Category Archives: Research

CESA Launches 100% Clean Energy Collaborative

CESA News Release 

The Clean Energy States Alliance has launched the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative, a new initiative to provide critical information sharing and knowledge transfer among states that have established 100% clean energy goals for their electricity sectors. The rapid adoption of aggressive clean energy targets by states has been one of the most important energy and climate change policy developments of the past few years; 14 states plus the District of Columbia have now set such goals. The new Collaborative will create a forum for those states to cooperate on program development in order to speed progress towards achieving the states’ ambitious targets.

California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild underscored the importance of the effort, stating, “The extraordinary momentum for 100% clean energy that is unfolding across the US presents an important opportunity. The more states collaborate on strategies, policies, and regulations to support the 100% vision, the greater the likelihood of success. That is why I strongly support this new forum for states engaged in the 100% clean energy vision.”
Continue reading here.

100% Clean Energy Collaborative

Upcoming CESA Webinars:

Related Article 

Virus Or Not, US States Foment 100% Renewable Energy Rebellion, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Also In The News

This is exactly the time to be talking about climate change

Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

This is exactly the right time to be talking about climate change. In fact, we need to be talking unapologetically about climate, the clean economy, renewable energy, resilient food systems, sustainable mobility, the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals with more vigor than ever. We’ll spend the next several years rebooting and rebuilding our economic wherewithal. So, isn’t this the time to talk about how that will unfold, about how to create a robust, resilient and regenerative economy for the next generation or two? And shouldn’t we be aligning our investments — and our tax dollars — in those directions? Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Corporate America, it’s your time to shine, contributed by Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO Shelton Group, GreenBiz. We have the opportunity right now — flush with evidence about the cracks in our social system and the very real ways in which we’re affecting our environment — to reimagine the Way We Do Things. The business leaders and companies who use this moment to be creative (as opposed to simply trying to get back to “business as usual”) are the ones who will not only weather this storm; they’ll also be the preferred brands of the future. Here are five things company leaders can do right now to create a sustainable future:

EPA 

  • EPA gives power plants, regulated entities pollution compliance flexibility, citing COVID-19 concerns, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Environmentalists worry the relaxed enforcement could allow facilities to be less diligent about compliance with air and water pollution standards. “This is an open license to pollute. Plain and simple,” Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “We can all appreciate the need for additional caution and flexibility in a time of crisis, but this brazen directive is an abdication of the EPA’s responsibility to protect our health.”
  • Suspending EPA enforcement during COVID-19 outbreak adds to pollution-related health risks, Environment America News Release. “As our nation struggles to contain the coronavirus, health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and the public cares even more deeply about the air we breathe and the water we drink. If EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will not rescind this policy immediately, we urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority to ensure the safety of our air and water.” – John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America

RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE

NEW JERSEY’S CARBON-FREE LEADERSHIP

New Jersey looks to exit PJM, worried the MOPR will impede its 100% carbon-free goals, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) wants to consider alternatives to participation in PJM Interconnection’s capacity market, and on March 27 launched an investigation into how the state can achieve its clean energy objectives that include reaching 100% carbon-free energy by 2050. The investigation is a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) December 2019 decision to expand the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the regional capacity market, effectively raising the floor prices for state-subsidized resources. Clean energy advocates believe the rule could prevent new renewable resources from competing in the wholesale market.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Policy, policy, policy: BloombergNEF’s path to hydrogen uptake, PV Magazine
A hot energy topic with little coordinated analysis, green hydrogen has finally attracted the number crunchers of BloombergNEF.

NEW GTM BLOG

GTM’s Live Coronavirus Blog: The Impact on Clean Energy
A somber tone takes hold across the American solar industry, and New York’s grid operator sequesters workers at control centers. Follow the latest developments here.

INDUSTRY RESOURCES

  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has a Coronavirus Information & Resources page that provides updates on its impact on the American solar workforce and its effects to the global supply chain.
  •  The American Wind Energy Association has a COVID-19 advocacy and related resources page.
  • The Energy Storage Association (ESA) has created a Resource Center with updates on the organization’s actions to continue fulfilling  its mission to accelerate the widespread use of competitive and reliable energy storage systems in North America.

