Tag Archives: Solar Power International (SPI)

Honoring the Contributions of Black Americans in the Solar Industry

By Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO,
Solar Energy Industries Association

As I think about the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of my organization and the solar industry, Black History Month offers a great opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we need to go. When I first walked in the door of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) a little over three years ago, the lack of people of color struck me. On day one, I set out to do something about it.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are now core principles of SEIA and we’ve taken several steps to change our own practices. And I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. I think it’s important that we publicly share this progress to remain accountable for the statements we make about prioritizing diversity and inclusion: in 2019, 57% of our new hires were women and 43% were people of color. Four out of five directors hired in 2019 were people of color. While the latest Solar Jobs Census shows us that the solar industry has a long way to go, I can say that SEIA is practicing what we preach. Continue Reading Here.

PSC rejects conflict-of-interest assertions, authorizes $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line

By Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin utility regulators granted final approval Thursday for a controversial power line while rebuffing conflict of interest charges from opponents of the nearly $500 million project. At a meeting interrupted by protesters, the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to authorize construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton in a written order summarizing points the three commissioners agreed to during a hearing in August. Read more here.

Photo: NPPD Transmission Tower

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PODCASTS

  • GreenBiz 350 Podcast – Episode 190: Ambition, angst and action at Climate Week, Danone CEO prioritizes biodiversity
  • The Stranded Asset Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange podcast: Is natural gas the new coal? There are $70 billion worth of natural-gas-fired power plants planned in the U.S. through the mid-2020s. But a combination of wind, solar, batteries and demand-side management could threaten up to 90 percent of those investments.

ENERGY TRANSITION MARKET SECTOR 

The energy transition: A $4.3T, underfunded opportunity, contributed article by Kevin Stevens, partner at Intelis Capital, Utility Dive

For context, here are the sizes of popular, fast-growing sectors of technology that you might be familiar with:

Let that sink in, those are all exciting sectors in their own right and the energy transition is more than 14 times the largest one listed. Other than healthcare ($10.2 trillion), I can’t think of a larger sector opportunity.

ENERGY STORAGE

Oil and Gas Investor EnCap Muscles Into Energy Storage Business, Greentech Media
Former First Solar CEO Jim Hughes to help lead EnCap’s “energy transition” team, as it readies a push into the battery storage market. This could include large-scale solar-plus-storage projects of the kind that have been cropping up at increasingly competitive prices across the country’s key solar markets such as CaliforniaNevada and Arizona. It could also include pairing wind farms with batteries in key markets, although these are more challenging to finance, given the lack of a clear tax credit mechanism to include batteries with wind, as exists with the federal solar Investment Tax Credit.

Department of Energy Announces Winners of Solar Prize and Two New Innovative Solar Initiatives

Department of Energy News Release           

WASHINGTON, D.C. – [Tuesday], at Solar Power International, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Daniel R Simmons, announced the winners of the first round of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. As part of the prize, the winners each received $500,000 in cash for use at DOE National Laboratories. 

“The American-Made Solar Prize brings together private sector entrepreneurship with expertise at DOE’s national labs to foster next-level innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing,” said Assistant Secretary Simmons. “These transformative technologies will address critical needs in the U.S. solar industry, and develop impactful solutions for industry to utilize and overcome these challenges.”

More information on the Solar Prize winners can be found here. For more information on DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, click HERE.

Read the entire news release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED SOLAR EXAMPLE

The SmartFlower is an all-in-one solar system. The petals open at morning and follow the sun on its path across the sky. They close up at night or if Nebraska winds get too gusty, reopening when the wind dies down. The system is 40% more efficient in energy production than traditional solar. The SmartFlower generates 5.5 Mwh of energy per year. The SmartFlower in the above photo is located at Timberlake Ranch Campus, a Christian family camp at 2709 North S Road, Marquette, Nebraska.  A second SmartFlower was installed at the Nebraska Christian School, 1847 Inskip Avenue in Central City, Nebraska.
SmartFlower Distributor & Installer: Interconnection Systems, Inc. based in Central City
Employment: To apply for a job with Interconnection Systems, Inc., send a cover letter with your C.V. to: info@isi.consulting

HYDROGEN

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrumby Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

An Unusual Plan for Lowering Solar’s Customer Acquisition Costs: Infomercials

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Generac Power Systems, a Fortune 1000 company that sells residential backup power generators, is making a play for the residential solar and storage market. This spring the Wisconsin-based company, part of stock-listed Generac Holdings Inc., acquired storage manufacturer Pika Energy and home energy management system company Neurio Technology. Relying on those technologies and drawing on the 60-year-old company’s experience in fostering markets, Generac will sell home solar and storage systems, to be installed by an army of contractors. Read more here.

MORE SOLAR+STORAGE NEWS

BIFACIAL SOLAR MARKET

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

CLEAN ENERGY WEEK 2019 NEWS

  • Wind powers National Clean Energy Week 2019, by Curtis Walter, Into The Wind,
    AWEA Blog. American Wind Week is still in the rearview mirror, but now it’s time to celebrate the full range of clean energy technologies during National Clean Energy Week. Groups across the energy sector are highlighting the ways American ingenuity is delivering clean energy to families and businesses across the country. With energy affordability and climate solutions dominating the headlines, this year’s “For Our Future” theme is fitting.

CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

  • Farmers Join On-Going Climate Change Protest, RFD TV News
    The National Farmers Union is leading a charge to expand voluntary conservation programs like CSP and EQUIP, which they say are already known, popular, and oversubscribed, evidence that farmers are looking for a seat at the climate table. Though the topic of climate change is still an inflammatory one for many in ag, Jenny Hopkinson, National Farmers Union Government Relations, says the ability to manage and adapt through changing weather patterns is becoming a question of long-term economic viability. The National Farmers Union is also pushing for more market-based approaches to compensate farmers for conservation, strong research funding, and the promotion of on-farm energy production.