Ever since Ronald Reagan tossed Jimmy Carter’s White House solar panels in the trash, Americans have disagreed about this polarizing energy-generating infrastructure. And as the renewable energy market expands, so do opportunities for “solar NIMBYism.”
South Dakota is a national leader in the proportion of its electricity mix coming from wind energy. CEFF spoke to South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Vice Chairman Chris Nelson about the status of clean energy in the state. He contends that the rise of wind in the state is traceable to federal incentives and a business-friendly policy landscape, and argues that solar may be better positioned for future growth.
Solar and onshore wind remain cost competitive with the marginal cost of existing conventional generation technologies, according to the new analysis. Costs for utility-scale solar have been falling about 13% annually for the last five years while onshore wind costs have declined a more modest 7% annually.
Though Vivint sales representatives knock on “millions of doors a year,” CEO David Bywater said on the company’s Q3 earnings call that recent power outages have pushed many potential customers to reconsider renewables and storage.
The U.S. company’s transformation from solar manufacturer to the second-largest residential PV company in the nation is complete after it spun off its high-efficiency cell and module production unit into a new entity, in partnership with Chinese wafer maker TZS.
A panel discussion about new forms of VPPA aggregation formed a focal point for this year’s Renewable Energy Markets conference in San Diego. Now, some companies are taking shares of VPPA projects rather than bilaterally contracting to build one strictly for their own renewable energy demand. The talk explored the ins-and-outs of such deals, and provided some pointers for constructing one.
Upgrading its projections for the clean power sector yet again, the influential agency suggested that by 2024 developers will have added enough new renewables capacity to the global grid to match demand from the entire U.S. economy.
"With each passing day it seems like another large company, like Amazon or Target, announces new solar procurements or bold renewable energy commitments. These companies make the headlines, but the untold success story of solar power in America can be found in small businesses across the country that are making those deals happen."
Solar’s embrace of subsidy-free models could push it in greater numbers towards owners with the experience to navigate power price swings, according to Wood Mackenzie. In a recent report, the consultancy said some of the world’s developed solar markets could witness an asset management shift as merchant business models become more prevalent.