NextEra’s secret recipe for energy storage: Planning

Sponsored Content by Siemens, Utility Dive

NextEra Energy, North America’s leading wind and solar generator, is adopting an aggressive approach on the falling cost of energy storage by evaluating the addition of batteries to its existing solar facilities. A small but growing number of utilities across the United States are taking a similar approach to NextEra and adding storage at existing solar plants. In doing so, they can claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), tap additional revenue streams, and maximize the existing grid infrastructure. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

Upcoming webinar hosted by Utility Dive, NextEra Energy, and Siemens Digital Grid:
Energy Storage – Moving the Needle, April 9, 2020 at 12 pm.

WOOD MACKENZIE RESEARCH

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains, PV Magazine
Business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie says the COVID-19 outbreak will jeopardize solar project completion in the short term, affect supply chains to various degrees and potentially erode demand for PV. However, “Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are in the process of rebounding after contractions in February,” the analyst stated, adding: “Near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets are expected to outweigh lingering supply issues.”

NAVIGANT GLOBAL MARKET REPORT 

A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness, Greentech Media
“Electrification technologies are rapidly becoming more cost-effective and more reliable than fossil fuel systems in a variety of planning scenarios and climatic conditions,” Daniel Talero and Neil Strother, research analysts at Navigant Research, wrote in a new report on the global market for “fully electrified home” technologies.

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT

New Solar Energy Innovation Network Teams Announced, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy News Release

[On March 23rd] the U.S. Department of Energy selected eight teams to participate in the second round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN), a program that supports multi-stakeholder teams pursuing new applications of solar energy and other distributed energy resources in unique locations and contexts. The solutions developed by the teams are demonstrated and validated in real-world contexts, making them ready for replication and scale. 

The second round of teams will research innovations to help increase solar energy adoption and resilience in rural communities and at the commercial scale. Their research projects will include resilience solutions that pair solar energy with energy storage, which allows the use of solar energy when the sun is not shining, and microgrids, which can function independently to deliver power in the event of a larger grid outage.

Previously Posted DOE News Release: Department of Energy Announces $125.5 Million in New Funding for Solar Technologies

EXAMPLES OF ON-THE-JOB SOLAR TRAINING

How to get a job building utility-scale solar, PV Magazine
As more utility-scale solar installations are announced in more states, solar contractors are hiring people who are new to the industry, and offering on-the-job training and long-term employment.

FLOATING WIND PROJECTS

Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market, Greentech Media
Building on its solar momentum, Total this week invested in a U.K. floating wind project and acquired a French wind developer.

NYSERDA’S RECENT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

New York allocates 1 GW of solar as renewables auction delivers $18.59/MWh average price, PV Magazine. The results of NYSERDA’s most recent renewable energy request for proposals are in. 21 large-scale renewable projects totaling 1,278 MW in new capacity have been awarded, with 17 of those projects and 1,090 MW being solar.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM OPPD

Staying home doesn’t have to mean higher bills, The Wire

Lawmakers urged to increase LIHEAP funding in response to COVID-19

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

As federal lawmakers craft legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are being urged to allocate billions of dollars in additional funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), given that the pandemic is expected to result in widespread financial distress and a spike in unemployment.

“As you craft additional supplemental appropriations legislation, we urge you to consider $1.4 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),” wrote members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation in a March 18 letter to several key members of the House and Senate. Read more here.

