Category Archives: Research

Utility Solar Procurement Booms as Residential Market Stabilizes in Q2 2018

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

Utility solar project procurement soared in Q2 2018 as component prices declined and home solar installations steadied after a 15 percent contraction last year, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (previously known as GTM Research) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). This is the first quarter where the data clearly show that tariffs took a bite out of the solar market . . . Looking ahead though, the report forecasts an acceleration of solar deployment in the second half of 2018 driven by utility-scale projects. According to the report, 8.5 gigawatts of utility PV projects were procured in the first six months of the year, the most ever procured in that timeframe. Read more here.

Infographic Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

U.S. Wind Power Is ‘Going All Out’ with Bigger Tech, Falling Prices, Reports Show

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

Wind power capacity has tripled across the United States in just the last decade as prices have plunged and the technology has become more muscular, the federal government’s energy labs report. Three new reports released Thursday on the state of U.S. wind power show how the industry is expanding onshore with bigger, more powerful turbines that make wind energy possible even in areas with lower wind speeds. Offshore, the reports describe a wind industry poised for a market breakthrough. Continue reading here.

RELATED POST
New report: Wind continues growing while costs continue falling, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

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Q&A: Report outlines cost of continued reliance on coal

By Allen Best, Energy News Network

Rural ratepayers in the Rocky Mountain region will pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for electricity if their wholesale supplier fails to take advantage of low-cost renewable energy opportunities, according to a new report released today.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission supplies power to 43 member electrical co-operatives in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Together, the co-ops have a million customers, which in the co-op setup are also members. Continue reading here.

Rocky Mountain Institute Report: A Low-Cost Energy Future For Western Cooperatives: Emerging Opportunities For Cooperative Electric Utilities To Pursue Clean Energy At A Cost Savings To Their Members

Photo: The Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming. Tri State Generation owns a share of the facility.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Territory 

 


Nebraska

CR Chimney Rock Public Power District, Bayard
MW The Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation, Grant
NW Northwest Rural Public Power District, Hay Springs
PH Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association, Alliance
RS Roosevelt Public Power District, Scottsbluff
WB Wheat Belt Public Power District, Sidney

SEIA Raises Doubts About Trump Administration’s Proposed Climate Rule

Solar Energy Industries Association Media Release 

“With or without this new proposal, solar will continue to grow, power the economy and provide the clean energy that consumers want and the grid needs. When you combine low-cost and low-carbon with technology that continues to get smarter, you can compete in any market and under any regulatory regime. We pledge to work constructively with the administration to develop policies that help American consumers, add American jobs and protect the planet.”  – Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on the Trump administration’s proposal to revise the Clean Power Plan.

Read the entire release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Study: Using EVs Instead of Stationary Batteries Could Save Billions

Guest Post, Microgrid Knowledge

NRDC’s Pamela MacDougall and Vignesh Gowrishankar report on new energy storage research that indicates that using EVs for grid storage instead of stationary batteries could save electricity customers billions of dollars.

study recently published by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows that the electric vehicles (EVs) expected in California in 2025 could be used to meet the majority of the Golden State’s energy storage mandate that calls for 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of battery capacity by 2024. In fact, EVs can accomplish this both reliably and at about one-tenth the cost of stationary energy storage approaches. This level of storage could power nearly one million average homes, at least for a short while. That EVs can be this valuable to the grid is a hugely significant finding. Read more here.

Image Credit: Jessica Russo, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

 ALSO PUBLISHED BY MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE

Property values near wind energy projects show no decline

The Grand Island Independent, Opinion written by Lu Nelson,
Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs

In many public forums across Nebraska, local residents have expressed concerns related to proposed wind energy projects in their communities. A consistent worry is the effect wind farms would have on neighboring property values.

In response to these concerns, the Center for Rural Affairs prepared a fact sheet that reviews findings of studies conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — as well as the Universities of Rhode Island and Connecticut — which analyze factors influencing property values prior to the announcement of a project, after the announcement, before construction and post-construction. Read more here.

The fact sheet may be found here.

New study finds increasing number of Midwesterners work in clean energy

By Kelsey Misbrenner, Solar Power World

More than 714,000 Midwesterners now work in clean energy industries across the Midwest according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). The region’s clean energy economy now employs more than all the waiters and waitresses, computer programmers, lawyers and web developers in the Midwest combined, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.

The report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.2 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) released in May by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). CET and E2 were partners on the USEER. Read more here.

The Vision for U.S. Community Solar: A Roadmap for 2030

Despite clear consumer interest and immense market opportunity, the model hasn’t yet achieved scale because most states lack community solar policies – and those that do are still largely not adequately reaching and serving a diverse customer base.  Transformative growth of community solar will not happen overnight. But improvements in program design and implementation, financing solutions, and customer-focused offerings can expand solar access to all customer types.

To help state policymakers, market participants, and advocates address these gaps and expand community solar options, GTM Research conducted a study to evaluate the community solar market potential and identify pathways for community solar adoption nationwide by 2030. The study was supported by Vote Solar, GRID Alternatives, and Coalition for Community Solar Access. Read more here.

Photo: South Sioux City’s 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary. See Solar Examples for more information.
Recently posted: $1.6 million 2 megawatt energy storage unit project in South Sioux City
Credit: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The Top Distributed Solar Policy Actions Of Q2, by Betsy Lillian, Solar Industry

According to the report, The 50 States of Solar, the greatest number of actions related to residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases, net metering policies and community solar policies:

The report identifies three trends in solar policy activity taken in Q2 2018: (1) states working to increase low-income customer participation in community solar programs; (2) state legislatures considering bills effectively undoing or amending regulatory decisions; and (3) regulators approving residential fixed charge reductions. NCCETC says regulators in three states approved residential fixed charge decreases in Q2 2018 – representing a notable departure from previous quarters. Read more here.

New ILSR Report & Q&A With John Farrell: A Solar Power & Energy Storage Revolution Is Upon Us

By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica

new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes some of the implications of the growing solar power and energy storage trend as it relates to the current, centralized utility-based electricity distribution model. Because solar and energy storage can be cost competitive with grid electricity prices in some places, consumers now have an alternative to only using utility-based electricity. Report author John Farrell answered some questions for CleanTechnica.

Continue here.

Proposed coal, nuclear power plant bailout could exceed $34 billion

American Wind Energy Association News Release

WASHINGTON – Today, a new report was released by The Brattle Group, a leading consultant on utility operations and energy markets, analyzing the cost of providing extra financial support to uncompetitive U.S. power plants. The independent assessment was commissioned by a diverse group of energy industry associations representing natural gas, oil, energy efficiency, storage, grid services, solar, wind and other renewables, to estimate the cost of the Trump Administration’s proposed plan to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants across the country.

National business groups: Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), American Petroleum Institute (API), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON), Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) and Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), which funded the Brattle Group report, issued the following statements on the findings: Click here to read more.

Download the Report: The Cost of Preventing Baseload Retirements

Pixabay Photo