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Solar Power

U.S. Solar Generation Doubled in 2014, Renewable Output Grew 11%

March 12, 2015 by Jeff St. John
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U.S. and Renewables Growth

New federal statistics out this week have shed more light on solar and wind energy’s emerging role in keeping the country’s lights on. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2014 saw non-hydro renewable energy generation increase by 11 percent over the previous year.[read more]

Can Solar be the Backbone of India's Energy System by 2035?

March 12, 2015 by Tobias Engelmeier

Around 70% of India’s power comes from coal, less than 1% from solar. Will that change in the next 20 years? Can solar become the new backbone of the Indian energy system? I think there is a good possibility that it will. In this post I present a thought experiment.[read more]

Money and Policy Now Support Renewables

March 12, 2015 by Deborah Lawrence
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Money and energy policy don’t always walk hand in hand unless, of course, it is in the form of campaign contributions. The year 2015, however, may turn out to be the year energy policy for renewables finally commits to the financial sector. And like all great commitments or marriages, it will have its ups and downs.[read more]

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Colorado Introduces Legislation to Create a New Utility Business Model

March 11, 2015 by Tom Plant
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Colorado HB 1250 follows the lead of PUCs in Hawaii, New York and Massachusetts, instructing the Colorado PUC to look at different ways the state might be able to align the public policy objectives of a cleaner, more efficient and innovative energy system with the utility’s business model.[read more]

EV's Plus Solar Equals Disruption

March 9, 2015 by Deborah Lawrence
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Prior to Tesla, when we thought of electric vehicles (EV’s) it often conjured up images of Jetson flying cars or funky looking contraptions that were really glorified golf carts. They were anomalies that might have made you smile when someone drove past. That is not the case anymore.[read more]

A Solar Turnaround as Developer Conergy Goes From Bankrupt to Bullish

March 8, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Conergy's ascendance was occurring about the same time that China was orchestrating its move into modules and inverters, making that business less rewarding from both a money-making and an existential standpoint. Conergy fell on difficult times and filed for preliminary insolvency.[read more]

Sometimes it Takes a Community to Go Solar

March 8, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Community Solar

 

You don’t have a south-facing roof. You have too many trees in your yard. You may not be committed to staying in your house for the next ten to fifteen years. Or maybe you rent, or don’t have the upfront money to install. These may be some of the reasons why you can’t go solar. You are not alone.[read more]

SunEdison's Next Market: Solar Minigrids and Micropower Stations for the Energy Poor

March 7, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

In a conference room in Manhattan, large screens glowed with the SunEdison logo. The gathering was not a sales pitch for SunEdison, argued CEO Ahmad Chatila. “We hope next year there will be many more companies here with us, and more after that,” Chatila told the audience during an impromptu address.[read more]

SolarCity Slashes Installation Costs; Citigroup Pledges $100B for Projects

March 7, 2015 by Lexie Briggs
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SolarCity and Citigroup Renewables News

Last week we saw announcements of significant cost savings for SolarCity, a major advanced energy investment from Citigroup, and a move into Mexico for Pattern Energy. So, costs are down, investment is up, and t’s a good time to be in advanced energy.[read more]

The New (and Improved) Electric Grid in California

March 6, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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California Electric Grid

 

During the day, California routinely gets more than 15 percent of its power needs from solar energy, which produces no harmful air pollution. That's enormously helpful for our environment and public health. It also means that the people who operate the grid don't need to find as much electricity elsewhere.[read more]

Friction at the Grid Edge: Hawaii's PUC Orders HECO to Approve Solar Rooftops

March 6, 2015 by Eric Wesoff
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Hawaii and Rooftop Solar

The latest skirmish in the Hawaiian solar power struggle stems from a letter sent out last week by HECO to 50 Big Island residents that suggested that until the islands' net energy metering policy is settled, interconnection approval of new PV would be on hold, according to a report on KHON Honolulu.[read more]

Cheap and Flexible Solar

March 4, 2015 by Energy @ MIT
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Flexible Solar

Solar cells made out of lead sulfide quantum dots could eventually offer a cheaper, more flexible alternative to ones made using silicon, but they are currently much less efficient. However, altering the chemical composition of quantum-dot solar cells offers a way of tuning them to reach higher efficiencies.[read more]

Why Did Apple Pay So Much for 130 MW of Solar? Is Google Part of the Answer?

March 4, 2015 by Catherine Wolfram
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Apple Solar Investment

Sometimes, we write blog posts that pose rhetorical questions in the title. This time, I have real questions concerning Apple and First Solar announcing that Apple was paying $848 million for 25 years of the output of a 130 MW block of First Solar’s California Flats project in SE Monterey County.[read more]

Nuance or Nuisance: the Challenge of State-Level Incentives in Renewable Energy Development

States and Renewables Policy

A market closes, a market opens – such are the sharp ups and downs currently inherent to renewables development. Incentives in the US are currently decided at the state level. This adds challenge to an already inherently complex business, and more should be done to create parallel structures across state lines.[read more]

What is Prosumer Value to Utilities?

March 3, 2015 by Christine Hertzog

The Age of the Prosumer presents challenges for utilities used to thinking of their customers in terms of kilowatthours consumed. The Smart Grid is responsible for these challenges, borne out of technology, policy, and capital innovations. These innovations trigger many disruptions to the utility business model.[read more]