Nebraska LIHEAP Program

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PV MAGAZINE ARTICLES

  • First order for 500 W solar modules announced
    Chinese manufacturer Risen Energy will supply Malaysia’s Tokai Engineering with 20 MW of its new panels, unveiled in December. Risen claims its products can help reduce balance-of-system project costs by 9.6% and levelized cost of energy by 6%.
  • Capturing the full value of energy storage
    The International Renewable Energy Agency has devised a valuation framework to lay the foundations for successful storage deployment. As the technology matures and moves toward a projected fall in price, revenue stacking will be crucial to assess viability and properly value its benefits.
  • A second life for disused modules and EV batteries
    A study led by Bern University of Applied Sciences is moving into the demonstration phase, with projects in Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. With partners from all over Europe, the Swiss researchers are developing models for how solar modules and batteries from electric cars can still be used in a sustainable way after their lifecycle has ended.
  • European agrivoltaics
    According to SolarPower Europe, local agriculture and solar energy could become the engines of a sustainable European economy. The trade body has created a task force, led by French independent power producer Amarenco, that aims to place agrivoltaics at the top of the European agricultural policy agenda, while also establishing global standards for the segment.
  • Forget toilet paper, Australians are panic-buying PV
    Byron Bay-based solar retailer Smart Energy says it is seeing an unprecedented surge in sales and enquiries for solar and home energy storage as consumers look to shore themselves up in uncertain times. 

The LDS Church should create solar and wind farms

Opinion contributed by Johnny Townsend, The Salt Lake Tribune

Because the LDS Church is tight-lipped about its assets, it’s difficult to know exactly how many farms and ranches it owns and operates. Different sources list 290,000 acres in one part of Florida, another 380,000 acres in another part. One source lists 200,000 acres along the Utah/Wyoming border, a tract of 288,000 acres in Nebraska, and various other farms in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Zimbabwe.

The LDS Church claims its multi-billion-dollar portfolios are preparation for hard times. Investing to create more outdoor jobs would help address both immediate and long-term needs in the face of the pandemic. And, as even more hard times will increasingly be related to climate change, why not add investments in solar and wind power to church portfolios? Why not add carbon capture technologies? These and other “green” enterprises are where future income lies, not fossil fuels. Read more here. 

Johnny Townsend, Seattle, is the author of, among other works, “Breaking the Promise of the Promised Land,” “Human Compassion for Beginners” and “Am I My Planet’s Keeper?”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The following articles, “how-to” guides and other resources provide information on ways landowners, farmers, solar and wind businesses and local communities can benefit from renewable energy development, which helps to mitigate hard times related to climate change.

FARM BANKRUPTCIES

LAND LEASES

Solar and wind farm leases create extra income for farmers and other landowners and provide valuable tax revenues for local communities.

CO-LOCATION RESOURCES

Co-locating apiaries, pollinator-friendly plants, and industrial hemp with solar and wind projects can provide extra income for farmers and improve Nebraska’s honey production and retail sales, among other benefits.

Area USDA 2019 honey production reports, Aberdeen Times
LINCOLN, Neb. — Honey production in 2019 from Nebraska producers with five or more colonies totaled 2.03 million pounds, down 14 percent from 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 39,000 honey producing colonies in Nebraska during 2019, down 3 percent from 2018. Average yield was 52 pounds per colony, down 7 pounds from 2018. Producer stocks were 223,000 pounds on December 15, 2019 down from 850,000 pounds a year earlier. Prices for the 2019 crop averaged $1.46 per pound, down from $2.01 per pound in 2018. Prices were based on retail sales by producers and sales to private processors and cooperatives. Total value of honey produced in 2019 was $2.96 million, down 38 percent from 2018.

Previously-Posted Resources for Creating Pollinator-Friendly Solar Sites

Resources for potentially co-locating solar and wind projects with Nebraska industrial hemp crops for extra farm income:

  • Hemp Production in Nebraska, CropWatch, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Hemp (Cannabis sativa) has been a major crop globally for centuries, used for the production of fiber, medicine, and other products. In the 2018 farm bill, industrial hemp was removed from the controlled substance list and hemp farmers were made eligible for federal crop insurance and researchers were enabled to apply for federal grants. In that year US hemp production increased to 78,176 acres, an increase of more than 200% from 2017 when hemp was grown for research. Nebraska legalized hemp production for fiber, grain, or cannabidiol (CBD) in 2019, with the condition that plant parts of industrial hemp have a THC concentration of less than 0.3%. Production and use of marijuana and THC for medical and recreational purposes remain illegal in Nebraska.
  • Hemp Program, Nebraska Department of Agriculture
  • Study: Hemp Could Help Declining Honeybee Population, Forbes
    study from Colorado State University reports that industrial hemp could help declining bee populations—a source of great ecological concern—because it’s a great source of pollen.
  • What are the benefits of co-locating solar and crop production? See: Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar, Department of Energy
  • Eco Friendly Has a New Name: Hemp!, J-Tech Solar
  • Hemp, Kutak Rock

