By Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor, Forbes
One technology above all has exceeded all expectations over recent years: solar energy. Near-exponential growth has lowered manufacturing costs and efficiency of the solar cells to the point that building a solar energy generation plant is now significantly cheaper than its fossil fuel equivalent, or even maintaining an existing unit — and most importantly, leave a negligible carbon footprint
Today, virtually everything that most people think they know about solar energy, about the days when only subsidies made solar installations profitable and some generated power with diesel engines at night, is completely obsolete and outdated. The solar energy landscape has changed so much in terms of costs and performance that it requires completely new analyses. Read more here.
Indiana farmers see benefits in on-farm solar power for grain storage systems, contributed by Emergent Solar Energy, PV Magazine. “Every morning a potential energy source rises over the horizon to the east of my farm,” said Will Harlow, owner of the farm. “It seemed a waste to not harness this daily free energy source, erasing some of what I take from the grid. The solar components’ being made in the United States was also important to me. I hope if any positive comes from this pandemic, it is that we must do what we can to get production of all kinds returning to America.”
Links to resources for solar-powering farm operations & farmhouses:
Nebraskans for Solar
- Nebraskans for Solar Directory
- Nebraskans for Solar’s Solar Examples include a number of on-farm solar projects. See more photos on our Facebook page.
- Links to Incentives, Depreciation & Net Metering Resources (1-Page PDF)
Department of Energy: Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- Contractors Corner: Eagle Point Solar, Solar Power World
The Midwest solar market was finally starting to hit its stride before COVID-19 arrived. Still, companies like Iowa’s Eagle Point Solar are optimistic about the future and plenty busy installing a backlog of projects. In this episode of the Contractors Corner podcast, Solar Power World editor-in-chief Kelly Pickerel talks with Larry Steffen, VP of sales for Eagle Point Solar, about how the company is keeping customers interested in solar + storage from afar.
- Long-term demand propels renewable procurement during pandemic as buyers remain motivated, Utility Dive
- 100% Renewable Energy: The emerging power of microgrids, Red, Green and Blue
- Solar energy farms could offer second life for electric vehicle batteries, MIT News
Modeling study shows battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations.
- Electric trucks are the ‘inevitable future,’ fleets say, Utility Dive
- Is energy trading Elon Musk’s next big plan?, GreenBiz
FERC Might Rewrite Solar Net Metering. Here’s What That Could Mean, by Ben Huffman and Marc Palmer, Greentech Media
On April 14, the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) petitioned FERC to assert jurisdiction over any on-site, behind-the-meter generation that injects energy onto the grid. If FERC asserts such jurisdiction in the manner requested by NERA, individual states could lose control over their solar net-metering policies — with myriad implications for the U.S. distributed solar market. FERC is currently accepting comments and intervenors from individuals and organizations. The period to comment or intervene ends June 15, 2020.
Ben Huffman is a partner with law firm Sheppard Mullin’s energy, infrastructure and project finance team. Marc Palmer is managing director of New Resource Solutions, a clean energy project facilitator.
UC’S ESG INVESTMENT POLICY
UC’s investment portfolios fossil free; clean energy investments top $1 billion, University of California Press Room
To date, UC’s new energy investments have developed and accelerated 9.2 gigawatts (GWs) of wind and solar capacity across all the platforms in which it has invested. Directly attributable to UC Investments’ share of the platforms is 1.47 GWs of wind and solar energy capacity in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and India. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 1 gigawatt of power is comparable to the energy produced by 3.125 million photovoltaic panels or 412 utility-scale wind turbines.