Tag Archives: Wood Mackenzie

Can The US Wind Industry Beat The Coming Headwinds?

Forbes article contributed by Joshua Rhodes, Senior Energy Analyst,
Vibrant Clean Energy LLC in Boulder, Colorado

This is the second installment of a multi-part series.
Rhodes’ first article in the series: The Future Of US Solar Is Bright

The US wind industry currently supports over 110,000 jobs and, in 2018, about $11 billion was invested in new wind projects in the US. There are currently over 57,000 wind turbines in the US, totaling over 100,000 MW of total capacity. In 2018, wind provided about 6.5% of all US electricity generation, and year after year wind-heavy grids such as the Southwest Power Pool and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas break records for the amount of wind instantaneously meeting demand on the system. As of 2019, these records stand at almost 67% and 56%, respectfully.

The deployment of wind has been fast and furious and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that “wind turbine service technicians” will be in high demand over the next decade and will be the second-fastest growing job in the US — for those not afraid of heights. Read more here.

Northeast Community College
Northeast Community College in Norfolk is the only institution in Nebraska offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in wind energy. Learn more about Northeast’s wind technology degrees and programs and watch a brief video, Northeast Wind Energy Program, here.

Photo Credit: Northeast Community College

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Why One Solar Power Project In South Dakota Will Rule Them All, CleanTechnica
    The developer, Germany-based Wircon GmbH, is planning on a $100 million payout for 500,000 solar panels and $15 million on an underground connector cable, all up and running by 2021 under the name of Lookout Solar Park. Look out, indeed. The new solar power plant represents a 180-degree turnaround for South Dakota. As recently as 2018, South Dakota ranked dead last for solar power among all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Renewable energy production could exceed coal generation by next year, Buffalo Bulletin
    Led by solar and wind, renewable generation could produce as much as 21.6% of the nation’s electricity by 2021 — beating out coal at 20.8%, according to new projections published last month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “That’s not a surprise,” University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby said in response to the data agency’s latest forecasts. “While a lot of people still aren’t aware of it, renewables are really the cheapest and most promising form of new energy generation in most places.”
  • 8minute Solar Energy: ‘Every Project’ Could Have Built-In Storage, Greentech Media
    A year after a leadership shakeup, 8minute has more projects in more states — and a record for solar-and-storage pricing.
  • Omaha-based Tenaska in the news here: IMPA Grows Toward More Sustainable Energy, Inside Indiana Business. IMPA is a nonprofit organization whose members include municipally-owned electric utilities. They provide power to 61 communities in Indiana and Ohio.
  • WoodMac: Lifting US Import Tariffs Would Knock 30 Percent Off Solar System Prices, Greentech Media. Solar system prices dropped 90 percent over the last nine years, but the decline was tempered by American trade tariffs, leaving U.S. prices 45 percent above those in Europe and Australia, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

REBA NEWS

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Announces Top 10 U.S. Large Energy Buyers in 2019, News Release
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), has announced the release of its Deal Tracker highlighting 2019’s Top 10 Large Energy Buyers, topped by Facebook with the procurement of 1.546 gigawatts (GW). The REBA Deal Tracker showcases total announcements of 9.33 GW of renewable energy in the U.S. and a shift in the energy landscape driven by the demand for accessible clean energy options. “Well over half of all energy consumption comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, so it is increasingly important that large energy buyers are identifying opportunities to reduce emissions,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA.

TRIBAL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS 

Indigenous tribes are at the forefront of climate change planning in the U.S., Grist
According to a database maintained by the University of Oregon, at least 50 tribes across the U.S. have assessed climate risks and developed plans to tackle them. With more than 570 federally recognized tribes controlling 50 million combined acres, these adaptation plans could prove a crucial element in building resilient communities that can thrive despite weather-related catastrophes and changes to the natural environment.

Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook

DIVESTMENT NEWS

Harvard Faculty Vote in Favor of Divestment 179-20, The Harvard Crimson
The vote marks the culmination of a fourmonthlong debate in faculty meetings over the proper role of the University in combating climate change. Ultimately, 179 faculty members supported a motion in favor of divestment, while just 20 voted to oppose it. Faculty supporters who spoke at the meeting argued that Harvard should be at the forefront of an international divestment movement.

Harvard’s Climate Action Plan

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces Wind Construction Project Award in Nebraska

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives Press Release, Globe Newswire

The award is for construction of the Thunderhead Wind Project in Antelope and Wheeler counties in Nebraska. The project will consist of 108 GE turbines with 300 megawatts of capacity. The power will be delivered into the Nebraska electrical grid. Work on the project began in November with completion scheduled for September 2020. The scope of IEA’s work includes construction of project access roads and turbine foundations, as well as erection of the turbines. Read more here.

Previously Posted: AT&T set to buy power output from new northeast Nebraska wind farm, News Channel Nebraska

Photo Credit: Invenergy

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

RE100 UPDATE: 216 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

RE100 ANNUAL REPORT

 

 

Going 100% renewable: how committed companies are demanding a faster market response

 


ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

NEW PV MAGAZINE US SENIOR EDITOR: PV Magazine announces veteran industry journalist, Eric Wesoff, as US senior editor

TIME-OF-USE RATES: Survey: Customer education needed for time-of-use rates to be successful, Energy News Network

SOLAR SCHOOLS: Editorial: PPAs offer a financial bright side for our schools, Richmond.com

CIRCULAR ECONOMY: The circular economy can be a holistic approach to addressing climate change, GreenBiz

NATIONAL CLIMATE BANK ACT: National Climate Bank initiative could be a boon for solar, PV Magazine. A companion bill to the National Climate Bank Act is expected to be introduced in the House, which could provide a huge boon to the solar and the solar plus storage markets.

CLIMATE RISKS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Study: Solar Tariffs Cause Devastating Harm to U.S. Market, Economy and Jobs
Tariffs on imported solar cells and modules have led to the loss of more than 62,000 U.S. jobs and $19 billion in new private sector investment, according to a market impact analysis released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

New money: Green banks and green bonds are bringing billions to utilities for the energy transition

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Hundreds of billions of dollars in untapped new money can finance the U.S. power system’s transition away from legacy fossil assets to renewables and distributed generation. Utilities like Duke Energy and Xcel Energy have issued billions in green bonds to fund renewables development. Green banks in New York, Connecticut and other states are backing investments in distributed resources and energy efficiency. It appears much more institutional money wants in on the green opportunity. Congress is considering proposals for a National green bank, which can help propel the energy transition if it can win the acceptance that major utilities told Utility Dive it deserves. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MIDWEST SOLAR ADVOCACY STORIES

From green-minded business owners to political activists: an industry shift in the Midwest, Solar Power World. For many Midwest solar companies, taking on advocacy roles in an industry just getting off the ground has been a necessary responsibility. Here is a look at solar policy in three Midwest states and how local solar installers have taken matters into their own hands.

CLIMATE ACTION GOALS & PROGRESS

MORE EV NEWS

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

  • Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough, CNN
    Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution.
  • Old dog solar panel manufacturer, Panasonic, learning new home storage tricks, PV Magazine
    Panasonic recently launched their EverVolt home energy storage system, with an AC and DC coupled unit that easily can scale up to 34 kWh and, when coupled with their HIT solar modules, can power your home indefinitely if the grid goes down.
  • Target in energy milestone — ahead of schedule, Chain Store Age
    During the past five years, Target has installed more solar systems than any other company, according to data from SEIA’s Solar Means Business report. The chain is also a four-time Energy Star Partner of the Year. 
  • Wind output to jump 37% because of climate shift — study, E&E News

FEATURED GREEN CAMPUS

Award spotlights UI’s energy efforts, Champaign/Urbana News- Gazette
Five years after it opened, the $98 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building at the University of Illinois has been awarded “platinum” certification under the LEED environmental rating system. Designed to someday be a “net zero” energy user, the building has a $3 million rooftop solar array with 950 panels that generate renewable electricity for the building and, on sunny days, contribute to the campus-wide power grid. The building also uses power from campus solar farms.