Photo: Ismail Dweikat, University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of agronomy and horticulture, has been researching hemp production in small plots for the last two crop seasons.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY GUIDES FOR SOLAR & SMALL WIND PROJECTS

Solar, storage and active energy management will be key to innovative eco district project

By Jean Haggerty, PV Magazine USA  

Avista Utilities and the construction engineering company McKinstry are testing a series of solar-plus-storage solutions, active energy management techniques and smart building technologies at a Spokane, Washington-based eco-district that the partners say will be home to the smartest five blocks in the world. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation

NEW TVA REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

TVA accepting proposals for 200 MW of renewable energy, Solar Power World
TVA procured more than 1,300 MW on behalf of customers through similar requests for proposals in 2018 and 2019. Large-scale solar costs 80% less than private-scale solar and delivers the best value for renewable energy across TVA’s seven-state service territory. While TVA does not have a need for more base-load energy, the utility is investing in renewables in response to customer demand for cleaner energy and economic development opportunities to attract companies with sustainability goals.

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

SMART THERMOSTATS

Can smart technology shape rate design and drive consumer savings?, Utility Dive
The following is a contributed article by Nathan Shannon, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, and Rob Kelter, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center

MORE ON SEIA & WOODMAC ANNUAL REPORT

2019 Was a Record Year for U.S. Solar Power: California saw major growth; Pennsylvania and Colorado could be the next markets to take off, by John FialkaE&E News, Scientific American

The expansion of solar-powered electricity in the U.S. broke major records last year, accounting for nearly 40% of all new generating capacity. And total installed photovoltaic (PV) power is expected to more than double in the next five years, according to an annual report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research and consulting firm. The U.S. growth, a 23% jump over 2018, was led by California, where concern over forest fires and solar requirements for newly built homes pushed up PV demand. It was followed by dramatic solar growth in the Northeast and in sunny Texas and Florida.

CAP-AND-TRADE NEWS

Federal court upholds California’s cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec, American Public Power Association

California established its cap-and-trade program in October 2011, using recommendations from the Western Climate Initiative, which also became the administrator of the program, a role that does not include authority over policy. The program establishes limits and issues allowances for greenhouse gas emissions for covered entities. In an effort to increase the program’s impact and market liquidity, California also created a mechanism to link its program with other jurisdictions. Those linkages, however, do not alter the cap-and-trade program in other jurisdictions. In December 2011, Quebec created its own cap-and-trade program and, in January 2014, the California and Quebec programs were linked.

ELECTRIC BUSES

4 Lessons From a California Transit Authority’s Bus Electrification Rollout, Greentech Media
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority will soon be the first U.S. public transit agency to operate a 100 percent e-bus fleet. Here’s what they’ve learned.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

How embracing renewable energy can help India achieve its target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, Economic Times. India’s rapid economic growth has benefited the country in a lot of ways but it has been clouded by a degrading environment and natural resource scarcity. According to the 10th EPI (Environmental Performance Index) report produced by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), India ranks 177 out of 180 countries in terms of overall environmental quality.

Solar Accounts for 40% of U.S. Electric Generating Capacity Additions in 2019, Adds 13.3 GW

SEIA News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON, TX – Solar accounted for 40% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2019, its highest share ever and more than any other source of electricity, with 13.3 gigawatts (GW) installed. Despite policy challenges and a second year of the Section 201 tariffs, the U.S. solar market grew by 23% from 2018, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2019 Year-in-Review report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

“Even as tariffs have slowed our growth, we’ve always said that the solar industry is resilient, and this report demonstrates that,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “We know anecdotally that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting delivery schedules and our ability to meet project completion deadlines based partly on new labor shortages. This once again is testing our industry’s resilience, but we believe, over the long run, we are well positioned to outcompete incumbent generators in the Solar+ Decade and to continue growing our market share.” Continue reading here.

