What are the latest megatrends in the energy industry? On Oct. 8, over 300 industrial leaders, private equity investors, utility professionals, academics and students gathered at the 13th HBS Energy Symposium hosted by the Harvard Business School to discuss emerging questions.
Leaders from business and government joined the dialogue on carbon pricing revenue at the “Innovating to Meet the Climate Challenge” event in New York City on Sept. 21. Revenues can enhance productivity across the economy by reducing the capital cost of renewable energy, enabling investments in different sectors and addressing corporations’ carbon portfolios, panelists said.
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.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced this July that it plans to host an event to bring together local bankers and regulators to discuss expanding community solar nationally. With only a few months remaining in 2016, the federal administration is taking small actions that may last long after President Obama leaves office.
The landscape of renewable-energy investment in Europe and the UK is in transition, driven by changes in programs and incentives. Current European Union targets require member countries to produce 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. According to the European Commission, the bloc was on track to meet those targets as of June 2015.
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.
Energy storage is continuing to gain traction in the commercial and industrial (C&I) space as well as among utilities, thanks to the large variety of additional services it promises to provide. However, many customers are still curious about its tangible value and savings. In an attempt to answer these questions, Growing Energy Labs Inc. – also known as GELI, an intelligent energy software and analytics company – hosted a webinar series. The first event was called “Solar + Storage : Why 1 + 1 =3.” It addressed the additional value a storage system can add in combination with solar PV. The second one was called "Solar + Storage : Risk Mitigation and Monetization."
What are the driving factors for banks to sign onto a voluntary statement on integrating climate mitigation into their workflow? Is this a competitive strategy or just a survival action? How vital is climate change in changing the banks’ investment decisions?
Entrepreneurial advice from this March’s MIT Energy Conference is still full of insight for members of the solar energy industry a few months later. Key themes throughout the conference included the need for increased innovation, cheaper technology, and greater collaboration between companies, financiers and utilities.
Angola, one of Africa’s oil-producing OPEC countries, has recently announced an ambitious plan to add 800 MW of renewable-energy capacity by 2025. In contrast to its carbon-intensive petroleum exports, the country’s energy mix is fairly clean, with over 70 percent of electricity production coming from hydropower. The government plans to maintain a clean energy mix – 66 percent from hydropower and an additional 8 percent from renewable energy – while doubling access to electricity within the next decade.
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...