TRACKING THE SUN REPORT

US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing — Tracking The Sun Report, CleanTechnica. Tracking the Sun (PDF) is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on installed solar panel prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States.

SOLINATOR VIDEO

Demand from first-time, repeat buyers powers new era of large-scale renewables growth

By Monica JaburgDeputy Director, Communications and Media,
Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. Published by GreenBiz.

Large-scale energy buyers are driving the energy landscape shift by collectively voicing their demand for accessible clean energy options to decrease their carbon impacts. In 2018 alone, the group accounted for 6.3 gigawatts in announced renewable energy deals — an amount equal to over 60 percent of all new renewables generation added in the United States last year.

However, the U.S. commercial and industrial sector is still the most energy-intensive, accounting for about 50 percent of all power consumption and 34 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. So what’s next for this community when it comes to advance its clean energy and GHG emissions reduction mandates? Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

TRI-STATE NEWS

IN NEBRASKA

  • Excelsior to buy 109 MW of Nebraska wind capacity from Invenergy, Renewables Now
    Prairie Breeze II and Prairie Breeze III initiated operations in late 2015 and early 2016, respectively. They have 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) in place with Lincoln Electric System and City of Grand Island. The transaction is seen to be completed next month. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the tax equity investor in the projects, the announcement says.
  • Wind costs’ decline aids rural Nebraska, Letter to the Editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Cody Smith, Ames, Iowa Policy associate, Center for Rural Affairs

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA SOLAR BUSINESSES

Solar Jobs Census: The Solar Foundation is again collecting data for their annual National Solar Jobs Census. This confidential survey will take fifteen minutes of your time and will provide essential feedback to ensure that your company’s contributions to our economy are well
understood by policymakers and the general public. Deadline: November 15, 2019.
Complete the survey here.

LEGISLATION

  • SEIA garners industry support and lobbies for ITC extension, Solar Power World
    Solar contractors are on a time crunch to fit as many installations into 2019 as they can, because in 2020 the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) starts to lose its effectiveness. The ITC is a federal tax subsidy that, in its current capacity, gives solar system owners a 30% return on a solar project’s total tax liability in any market segment. In 2020 the ITC is slated to drop to 26%, 22% in 2021 and in 2022 it will decrease to a 10% subsidy for commercial and utility markets, and zero for residential, indefinitely. That is, unless, the renewables subsidy receives another extension. SEIA’s Campaign: Defend the Solar ITC
  • Legislation aims to accelerate geothermal energy development, American Public Power Association

EV NEWS

GM sells shuttered Ohio plant to EV truck start-up, Reuters

INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS – EXXON TRIAL

Exxon’s Climate Fraud Trial Nears Its End: What Does the State Have to Prove to Win?
With only days left before the two sides deliver their closing arguments, here’s a look at what the attorney general needs to prove and how Exxon is fighting the claims.

See Also

Previously Posted

Yale University Survey: Yale Poll Finds Majority of Americans Think ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Other Fossil Fuel Companies Should Pay for Climate Change Damage, Union of Concerned Scientists Blog. new survey by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communications and supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that most Americans (57 percent) think fossil fuel companies should pay for the damages caused by global warming.

Interactive Map – Click link and scroll down: This tool maps variations in Americans’ opinions about existing or potential lawsuits against fossil fuel companies.

