While solar and wind resources are abundant in the western United States, the region faces technical, operational and management challenges in transitioning to cleaner energy portfolios. Integrating renewable energy into existing electric grids continues to be a difficult hurdle for many electricity markets. When utilities face intermittent renewable energy generation, energy imbalance markets (EIMs) have been developed to mitigate the gaps between production and demand.
At the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, we constantly scan the horizon for transformative solutions in clean energy markets and finance. And as far and as wide as we look, we are drawn back to study the remarkable work across our home state of Connecticut.
It’s urgent to fund climate solutions in developing nations. The risk of climate-related adversities particularly affects the poor, who already suffer disproportionately from these impacts. Direct government funding is scarce in the least-developed countries. Hence, climate change investment needs are significant. One way to address this gap and also reduce investment risks is to use results-based climate finance.
The road to electrifying heating and transportation in the United States is being mapped out by Electric Power Research Institute and The Brattle Group. Their forecasts show that different paths may yield a range of environmental, business and health benefits. Electrification could also stoke the fire of utility profits, which has dimmed in recent years.
What are companies doing to develop insurance and maintenance coverage for solar panels where hurricanes threaten clean energy systems? In this Q&A, Michael Grasso, CMO of Sunnova, said that the combination of energy storage, solar power, and strong insurance is improving community resilience in Puerto Rico.
The Sun Belt offers great possibilities for solar power development. And in many states of the deep South, residential customers stand to gain massively from increased access to affordable renewable energy. The Southeast is home to much of the nation’s worst sustained poverty. Its low-income consumers have some of the highest energy burdens in the country, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Energy burden” is defined as the percentage of household income that goes toward energy costs. Many states in the region maintain detrimental policy frameworks. Innovation is needed across the board to ensure solar power’s benefits are accessible to all customers.
A secure and responsible energy future relies on innovation. Technological innovation is needed to help increase energy efficiency and advance the energy economy. “De-risking” new energy technologies is a critical step in bringing innovation to market. And this is a step directly addressed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program.
On social media and at industry conventions, it is easy to find high-profile discussions on the technological revolution of electric grids. Experts on energy storage, distributed generation, and wireless options describe how emerging technologies are poised to transform the electricity sector. The hype is real. Energy companies are developing technologies at an increasingly rapid pace. But for all the attention on these new devices and expectations of market growth, there’s still no clear path to widespread adoption. As this series shows, several key barriers prevent technology adoption from keeping up with technology development.
Developing countries are in need of significant financial investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. In most developing countries, government investments for climate change are limited. Therefore, in order to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement, governments need to rely on other external sources of funding. Identifying and accessing these funds, however, still remains a big challenge.
Will utilities upgrade as they encounter new technologies or get left behind? That’s what attendees discussed at one of the final sessions at the Future of Energy Summit in New York City on April 10. When it comes to software, electric utilities are sometimes very far behind other companies.
At a public event in Boston on June 11 called "Designing Solar’s Value: A Stakeholder’s Forum," speakers outlined an ambitious proposal to shift the entire framework of solar financing in Massachusetts to a value-of-solar model. The newly founded Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC) cosponsored the event, which was hosted by Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE).
Greentech Media’s first international Solar Summit, held on Jan. 27-28 in Mexico City, left more questions than answers about the future of solar in Mexico. Speakers said that the solar markets are in flux at all levels of development. The country is far from reaching a steady state. Developers who are willing to take risks could enjoy huge payoffs but must first face significant regulatory uncertainty.
A joint committee of Massachusetts senators and representatives is approaching a decision on the future of solar power. The decision will determine how to modify net metering, an incentive policy that is critical to most solar projects' financial viability. Meanwhile, utilities are unable to plan for their systems and developers have been forced to ice projects at all stages.
While making strong motivational statements at the 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City on Jan. 27, speakers also laid forth an ambitious set of targeted goals to implement the Paris climate conference’s agenda. These goals included implementing climate disclosure requirements; advocating for stable, economically meaningful carbon pricing; ceasing investment in coal; leveraging pension funds; scaling up green banks; clarifying what constitutes a green bond; and analyzing risks on an industry-by-industry basis.
Eden Full Goh discovered the potential of solar power when she was just 10 years old. She had come across a book in the library that taught her how to build a small solar-powered car. Once she took the book home and built it, she was hooked. She wanted to see what else she could do with this...
They appear periodically, but predictably - media reports about the powerful, corporate utilities seeking to block consumer access to rooftop solar and maintain control of the grid versus the plucky, disruptive solar companies, fighting to bring clean, free power - and energy independence - to the...