Tag Archives: Triple Pundit

Cost of Rooftop Solar Power Set for Another Steep Plunge

Written by Tina Casey, Triple Pundit

Rooftop solar arrays can be a valuable asset for businesses seeking clean power, and new financing tools make it easier than ever to avoid up-front costs. However, the process of buying a rooftop solar array can still be intimidating. It is not unusual for solar customers to lose interest after their project gets bogged down by long processing times for permits, inspections and grid connections. That’s about to change, if the new “SolarApp” program goes according to plan. Continue reading here.

About Tina Casey

Tina writes frequently for TriplePundit and other websites, with a focus on military, government and corporate sustainability, clean tech research and emerging energy technologies. She is a former Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and author of books and articles on recycling and other conservation themes. She is currently Deputy Director of Public Information for the County of Union, New Jersey.

Read more stories by Tina Casey.

Image credit: Biel Morro/Unsplash

States Open Their Doors to Clean Energy

By Alli Gold Roberts, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

According to a new analysis by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council, state policies are making it far easier for the retail and information technology sectors to procure renewable energy and expand customer choices on energy sourcing. For example, Iowa has tapped its abundant wind energy resources to attract numerous large corporate buyers with utility green tariffs and third-party power purchase agreements (PPAs). Google and Facebook have procured more than 500 megawatts of wind power with Iowa’s major utility, MidAmerican Energy, resulting in new jobs, tax revenues and other economic benefits. The state can secure additional corporate investments by making it easier for companies to do onsite renewable energy projects, too. Read more here.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo / Lance Cheung 

Alli Gold Roberts is a state policy manager at Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability organization mobilizing companies and investors to take stronger action on climate change and other global sustainability challenges. Roberts leads the organization’s clean energy policy initiatives in the Midwest, Southeast and New England regions.

720+ Businesses and Investors Encourage Trump Administration and Congress to Support and Advance Low-Carbon Policies and Investment in the U.S.

The statement to businesses and investors was coordinated by C2ESCeresEnvironmental Defense FundEnvironmental EntrepreneursThe B TeamThe Climate GroupWe Mean Business, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Business Backs Low-Carbon USA launched in December 2015. For information on how your organization or business can participate, contact Brianna Esteves at Ceres: esteves@ceres.org

State-Backed Community Solar To Help Low-Income Families In Colo.

By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine


On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., joined project partners and volunteers to help install a community solar array that will provide 50% of the power demand for up to 20 qualified low-income families served by Fort Collins Utilities. Last year, the CEO awarded GRID a $1.2 million grant to add low-income community solar with utilities across the state.
Continue reading.

Photo: Governor Hickenlooper


Renewable Energy Storage News

US Energy Dept says “holy grail” of clean energy storage is imminent, by Cat DiStaslo, Inhabitat

Portland Storage photo

Many countries are on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in their clean energy production, thanks to advances in battery technology that allow electricity from renewable sources to be stored and used on demand. Over the years, as renewable energy generation methods have charged forward, utility companies have struggled with how to integrate that clean energy in usable ways. Now, scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs, and other agencies are working on energy storage projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, with their sights set on what the department calls the ‘holy grail’ of energy policy. The department says the industry could be transformed in as little as five to ten years. Read more here.

Photo: Energy Storage Systems in Portland, Oregon. Credit: Oregon Department of Energy

Sandia National Laboratories maintains a clearinghouse of state and federal policies as well as a list of projects, called the Energy Storage Exchange.


Energy Storage and the Supermajors, Microgrid Knowledge
French oil company Total is the first oil “supermajor” entering new areas of business including solar plus storage and distributed energy generation, Lux Research says, and the other global oil supermajors — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total

[U.S.] — should follow its lead. Total recently bought energy storage company Saft for $1 billion, allowing it to compete with Tesla-SolarCity.

Michigan Team Advancing Renewable Energy Storage, Yale Climate Connections
Why the White House is Counting on Energy Storage, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit
New Massachusetts Law Bodes Well For Energy Storage, Solar Industry Magazine

Clean Power Plan offers chance to right past injustices, advocates say

 By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Advocates say a little-known provision of the Clean Power Plan could become a powerful tool to advance environmental justice. The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) is aimed at “removing barriers to investment in energy efficiency and solar measures in low‐income communities,” plus sparking “zero-emitting” renewable energy development, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes it. Continue reading.

