Does Fog in Bay Area Interfere with Solar Power?

I live in the San Francisco area, does the fog interfere with using solar? — several readers

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory experts say, “The rule of thumb is that the solar resource during foggy or low-cloud conditions is approximately 10% of the value under clear sky conditions.” And that fit’s my rule too. I size the systems with 10 percent more photovoltaics or solar thermal panel area, and the same for storage (battery bank or water tank). And where applicable, I add small wind or some other clean distributed energy to potentially compensate for less sunlight. Now solar has to work in this City; in 2004 city officials announced their use of the City’s “Community Choice” law in conjunction with the City’s 2001 voter-approved solar bond authority to support more solar and wind installations, and a great database exists so you can review the type of solar installations in the SF area (see link below). — Scott Sklar Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group in Washington, DC, a distributed energy marketing and policy firm. Scott, co-author of “A Consumer Guide to Solar Energy,” uses solar technologies for heating and power at his home in Virginia.
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Scott, founder and president of The Stella Group, Ltd., in Washington, DC, is the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition and serves on the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and The Solar Foundation. The Stella Group, Ltd., a strategic marketing and policy firm for clean distributed energy users and companies using renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage. Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University teaching two unique interdisciplinary courses on sustainable energy, and is an Affiliated Professor of CATIE, the graduate university based in Costa Rica. . On June 19, 2014, Scott Sklar was awarded the prestigious The Charles Greely Abbot Award by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and on April 26, 2014 was awarded the Green Patriot Award by George Mason University in Virginia.

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