roof, is now a hot market.

A new firm launching this month, Gridbid, allows homeowners to auction the solar installation rights to their roofs online. The company says solar installers can save as much as 80% of what what they normally spend to find roof-top space, while the average residential utility bill drops between 10 to 35%.

Just because you want solar power (and you probably do, it’s starting to become the cheapest option in many states) doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a company to put panels on your roof. On the other side of the coin, there has been a proliferation of solar installers, companies that will pay for your solar installation in exchange for a cut of the money you make selling your extra solar power back to the grid. But these companies need lots of roofs to put their panels on, in order to scale their business. It’s pretty costly for them to go scout locations and then try to sell people on solar panels. Gridbid aims to be an easy place to connect these two mutually interested parties.

The idea, according to founder Thomas Kinshanko, CEO of parent company Habitat Enterprises, came after seeing all the inefficiencies that still plague the market for residential solar. “After speaking with over 100 players in the solar market, we found that solar installers were paying way too much in business development costs (sometimes up to 20% of total project cost) and building and home owners were struggling to find and select high quality, affordable solar installers,” says Kinshanko. “We came up with Gridbid to solve both problems.”

Piloted this March, Gridbid says it auctioned more than $300,000 in rooftop solar projects during its first week online, helping building owners go solar, while some of the 4,000 or so solar installers in the US competed to install more panels. Owners filled out a short online form and GridBid computed roofs’ solar potential and projected monthly savings. Local installers then submited “bids” for owners to select the best deal.

Globally, there’s no shortage of demand. McKinsey and Company’s Solar Power report(PDF) finds the solar-photovoltaic (PV) sector is already a $100 billion business, with installed capacity to grow almost 100 fold to 500 GW in the next eight years.

7 Responses to “Solar Auction Turns Roof Space into Energy and $$$”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    It’s about time! Way to go, guys. It’s ridiculous that GERMANY should have the worldwide rooftop solar crown

  2. […] when Germany, one of the world’s most heavily  industrialized nations, was producing almost HALF of its electricity from solar collectors like Apple will install […]

  3. Solar cells are made with gases over 23,000 times worse than co2 according the book green illusions.

  4. jfreed27 Says:

    If we ever manage to pass a climate fee and dividend bill, such as HR3242 – which adds $10/ton fee to a carbon source and rebates fees directly to the taxpayer- the market forces will shift even more in favor of solar. Ask your rep in Congress to support it!

    BTW: I had solar installed on my roof…love it! will make at least 10x investment over its lifetime, makes me part of the solution, and cools my office as it is also an “umbrella”.

    Also, I had my congregation do so…30KW – and it will save between $500K and $1million K over its lifetime, depending on rate increases. IMplore your church board to look into it. They will love you for it.

  5. carrytim Says:

    There are different kinds of activities for different kinds of people. As you have read, they don’t all involve the outdoors, animals or being incredibly muscular. There are activities that nearly everyone can enjoy, like home improvement. With the above tips in mind, you can reap the benefits for your home too.

    • carrytim Says:

      A dripping sink can be an annoyance in any home. It not only wastes water, but costs money on your water bill. If a sink is dripping from the spout, the faucets central cartridge might need to be replaced. If you have a pillar tap, you might need to change the washer. A quick examination will help you determine your course of action.

      Loft insulation

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