NEW YORK’S RENEWABLE ENERGY & STORAGE DEVELOPMENT

New York taps developers for almost 1.3 GW of solar, wind and storage across upstate region, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive. The selected projects have a weighted average award price of $18.59/MW over the 20-year term of the contracts. It is the lowest average award price resulting from a NYSERDA large-scale renewables solicitation in over a decade, according to officials. The developers behind the 21 projects are: Boralex, SunEast Development, ​NextEra Energy Resources, East Light Partners, TerraForm Power, Terra-Gen, Empire Renewable​s and ConnectGen​.

 RENEWABLE ENERGY’S LONGTERM PRICE STABILITY

How Coronavirus Makes The Case For Renewable Energy, Forbes
“There has to be recognition that the increased volatility in the oil markets will stand in stark contrast to what may become the great virtue of renewable energy, which has nothing to do with its greenness, but more about the stability of cash flows from underlying assets. The relative stability of renewable energy that’s fully contracted, that already has power purchase agreements … should make it immune from deterioration.” 
– Dr Charles Donovan, Executive Director of the Center for Climate Finance and Investment at London’s Imperial College Business School

 GLOBAL NEWS

Clean Power Crowds Out Dirty Coal As Costs Reach Tipping Point, Forbes
The global economy needs power to enable it to function. For a century, the cheapest, most efficient way to do that was to burn fossil fuels to produce steam to turn a turbine. But not any more.

Community solar will open new markets for greater energy production

Opinion written by former U.S. Secretary of Navy John Lehman, PennLive

In late 2004, the 9-11 Commission published its report on the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks. As a member of the 9-11 Commission, I joined my colleagues in urging that America must begin producing its own energy in much greater amounts so that it would not be hostage to the geopolitics of a region fraught with war, repression, and ethnic and religious grievances.

It would have been hypocritical of me while urging this course on my fellow Americans not to practice what I had preached, so I invested in solar energy on my farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Continue reading here.

Referenced in the article: HB 531 would allow the installation of solar projects by multiple residents, farmers or business owners on a single property.

 Additional Recommended Reading 

Wind plants can provide grid services similar to gas, hydro, easing renewables integration: CAISO, Utility Dive

Utility-scale wind plants have the potential to provide grid services that match those of a gas plant or hydroelectric facility, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has found. CAISO, along with Avangrid Renewables, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and General Electric, conducted tests at a wind farm near San Diego last year. The takeaway was that “a wind plant could perform as well — and in some cases even better —​ than a conventional unit,” Clyde Loutan, renewable energy advisor and team lead, told Utility Dive. The study, published Wednesday, could have global implications for grids that are transitioning to renewables, according to the system operator. It’s just a first step, but “we’re very excited about it,” said Anne Gonzales, CAISO senior public information officer.  

Report Ranks States for Corporate Clean Energy Procurement

Retail Industry Leaders Association News Release

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has released the 2020 update to the Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index. This groundbreaking study, first undertaken in 2017, shows how some states have improved their rankings by enacting common sense policies regarding domestic clean energy production and therefore are more likely to attract new business development, creating thousands of jobs in their communities. The updated analysis released today by RILA ranks all 50 U.S. states based on the ease with which America’s most recognizable brands can procure state-level renewable energy for their operations.

The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: 2020 State Leadership & Rankings notes that more than 22 GW of corporate renewable energy deals have been announced in the U.S. since 2008, with over 13.5 GW of purchases announced in 2018 and 2019 alone, according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). Retail and tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Wal-Mart are among nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies seeking to locate operations in states with access to clean energy production due to cost effectiveness, fossil fuel price volatility and pollution concerns. The index is intended to inform business leaders and guide state policymakers hoping to attract new job-creating businesses and foster economic growth. Read more here.

