Category Archives: Energy Storage

Eight Solar And Storage Trends To Keep An Eye On

By Betsy Lillian, Solar Energy Magazine

With the global solar industry expected to reach 100 GW this year, following nearly 20% year-over-year growth in annual installations in 2017, IHS Markit has identified eight solar and energy storage market trends to watch. “Solar Energy and Storage Trends,” a new white paper from IHS Markit, identifies the following significant trends with the most impact on the global solar market: Click here to continue.

The IHS Markit white paper can be downloaded here.

Pixels Photo




American Conservation Coalition (ACC)

  • One of ACC’s ten Principles of Conservative Environmentalism: “A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.” Initiatives include the development of an environmental scorecard of Republicans in Congress.
  • ACC Press Release: College Republican Clean Energy Coalition Expands to 30 states

Iowa State University Research Finds Wind Farms Positively Impact Crops

By Ed Adcock, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University researchers have found that wind turbines located in agricultural fields are a plus for the crops growing around them. The overall effects on crops growing in wind farms appear to be positive said Gene Takle, Iowa State agronomy professor. He has led a team of plant and soil scientists along with extension specialists who have been looking into the effects since 2009. They started their work after seeing more wind farms and turbines pop up around the state. The new land use was positive for the landowners where they were located, but the researchers wondered if it was the same for the farmers growing crops. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo: Iowa Farm




New White Paper: Owning the Benefits of Solar+Storage – Plus More News

By Lew Milford and Robert Sanders, Clean Energy Group

Current clean energy financing models do not sufficiently serve low-income communities. As a result, solar+storage projects are vastly underrepresented in affordable housing and community facilities, meaning that low-income communities are unable to enjoy the benefits of clean, affordable and resilient power.

This paper describes emerging finance models to address the energy equity challenge and to level the financing playing field. The paper explores additional ownership and financing options for solar+storage projects and low-income communities beyond direct ownership and conventional leasing models. It makes a simple point: there are ownership and financing strategies that can provide many of the economic and other benefits of direct ownership, while overcoming some of the risks and barriers that direct ownership may entail for many project developers. Learn more here.

Upcoming Webinar: New Financing Options for Solar+Storage in Low-Income Communities  



Tesla is installing Powerwalls and solar power on 50,000 homes to create biggest virtual power plant in the world

By Fred Lambert, Electrek

The company’s main project has been the 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia, the largest in the world for now. But now instead of being a large centralized battery system using Tesla’s Powerpacks, the new project announced today is using Tesla’s residential battery system, the Powerwall, to create decentralized energy storage, which basically results in creating a massive virtual power plant. South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill announced the deal today – the biggest of its kind by far. Learn more here.

Photo Credit: Tesla


Elon Musk’s Tesla plans to give thousands of homes batteries:
here’s how it would work, by Nick Harmsen, ABC News

South Australia’s Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has unveiled what he expects to be a vote-winning power policy before the March state election — ‘free’ solar panels and Tesla batteries for 50,000 homes. And it’s all thanks to the guy on the right. Yep, it’s the latest gift in the ongoing bromance between Mr Weatherill and billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk, after the pair teamed up to help fund the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery (which is already producing power in the South Australian grid). Read more here.

Facebook Photo: Jay Weatherill and Elon Musk are changing South Australia’s approach to power generation.

Making Sense of Energy Storage: How Storage Technologies Can Support a Renewable Future

Environment America Report

Energy storage technologies can be an important part of that electric grid of the future, helping to assure reliable access to electricity while supporting America’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. To get the most benefit out of energy storage, however, policy-makers and the general public need to understand how energy storage works, where and when it is necessary, and how to structure public policy to support the appropriate introduction of energy storage.

Energy storage can make a valuable contribution to our energy system.

  • Energy storage can capture renewable energy produced in excess of the grid’s immediate needs for later use. In California, solar and wind energy plants were forced to halt production more than one-fifth of the time during 2016 because the power they produced was not needed at that moment.
  • Energy storage can help utilities to meet peak demand, potentially replacing expensive peaking plants.
  • Energy storage can extend the service lifetime of existing transmission and distribution infrastructure and reduce congestion in these systems by providing power locally at times of high demand.
  • Energy storage can improve community resilience, providing backup power in case of emergency, or even allowing people to live “off the grid,” relying entirely on clean energy they produce themselves.
  • Energy storage can provide needed ancillary services that help the grid function more efficiently and reliably.

Read the entire news release and download the report here.


California regulators choose clean energy and storage over existing gas plants

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

In California and other regions where the transition to renewable energy is most advanced, the tide is turning not only against coal and nuclear power, but against gas plants as well. As the latest evidence of this, last Thursday the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued an order that calls for utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to hold one or more solicitations for energy storage and/or “preferred resources” to address local capacity and voltage needs in two different parts of the state. Continue reading here.

Photo by Pedro Xing



Predictions 2018: Energy storage growth shows no sign of slowing down

4 experts forecast trends in the upcoming year.
By Krysti Shallenberger, Utilty Dive

Energy storage will reap the benefits of a foundation laid in 2017 — when regulated utilities took the helm of massive storage projects. The resource’s market growth is expected to continue well into this year, analysts say, as states begin compelling utilities to include it in their long-term planning processes. Click here to read the complete article.

EIA: 700 MW of utility-scale battery capacity installed in US, Utility Dive

Photo: Escondido Energy Storage Facility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Expect strong growth this year for commercial energy storage

By Adam Wilson, Navigant Research Analyst, GreenBiz

Renewable generation deployments (primarily solar photovoltaic and wind farms) have grown substantially over the last decade and are forecast to continue growing well into the future. That’s thanks to lower costs and technological improvements leading to increased power output.

Indeed, the International Energy Association expects that average annual global renewable installations will be 80 percent higher than coal, oil and natural gas combined between 2017 and 2040. Separately, Navigant Research anticipates that wind and solar PV installations — both in front of and behind the meter — will surpass 1,500 gigawatts cumulatively between 2017 and 2026. Continue reading here.

Photo: Shutterstock

New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations

U.S. cities moving more toward clean, renewable energy

 By Jodie Van Horn, Director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign
Published by Herald and News

Today, more than 50 cities and towns in the United States have committed to move to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. From big cities like Atlanta and San Diego to small towns like Abita Springs, La., and Hanover, N.H., cities are switching to 100 percent clean energy because it’s better for them — clean energy creates local jobs, cuts pollution, and saves homes and businesses money. More than 150 mayors, Democrats and Republicans, have also pledged to power their cities entirely with renewable energy.

Cities are not alone in this pursuit. Some states already source significant amounts of energy from clean sources. More than a third of all power in Iowa, for example, comes from wind energy. More than100 companies have also pledged to source 100 percent of their energy from renewables, including Apple, General Motors, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson. Continue here.





With a talent for building DIY powerwalls, Jehu Garcia has become the “reluctant battery king”

By Louise Matsakis, Motherboard

Jehu Garcia didn’t expect to be known for working with Lithium-ion batteries. The California-based YouTuber previously started a photography accessories company, and originally thought his life was more about cameras and making videos. “I didn’t want to be known as the battery guy,” Garcia told me on a recent phone call. But then, in 2015, Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Powerwall. The suitcase-sized battery lets homeowners store electricity, either from the grid or solar panels. The device represented an impressive step forward in alternative energy technology, but it started at $3,000 and could only store 10 KWh of electricity, or about a third the average American household consumes in a day. Inspired by Tesla, battery hobbyists started building their own DIY powerwalls using recycled laptop batteries and hooking them up to solar panels for a fraction of the cost. Read more here.