Community-shared solar is a growing industry in the United States that offers homeowners a solar alternative to rooftop solar. Experts from financial institutions, development companies, and electric cooperatives converged at Solar Power International (SPI) in Las Vegas on Sept. 10-13 to discuss the recent growth and future prospects of community-shared solar.
The residential solar market has heated up in the United States during the past few years. Although its fortunes have fluctuated, it has seen dramatic improvements. The same cannot be said for the low-income solar market, which is just beginning to thaw. According to the Low-Income Solar Policy Guide developed by the nonprofits Grid Alternatives, Center for Social Inclusion, and Vote Solar, there is a key set of structures that needs to be put in place at the government level to set the ground rules for a profitable market. The frameworks depend on the state policy environment.
At this month’s Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas on Sept. 10-13, one topic dominated the general sessions and education panels: the Section 201 trade case brought by Suniva, a bankrupt United States manufacturer, to the United States International Trade Commission (ITC).
Although clean energy may not take center stage as the star employment generator in the Great Recession recovery, it plays an important supporting role, according to Jim Barrett, chief economist at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This goes above and beyond the economic benefits of climate protection reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Adoption of solar power and microgrid technologies has been on the rise in frontier and growth markets. This trend results from declining equipment costs and increasing support from development funds, government programs, and impact investors. But there is much room to fill. There are as many as 1.1 billion people around the globe who still don’t have access to a reliable supply of electricity. Microgrids can help address the issue without expensive transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The performance of the Connecticut Green Bank shows clean energy can be economically lucrative and make good business sense. As a result of these accomplishments, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation has selected the bank from 500 applicants for the 2017 Innovation in American Government Award. A public announcement took place in Hartford, Connecticut on July 27.
A number of senators and representatives led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) have cosponsored The Green Bank Act of 2017 (PDF) (S. 1406. H.R. 2995). The act is expected to support the establishment of a national green bank capitalized with $10 billion in treasury-issued green bonds. This is the third time legislators have proposed it.
Energy storage for solar PV is a critically important technology because of its ability to resolve the primary drawback of solar power – namely, that the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Organizations such as Clean Energy Group (CEG) are leveraging software to advance these technologies as a means to expand energy resiliency and affordability.
The global financing market for energy-efficiency projects is facing many hurdles, according to Esteban Suárez, a representative of the Energy Savings Insurance Team at Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). These include asymmetric distribution of information, absence of standardized financing instruments, misinformation about potential obstacles, and a lack of risk insurance.
As part of President Trump’s resolution to cut government spending, the White House has proposed drastic budget reductions for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) – and for its clean-energy office. These may affect the State Energy Program (SEP), which has yielded broad-ranging health and economic benefits.
Growing momentum for energy-efficiency financing in the United States has motivated State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network to conduct around 20 interviews with stakeholders in five states to explore what it takes to make utility-sponsored programs succeed. The research team produced a report that outlines the pitfalls and promises of a wide range of evaluation techniques.
At a public event in Boston on June 11 called "Designing Solar’s Value: A Stakeholder’s Forum," speakers outlined an ambitious proposal to shift the entire framework of solar financing in Massachusetts to a value-of-solar model. The newly founded Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC) cosponsored the event, which was hosted by Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE).
Greentech Media’s first international Solar Summit, held on Jan. 27-28 in Mexico City, left more questions than answers about the future of solar in Mexico. Speakers said that the solar markets are in flux at all levels of development. The country is far from reaching a steady state. Developers who are willing to take risks could enjoy huge payoffs but must first face significant regulatory uncertainty.
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.
One of the overlooked elements in President Obama's Clean Power Plan is the positive effect it will likely have on low-income United States citizens - those who suffer most from climate change and who are facing a crisis in available affordable housing...
Eden Full Goh discovered the potential of solar power when she was just 10 years old. She had come across a book in the library that taught her how to build a small solar-powered car. Once she took the book home and built it, she was hooked. She wanted to see what else she could do with this...