Fitch Solutions Marco Research has released a report, Midwest US Set To Experience Strong Growth In Solar Sector, which makes some very bold predictions about the future of the solar industry in America’s heartland. Chief among those bold predictions, Fitch states that it expects the region to add 100 GW of solar power capacity over the next 10 years. This astronomical, gargantuan, whichever word of scope you use to describe, prediction is supported mainly by the region’s large proposed solar project pipeline, with a total potential added capacity of a smidge under 79 GWac that are registered within the MISO, SPP and PJM generation interconnection queues – the grid operators that cover the region. Read more here.
Decentralization is more than a dream, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine The idea that rooftop solar and other distributed resources could avoid the need for new power lines isn’t theory. In its 2017-2018 transmission plan, California’s grid operator cancelled 20 new transmission projects and revised 21 more due to energy efficiency and residential solar power altering load forecasts, with a projected savings of $2.6 billion.
Federal policy could unlock new value from rooftop solar and home batteries, by David Thill, Energy News Network. The report describes how policy guidance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the wholesale markets, could open the door for more participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in the markets. Right now, customer-managed storage, and storage paired with generation like solar, are the resources developers seem most interested in aggregating for wholesale participation, said Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel at Advanced Energy Economy.
US Wind Industry Seeks Same Tax Incentives as Solar, by Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media In a strategic shift, the American wind industry has begun pressing lawmakers to extend solar’s ITC to onshore wind projects. Regardless of what happens in the battle for tax-credit extensions, the wind market is in the midst of its all-time biggest boom years. Wood Mackenzie expects the U.S. to add nearly 40 gigawatts of capacity in 2019-2021 as developers race to beat the PTC deadline.
6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, by contributor Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive Although electric buses can present technological and logistical hurdles for cities and school districts, advanced planning and dedicated resources can make them fit into any environment. That’s the message of a new report from the United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Environment America, which examined six U.S. cities and regions that have taken the lead on phasing out diesel buses.
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
The University of California system, which educates more than 280,000 students and employs 227,000 faculty and staff, announced late Tuesday it is divesting from fossil fuels. It’s the single largest action to date in the growing movement of institutions withdrawing their financial stakes in the industry that’s the principal driver of climate change. “We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk,” wrote Jagdeep Singh Bachher, the UC’s chief investment officer, and Richard Sherman, chair of the UC Board of Regents’ Investments Committee, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. By the end of September, the UC’s $70 billion pension fund and $13.4 billion endowment will no longer hold any stakes in companies involved with extracting fossil fuels. Read more here.
Study Warns that Gas Plants Could become Stranded Assets, Microgrid Knowledge Utilities, investors and regulators should stop the rush to natural gas and choose clean energy portfolios (CEP) made up of combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response, warns a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). If they don’t, many gas plants will become stranded assets, raising the specter that ratepayers will have to pay for them, said Chaz Teplin, a manager in RMI’s electricity practice. “We’re hoping that regulators, utilities and investors think really hard about whether new gas plants are wise investments,” said Teplin.
Fitch sees a decade of corporate wind and solar power procurement growth, PV Magazine
Fitch Solutions projects U.S. wind and solar capacity growth to average 3.9% and 7.9% between 2022 and 2028, respectively, but also expect these values to expand as more corporate groups get on board with sustainability goals. Solar is projected to deploy nearly 120 GW to corporate entities in the period.
OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:
$3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
$4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)
The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings. Read more here.
News Release: EV Research Strategy Presented To OPPD Board During this week’s committee meetings for the OPPD Board of Directors, the Integrated Energy Marketplace team presented its latest EV research, including plans to announce a pilot next month. The pilot, as part of the district’s EV Strategy and Process Initiative, will include EV education for customers. It will also connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs, as well as certain EV chargers, among other areas.
AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION
Electric vehicles are here: are utilities ready to charge forward? Navigant Research said in a report, prepared for the American Public Power Association, that by 2021 it conservatively projects new EV (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sales of more than 700,000 units in the U.S. annually. Markets saw a 37 percent increase in sales of plug-in electric vehicles in 2016 and Navigant Research expects 50 percent growth in market sales in 2017 and 2018, largely due to Tesla’s Model 3 and other longer-range, low cost battery electric vehicles coming to the market, as well as more vehicle options becoming available for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
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.
Rooftop installers want a bigger voice in the trade group, but stress unity is still the priority. Written by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive
The petition — “An Urgent Plea to the Solar Industry” — was written and posted by [Jigar Shah, founder of solar giant SunEdison and co-founder of renewables finance specialist Generate Capital] and Spice Solar founder Barry Cinnamon, a 14-year SEIA Board member.
It describes the 200,000 jobs, one million solar roofs, and 16 GW of installed capacity the distributed solar industry now represents. It also reminds readers that the industry faces state-level policy fights across the country in defense of net energy metering (NEM) and other crucial supports while it searches for a new SEIA CEO. Click to read the entire article.
The Tesla-SolarCity proposed merger is really just the tip of the energy cloud: “This emerging energy cloud landscape, a concept that borrows from cloud computing, represents a range of technical, commercial, environmental, and regulatory changes that challenge the traditional hub-and-spoke grid architecture.” [Elon Musk]. Click to read more.
In an upcoming webinar titled The Integrated DER Ecosystem, Navigant Research and two industry leaders, SolarCity and Generate Capital, will discuss how these bundling trends, in addition to other advances in the DER landscape, present opportunities and challenges in the market. The transition to the energy cloud is a bumpy path, but it is already redefining the grid architecture and customer relationships of the future.
A recent report from Navigant Researchexamines the market for solar photovoltaic (PV), including forecasts for capacity and revenue, segmented by region and country, through 2024.
The global electric power industry is evolving into a model that offers more diversity, both in terms of generation and in the ownership of generation assets, and solar PV is one technology at the head of this change. Following years of unsustainable pricing and oversupply, demand for solar PV systems has finally caught up, with 2015 expected to be the year when the global solar PV market shifts and starts to compete with other technologies. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, global revenue from solar PV installations is expected to total more than $1.2 trillion from 2015 to 2024.
“ . . . Today, there are about 270 distributed energy storage projects across the United States with a combined capacity of 212 megawatts, according to Green Tech Media Research.
But now the industry is expected to surge, in part as a result of a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that increased the pay for “fast”-responding energy sources like batteries.
A report recently released by Navigant Research predicts that global energy storage is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade, from 538 megawatts this year to 20.8 gigawatts. A gigawatt can power about 1 million homes.”