Greentech Media hosted its annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit 2016 in San Francisco on Dec. 7-8. The conference was packed with high-profile executives representing not only energy storage developers, but also institutional investors. Stationary energy storage is becoming more attractive than ever.
As the solar industry grows and energy efficiency works to do the same, 2016 brought a significant expansion of breaking news for us to cover and curate. The articles below are our top stories showing the many new and surprising developments we saw last year.
Two international awards for climate finance are starting to work together. On Dec. 5, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance announced its three winners. In the same email, Finance for Resilience (FiRe) named its four finalists. FiRe will narrow down the list to two winners at the 2017 Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in April. 125 project developers applied for one or both competitions.
Even without reliably supportive policies that help clean energy grow, Midwestern coal-producing states already have many more jobs from solar and wind power than from coal production. There is also a promising economic opportunity to repurpose assembly lines in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio to manufacture renewable-energy equipment.
What are the advantages of siting renewable energy on brownfields that corporations own? An article by lawyers at the firm Sullivan & Worcester, “Unlocking the Clean Energy Value of Dormant Corporate Properties,” highlights the potential financial and environmental benefits of repurposing old industrial and manufacturing properties as locations for corporations to generate renewable energy.
In Australia, Europe, and North America, energy companies are beginning to consider using blockchain technology for distributed-generation payments between small solar installations. A blockchain is a shared digital decentralized ledger that records transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain technology involves strong encryption.
Massachusetts’ new energy bill is an expansive approach to diversifying the state’s energy sources away from natural gas (H. 4568). This bill, which passed on Aug. 8, helps the state achieve its target of cutting emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. This goal is part of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.
In most of the United States, low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities have little to no voice about how solar energy can bring jobs and economic stability. New York is an exception. The state held an extended dialogue on this subject this year through the CDG Low-Income Collaborative. Although the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) dismissed the committee’s recommendations, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) decided to put some of them in place.
Energy poverty affects more than two thirds of those in sub-Saharan Africa. That is, 600 million that live without access to electricity. In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa to double access to electricity throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Electrifying the continent will catalyze development progress. Energy access is intertwined with several development goals such as women’s empowerment, climate mitigation, and expanded education.
A joint committee of Massachusetts senators and representatives is approaching a decision on the future of solar power. The decision will determine how to modify net metering, an incentive policy that is critical to most solar projects' financial viability. Meanwhile, utilities are unable to plan for their systems and developers have been forced to ice projects at all stages.
As the biggest public funder of projects related to climate change, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has played a crucial role in removing market barriers to investment in clean energy worldwide. Policy de-risking, investment aggregation mechanisms, and capacity building for banks and governments are key areas where the GEF has worked to increase the flow of financing.
On the surface, Citi’s recommendations of global climate investment goals, published in August in the report “Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth,” look deceptively simple. But a closer look at the patchwork of international regulations, legislation, and carbon markets reveals that financing clean energy in developing nations may be quite challenging to accomplish.
The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) will tap financial resources to help prepare markets for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the United States. This two-year voluntary matching fund program will incentivize solar and wind energy in any states that opt into it. It also offers extra leverage for energy efficiency in low-income communities. Clean Energy Finance Forum spoke with Joe Goffman, associate assistant administrator at the EPA, who explained the program, its vision, and its objectives.
Imagine you could design the electricity market in one state from scratch. There are no pre-existing programs to satisfy and no political baggage to consider. Your only guideline is to allow the continued growth of solar power and distributed generation. You’re given a blank slate on which to envision a long-term, sustainable energy market. What would it look like?
They appear periodically, but predictably - media reports about the powerful, corporate utilities seeking to block consumer access to rooftop solar and maintain control of the grid versus the plucky, disruptive solar companies, fighting to bring clean, free power - and energy independence - to the...