Topic: Commercial and Industrial Markets

Commercial and Industrial Markets Articles

Solar Stakeholders Sharpen Their Ability to Reduce Soft Costs

While the installation costs for solar in the United States have dropped dramatically in recent years, the number is double that in Germany. The difference has mainly resulted from soft costs – costs that do not relate directly to construction. To explore the cost-reduction opportunities, Solar Power World held a webinar on April 28 to discuss some major strategies for installers to decrease the soft costs of financing, training, and local solar programs.

Thawing the Market for Commercial Energy Efficiency

Scaling the mountain of creating a large energy efficiency market for commercial buildings in the United States is a daunting task, according to a March report from Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). This report, “Energy Efficiency Finance for Commercial Buildings: Insights from Lenders,” reveals structural and outreach problems have largely frozen massive investment opportunities – close to $72 billion.

The Mechanics of Measuring Success in Energy Efficiency Financing

Growing momentum for energy efficiency financing in the United States has motivated State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network to conduct around 20 interviews with stakeholders in five states to explore what it takes to make utility-sponsored programs succeed. The research team produced a report that outlines the pitfalls and promises of a wide range of evaluation techniques.

Global Energy-Efficiency Market Is Growing – But Not Fast Enough

International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 on Oct. 8 via a webinar. IEA projected the market would continue to grow and would reach $120 billion USD by 2020. However, this number “still falls far short of the estimated $215 billion USD to reach the 2-degree scenario,” said Sam Thomas, senior programme manager at IEA.

Building Climate Resilience in Native American Communities

In the Navajo Nation, electricity may be a fragile commodity as climate change intensifies. Other tribes in the United States face similar energy quandaries. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Sept. 2 that it is requesting applications to co-fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, and combined heat and power to help increase the climate resilience of indigenous communities. The available funding is estimated to total around $4-6 million. Applications are due by Dec. 10.

Citi Suggests Global Climate Investment Goals

On the surface, Citi’s recommendations of global climate investment goals, published in August in the report “Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth,” look deceptively simple. But a closer look at the patchwork of international regulations, legislation, and carbon markets reveals that financing clean energy in developing nations may be quite challenging to accomplish.

Split Incentives May Not Reduce Commercial Energy Efficiency’s Value

When landlords make decisions about energy efficiency but tenants pay the costs, this creates a motivational problem known as the “split incentive.” Split incentives result in smaller investments in energy efficiency than would be economically efficient otherwise. A working paper, “Energy Codes and the Landlord-Tenant Problem,” explored this issue in April.