Photo: The now-closed Crawford coal plant looms over Chicago neighborhoods in this 2012 photo. Credit: Chris Bentley / Creative Commons

Bringing Solar to Everyone, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit
Op-Ed by Ryan Evans, President of the Utah Solar Energy Association: Solar energy industry deserves encouragement ‘the Utah way’, Salt Lake Tribune
Wisconsin’s St. Croix Electric Cooperative, Dairyland Adding 15 Megawatts of Solar Energy, Electric
Co-op Today
Pacific Power: Oregon 50% RPS will barely raise customer rates through 2028, Utility Dive
Worthington group planning bulk buys to get deal on solar, The Columbus Dispatch
Johnson County moves forward with solar projects, The Gazette
FERC greenlights Apple’s petition to sell electric power, Utility Dive
Michigan Solar Car defends national title in sweeping victory, University of Michigan
Iowa State University Students Create Solar-Powered Car, Drive It Through South Dakota, KDLT News
Grant helps charge EV technology used at OPPD, The Wire – OPPD Blog
Heartland Community College’s wind turbine has met about 41% of the Illinois school’s energy needs, Pantagraph  

Solar and Wind Energy Costs Could Drop By 59 Percent By 2025

By Sarah Lozanova, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

powerchangeThe average cost of electricity from wind and solar energy could drop by 26 to 59 percent, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, entitled The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025, finds policy framework and the regulatory environment to be key unknown factors in the future cost of electricity from wind and solar energy . . . Solar and wind energy are reaching the critical levels necessary to bring down prices through mass production. Lower prices then increase the demand for the product, furthering greater manufacturing. Read more here.

Wind Power Wiggles Through Midwest Transmission Roadblocks

By Tina Casey, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit
The breezy lands of the Midwest lay claim to some of the best sites for wind farms in the U.S., and electricity consumers to the east are hungry for clean power. But connecting the two has proved challenging. In addition to the obstacles faced by any large infrastructure project, new clean-power transmission lines face opposition from competing interests in the energy sector.

However, as demonstrated by several recent developments, it looks like the opposition is set up for a giant game of whack-a-mole, and at least one of several proposed wind transmission lines will get off the drawing board. The question is: Which one? Continue reading.

It’s time to unleash Nebraska’s wind energy potential, by Deirdre Hirner, Midwest Region Director of the American Wind Energy Association. Published by The Grand Island Independent.
 To see what’s possible, look at what wind has already brought to the state. Wind supports up to 2,000 jobs and has attracted $1.5 billion in capital investment. Every year, land owners receive $2.4 million in lease payments in exchange for hosting turbines, and Nebraska’s current wind projects expand property tax revenue streams by millions of dollars. Now look to neighboring Iowa, where state policies have encouraged wind development. Wind power supports 7,000 jobs just next door, and has attracted $10 billion in capital investment. Lease payments to landowners are nearly eight times higher than Nebraska’s, totaling $17.1 million each year. By 2030, these payments could top $55 million a year, while property tax revenues from wind could total $137 million. By streamlining its wind farm regulatory process, Nebraskans could see benefits like this. An amendment to LB824 proposed by state Sen. Ken Haar could make it happen.

Coming tomorrow! The American Wind Energy Association will release its much-anticipated annual report.

5 Solar Energy Trends for 2016 in the Residential Market

Photo: Triple Pundit

Photo: Triple Pundit

By Sarah Lozanova, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

The U.S. has enough installed solar energy capacity to power 4.6 million homes. Solar energy accounted for 32 percent of total new power generation in 2014, exceeding coal and wind energy but lagging behind natural gas. In just nine years, the installed cost of solar energy has fallen by more than 73 percent – setting up the industry for explosive growth.

TriplePundit spoke with Vikram Aggarwal, founder and CEO of EnergySage, the so-called “Expedia of solar,” about solar energy trends and what to expect for 2016 in the residential market.

Continue reading here.