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Included in the report:

  • Nebraska ranks 25th on RILA’s Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index.
  • Illinois took the overall top position for 2020.
  • Other state rankings include:
    Ohio: 12
    Iowa: 14
    South Dakota: 26
    Minnesota: 27
    Indiana: 30
    Michigan: 31
    Missouri: 34
    North Dakota: 38
    Kansas: 40
    Wisconsin: 41
  • In the Third-Party Purchasing Category: South Dakota and Nebraska jumped from #39 in 2017 to #1 and #8 respectively.

Lincoln Journal Star Letter: Commit to clean energy

Written by Alison Krohn

The City of Lincoln and Lincoln Electric System have taken steps towards a sustainable future through multiple efforts. The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (2017-2018) calls for a 25% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 while increasing the use of renewable energy 50%.

LES offers several incentives for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvements. The utility obtains approximately 40% of its distributed power from renewable sources. But are these goals and incentives enough? Continue reading here.

Photo: Telesis Inc’s solar array on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED RESOURCE: LOW-INCOME SOLAR POLICY GUIDE

Best Practices for Utility Ownership
In considering the roles utilities can and should play in making solar available for low-income households and underserved communities, Principles and Recommendations for Utility Participation in Solar Programs for Low-Income Customers from the Environmental Law & Policy Center, GRID Alternatives, and Vote Solar outlines three interrelated sets of guidelines and considerations for policy makers and regulators to review.

NEBRASKA GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

USDA Invests $8.2 Million For KBR Rural Public Power District, USDA News Release
The power district serves 4,847 customers over 2,604 miles of line in five counties in north central Nebraska.

APPA ANNUAL REPORT

Wind, solar, natural gas dominate capacity in development, American Public Power Association
Wind, solar, and natural gas are the three dominant sources in the development pipeline for electricity generation in the US, according to a report from the American Public Power Association. America’s Electricity Generating Capacity, 2020 Update is the Association’s 14th annual look at the country’s current and future capacity. Wind, natural gas, and solar projects account for 94% of all capacity under construction, which is consistent with additions over the past five years, of which 97% came from these three resources.

ENERGY STORAGE

US Storage Industry Achieved Biggest-Ever Quarter and Year in 2019, Greentech Media
“Storage is being deployed all across the country now, at megawatt-scale, in more than half of U.S. states,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Eight states now contain utility-scale storage facilities adding up to more than 50 megawatts. Another 11 states operate more than 10 megawatts each. Only 15 states have yet to adopt any advanced storage in front of the meter, according to WoodMac’s data. Overall, U.S. storage installations are expected to nearly triple in 2020 and more than double in 2021. Residential numbers, in particular, will triple this year compared to last year.

NEW 500-WATT SOLAR PANELS

How the new generation of 500 watt panels will shape the solar industry, PV Magazine
There are two solar module manufacturers, Risen Energy and Trina Solar, that have unveiled first-of-their kind 500W, 50-cell, PV modules. “For applications where you have a lot of area, particularly commercial and especially utility-scale, it’s really significant,” CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems Barry Cinnamon told pv magazine. “You could just use fewer modules, it reduces handling costs and overall balance-of-system costs go down.” If there are less modules needed to reach the capacity specifications of a project, that means overall project costs will go down as these modules become economically viable. A significant area that will see cost reduction will come from the racking and trackers.

NREL’S FREE DATABASE

WattBuy to automate and expand NREL’s utility rate database, PV Magazine
With this new, free database, WattBuy can help residential homeowners more accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) on a solar and/or solar-plus-storage system and make a more informed decision, Hood said. For solar financiers and energy efficiency companies, the new data will be useful for targeting new markets and for tracking projects’ ROI, he added.

EV NEWS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Project developers can secure cash from new IRENA funding pot, PV Magazine
The Climate Investment Platform launched by three multilateral bodies in September is now open for business and renewables companies in developing nations could qualify for help with clean energy facilities, renewables-related grid improvements and energy efficiency schemes.