Nebraska Data

  • A search by state shows that 50% of Nebraskans surveyed hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the local damage of global warming.
  • Several searches by county show the following results:

Cherry County: 58%
Colfax County: 56%
Dawes County: 57%
Douglas County: 56%
Lancaster County: 55%
Thurston County: 61%

Report says new storage capacity increasingly included in IRPs

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association Blog

“Of the 45 states taking grid modernization actions during the quarter, 40 took actions related to energy storage,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Manager of Policy Research at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). “Utility integrated resource plans are increasingly including new energy storage capacity, while states continue to evaluate how energy storage is addressed in resource planning rules.” Other key grid modernization trends in the third quarter highlighted by the center are utilities filing innovative rate design proposals and states and utilities planning online energy data portals. The executive summary for the report is available here. Read the entire article here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

  • Engie’s renewables chief on scaling corporate contracts, hydrogen hopes and offshore wind, GreenBiz. Many new renewable contracts Engie intends to sign will include clauses for making sure renewables are available 24/7, which means they’ll be hybrid arrangements that include a mix of clean (or cleaner) power sources such as solar, wind and hydro and, increasingly, some sort of storage — Engie has big aspirations in green hydrogen. Heather Clancy interviews Gwénaëlle Avice-Huet, executive vice president in charge of the global renewables and green hydrogen business line for Engie, and president and CEO of the Engie North America operation.
  • EDF’s Energy Storage Ambitions Come Out of Hibernation, Greentech Media
    After something of a hiatus, EDF has acquired Pivot Power — along with its 2-gigawatt storage pipeline and its unique approach to the market. “EDF has made a lot of noise with ambitions to be a leader of the global energy storage market announced last year,” said Rory McCarthy, senior storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “However, they haven’t [followed through on] this with anything in the U.K. market — until now.”
  • Previously Posted: Huge Battery Investments Drop Energy-Storage Costs Faster Than Expected, Threatening Natural Gas, Forbes. The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem.

Bipartisan Legislation

Energy Storage Tax Credit – H.R.2096/ S. 1142: Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2019.

Actions: Introduced in House April 4, 2019

Battery Recycling

Selling electricity doesn’t make EV charging stations a utility, Iowa rules

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A recent decision by Iowa utility regulators has removed a significant obstacle to the widespread development of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The Iowa Utilities Board ruled last week that providing electric vehicle charging service does not make a business a public utility. That’s significant because public utilities are subject to state oversight on all aspects of their business, including the setting of prices. The board’s finding also clarified that sellers of charging services may structure fees as they wish, and, in most cases, even sell power they generated on site such as with solar panels. Continue reading here.

Photo by J. Stephen Conn: The Iowa 80 Truck Stop was at the center of a regulatory case in Iowa over whether owners of EV charging stations can charge for electricity.

 MORE EV NEWS

  • Minnesota shuts down oil, manufacturing groups’ attempt to derail Xcel EV pilot, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Minnesota regulators on Monday stamped out a group of manufacturing and petroleum groups’ attempt to reverse approval of Xcel Energy’s $25 million electric vehicle pilot program. EV and clean energy stakeholders were skeptical of the groups’ involvement, noting that it may be the beginning of a longer fight between oil and electric power interests as EV adoption grows.

NEBRASKA NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

CUSTOMER CHOICE AGGREGATION

TAX CREDITS

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY / CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS

RE: BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE’S UPDATED MISSION STATEMENT

  • Shareholders vs. stakeholders: Fundamental changes in an old debate, contributed opinion by Terry F. Yosie, Former President and CEO, World Environment Center. Published by GreenBiz. The movement for an expanded stakeholder voice in corporate decision making is challenging and adds complexity to already crowded executive calendars, but it is not antagonistic to shareholder value. In a world driven by changing demographics, disruptive technologies, climate change, less stable financial and political systems and market volatility, integration of both approaches is necessary for business to maintain its social license to operate.

Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

MORE SOLAR INDUSTRY NEWS

  • Solar stocks soar in 2019, PV Magazine
    A true representation of health in any industry is said industry’s standing in the stock market. That sounds painfully simple, and it is, but sometimes we can get so lost in the weeds between policy, emerging technology, legal battles and system failures that we forget what makes the world go round: money.
  • Beyond the PPA, PV Magazine
    Contract lengths are getting shorter and hedges are replacing PPAs in the Texas solar market. Are we headed toward a future of merchant solar? These shorter PPAs are driven by a number of factors, but chief among these is that corporate off-takers are demanding them. Colin Smith, a solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie, describes a “tremendous amount of pressure” from Google, Facebook and Microsoft for shorter terms.

