Recently, large scale gas and electric utilities are making commitments to a carbon-neutral future. Their motivations, however, are not rooted in corporate responsibility; instead, economic trends are pointing to renewables for competitive advantage.
Blockchain technologies have been gaining notability due to the recent cryptocurrency hype. However, the same peer-to-peer networking technology that enables cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, provides a model for application across industries beyond finance; for example, the energy sector. New developments have seen blockchain technologies as a disruptive force for grid management. What could this mean for the solar industry?
The solar import tariff implemented this year has caused significant dispute between policy makers, economists, and supporters of the solar industry. Now, U.S. based solar company, SunPower, has filed an exemption request with the U.S. Trade Representative. This motion reflects the most central debate regarding the trade case: is the tariff helping, or hurting, the U.S. solar industry?
To further research on energy storage and batteries, scientists at Berkeley Lab tested a theory from a German language academic journal dated 1928. The result? A new, higher-performing, environmentally cleaner, and affordable storage battery may soon be on the market.
Each year, the proportion of renewable energy used to power U.S. homes and businesses has increased. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases a monthly electric power report to keep up with this evolving energy infrastructure. This February’s report includes milestones for solar development across the nation — growing over 40% in 2017 over 2016 — solar energy is now the fastest growing segment of energy generation in the U.S.
Although the electric car was introduced over 100 years ago, only a fraction of cars sold to U.S. customers today are considered electric vehicles (EVs). Due to the environmental benefits of EVs, there has historically been some efforts to incentivize EV development. Now, Massachusetts's proportion of EVs may begin to climb due to a proposal set forth by Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has followed up on a two year long initiative to take policy action on energy market barriers. As the nation's energy generation and distribution continues to modernize, energy markets must become conducive to innovation. The new rule, adopted on February 15th, opens U.S. wholesale energy markets to energy storage on equal footing with traditional power systems by properly valuing the unique benefits of energy storage.
SolBid’s Clean Energy News has followed the ITC Section 201 Solar Trade case since the initial proposal. At the time of our last discussion, the administration was in place to announce the final ruling by January 26th. Three days early, on January 23rd, the President signed the proclamation placing a tariff on imported solar cells and modules for a period of four years. The import tariff, which was implemented February 7th, is set at 30% with a 5% declining rate per year.
A report published in December 2017 by the Department of Energy outlines individual state’s commitments to modernizing their electricity grids. Modernization is crucial for utilities to integrate new, cleaner, and more efficient technologies. Due to variance in state agendas, some states are preparing better than others to modernize their electricity grids and integrate new and cost effective technologies.
SolBid has provided consistent coverage of the ITC Solar Tariff Case as it has evolved over the past four months. In August, I reported on the “proposed” solar tariff submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission by Suniva and SolarWorld America, two U.S. based but majority Chinese and German-owned companies (respectively), to impose a tariff and floor price on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels of $0.40/watt and a floor price of $0.78/watt.