What do the new year and new administration mean for the solar industry? What effects will emerge from the SunEdison bankruptcy and the SolarCity-Tesla merger? In this interview, Jigar Shah, founder and former CEO of SunEdison, provided his proactive perspective on current trends. He also expressed his viewpoint on the appropriate roles of property-assessed clean energy (PACE), international microfinance, tax incentives, and venture capital (VC).
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has launched a free online tool called Climatescope for analyzing clean-energy policy and investment opportunities in emerging markets. Climatescope has data on 58 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
While energy-storage technologies are becoming an increasingly viable option, storage for solar (solar+storage) is mostly serving only high-end commercial markets. However, since this combination reduces costs and increases resilience, this emerging market is uniquely positioned to greatly benefit low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities. The challenge is: how can we make it financially viable for this underserved demographic?
The MIT Energy Conference, which took place on March 3-4 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explored the financial and social barriers to the major infrastructure projects that are required to support next-generation energy investments. Speakers analyzed the many changes that stakeholders face when they start expanding their use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
What kept Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) up all night in December? According to Katie Trachsel, manager of the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System (MIRECS) program, it was the passage of two pieces of legislation that transformed the state’s renewable-energy laws, encouraged energy efficiency, and reshaped utility regulation. Meanwhile, Illinois rolled out its new renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Brian Granahan, chief counsel at Illinois Power Agency, said the RPS was designed to resolve a confusing set of policies. The new goals are clearer and easier to follow than the previous ones.
Quietly, while the United States focused on its national election, a set of federal clean-energy incentives phased out at the end of 2016. Now that they have vanished, states may seek to create replacements to keep these markets alive and help them grow. For example, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is now strategically replacing the missing incentives for renewable heating and cooling.
What is the federal government doing to catalyze access to clean energy? Last year, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) launched two programs that work side by side: the Clean Energy Savings for All initiative and the Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities Accelerator. These programs attempt to identify and promote models that work for low-to-moderate-income communities in urban and rural areas in every region of the country.
Energy technology trends move fast. The market for digital solutions to advance energy efficiency and solar power is growing. Two buzzwords at the beginning of 2017 are ‘big data’ and ‘Internet of Things (IoT).’ Data, analytics and computing today have the muscle power to revolutionize global energy systems. So do smart-grid technologies, which are now becoming mainstream topics of discussion.
After continuously strengthening its ties since 2013, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) is well on its way to facilitating a global practice of urban resilience. 100RC is a nonprofit supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.
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.
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.
While making strong motivational statements at the 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City on Jan. 27, speakers also laid forth an ambitious set of targeted goals to implement the Paris climate conference’s agenda. These goals included implementing climate disclosure requirements; advocating for stable, economically meaningful carbon pricing; ceasing investment in coal; leveraging pension funds; scaling up green banks; clarifying what constitutes a green bond; and analyzing risks on an industry-by-industry basis.
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...
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...