OFF-GRID GUIDE

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

The University of California system is ending its investment in fossil fuels

By Umair Irfan, Vox

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.

Related 

  • 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.
  • Previously Posted: The growing concern over stranded assets, GreenBiz

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MORE ON CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

THE TERRATON PROJECT

Mission: Remove a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere, GreenBiz
The Terraton Initiative embodies one specific goal — to remove 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere. Indigo Agriculture, an agricultural technology company based in Massachusetts, founded and runs the project.

GLOBAL ENERGY STORAGE REPORTS

Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive
“Nothing really does seem to be standing in the way of its explosive growth,” Ricardo Rodriguez, research analyst for distributed energy storage at Navigant Research, told Utility Dive. The market research company in its latest report identified close to 2,100 energy storage projects globally. And international storage markets are anticipated to grow exponentially over the next decade, a second report from Rethink Technology Research found.

U.S. Utility Solar Pipeline Soars to 37.9 GW, A New Record

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

The U.S. solar industry now has the largest pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in history, signaling promising future prospects for solar energy development. According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the contracted pipeline has ballooned to a record 37.9 gigawatts (GW), the highest in the history of U.S. utility solar photovoltaics (PV). This follows record-high procurement of 15 GW in 2018. More than 6 GW of solar capacity were added to the five-year forecast since last quarter because of the uptick in utility-scale deals. Utility solar project announcements surged to 11.2 GW in the first half of 2019, with 6.2 GW contracted in Q2 alone. In addition to the utility solar pipeline growth, residential solar deployment rebounded from the same period last year.
Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

Consulting firm sees U.S. wind market adding 14.6 GW in 2020, American Public Power Association. The U.S. wind market will add 14.6 gigawatts of capacity in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest North America wind power outlook. The record-setting mark underlines the strength of the 23 GW pipeline Wood Mackenzie has identified as currently under construction or contracted for commercial operation in 2020, the consulting firm said on Sept. 12. The phase out of the Production Tax Credit beginning in 2021 has developers rushing to complete projects in 2020, driving major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection queues, Wood Mackenzie said.

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

Podcast audio: SolarEdge’s first battery launch and how solar is ‘now a real contender’

By Andy Colthorpe, Energy Storage News

Here’s the extended audio version of our recent interview with Lior Handelsman, co-founder and VP for product and marketing strategy, talking for the first time in depth about the forthcoming launch of a battery system under the SolarEdge brand.

Lior spoke with Andy Colthorpe, Energy-Storage.news‘ editor, about how solar and storage can be competitive with fossil fuels, how SolarEdge is maintaining its own competitive advantage as well as some exclusive inside info on the company’s forthcoming residential battery energy storage systems. Listen now on Google podcasts, as well as Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify & Anchor.fm (embeds below) and anywhere else that hosts quality pod. Read more here.

Image by Solar Media: SolarEdge’s AR demo of the capabilities of solar, batteries and other DERs.

Additional Recommended Reading

Fortune’s Change the World List for 2019

Here’s our fifth annual list of the best of them, selected in collaboration with our expert partners at Shared Value InitiativeClick here to read more about the list and how we chose the 52 companies. Click here to read about this year’s Sustainability All Stars. And click here to see six small companies whose technology is on the cusp of delivering world-changing breakthroughs.

Power for America, Utility Workers Launch First-of-Its-Kind Renewable Energy Specialist Apprenticeship Program

Utility Workers Union of America News Release

The Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) and Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO have announced a unique, new union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Department of Labor (DOL)-certified, program provides individuals with specialized skills to remain at the forefront of the offshore and onshore wind, solar generation and battery storage fields.

“These are the jobs of the future and if we’re going to remain on the cutting edge of the energy industry, the skills we teach must reflect those of the ever-changing energy industry,” said Jon Harmon, P4A executive director. “This important program taps into P4A’s decade of success training and placing individuals in high-skilled positions that allow them to stand-out in the workplace and be placed in a good, family-supporting jobs.” Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS 

EV NEWS