January 15, 2018

Federal Regulators Shut Down Perry’s Proposed Rule for Grid Resilience

In an order issued January 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) determined that Secretary Rick Perry’s Sep. 29 notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on grid resilience does not meet the statutory requirements of the Federal Power Act (FPA).

FERC said that it has closed the docket it opened to consider the NOPR and take comments from stakeholders. As an alternative, however, FERC in its order initiated a new proceeding to explore resilience issues within the operations of U.S. regional transmission operators and independent system operators (RTO/ISO).

January 14, 2018

Solar Industry Riled by DPU Approval of New Infrastructure Fee in Boston

Eversource utility customers who install solar panels a year from now will be on the hook for new fees under a new Department of Public Utilities order that is generating controversy within the renewable energy industry.

The new charges will cast a shadow over the solar market, according to an industry representative, although a top Baker administration official described the order as “balanced,” weighing the need for new investments in electrical infrastructure with protections for electricity customers.

January 12, 2018

Orleans, NY Adopts New Wind Law

The Orleans Town Council has adopted a new wind law after more than a year of determining new regulations and fine tuning.

The town’s attorney, James A. Burrows, said the board adopted the law at its Dec. 28 meeting and he sent the law to the state Department of State for its files less than a week later. The new law, which combines the 2011 version with dozens of amendments, takes effect when the department officially files it.

Creating and revising the town’s wind law has been an ongoing project for more than a decade, Mr. Burrows said. The board adopted the first version of its wind law in 2007.

January 11, 2018

Rooftop Solar PV Market in Thailand 'Largely Untapped'

Rooftop solar in Thailand faces several challenges that have left the industry “largely untapped,” according to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

According to IRENA’s outlook for the country, the residential rooftop solar market has suffered the most, due to market dynamics that make installation unattractive to homeowners.

January 9, 2018

Changes to the Electricity Law to Foster Growth in Turkey

Turkey is taking the necessary legislative steps to enhance its investment environment, ensure the security of its energy supply, promptly integrate domestic and renewable resources into its energy system, and eliminate bureaucratic challenges for energy market investors.

Turkey has experienced increased consumption, economic expansion, positive demographic trends, and a rapid pace of urbanization and industrialization in recent years. The combination of these factors has resulted in a swift increase in energy demand (estimated to rise around 6 percent annually until 2023)[1] and has contributed to making Turkey one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world.

January 8, 2018

New Indiana Solar Panel Law Takes Effect

A new Indiana law that took effect January 1st could change incentives you receive for using solar energy.

Solar energy caught the eye of Sandys Pizza in Fort Branch just as Senate Bill 309 was drafted.

The new law went into effect this year and put a time cap for current net metering incentives -- causing  Sandys Pizza to act quickly.

December 31, 2017

Hawaii Commits To 100% Renewable Roads By 2045

Hawaii has announced a new commitment to sustainable living technology, declaring that the state will transform both private and public transportation to completely renewable fuel sources by 2045. Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, hosted the state's four mayors from the City and County of Honolulu, Maui County, Hawaiʻi County and Kauaʻi County aboard a canoe in mid-December. 

There they signed proclamations declaring their goal.

December 29, 2017

Indonesia Needs Renewable Energy Law, Lawmaker Says

A House of Representatives lawmaker has called for the formulation of a law on renewable energy to serve as the legal basis for the country’s effort to source 23 percent of its total energy needs from renewables in 2025, from 7.7 percent last year.

The development of renewable energy is currently based on the 2007 Energy Law and the Government Regulation (PP) No. 79/2014 on the National Energy Policy (KEN).

December 28, 2017

Massachusetts Announces More Energy Storage Grants

Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $20 million in grants to support 26 energy storage projects in 25 Massachusetts communities. The grant program, Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES), is part of the state’s ongoing Energy Storage Initiative, which includes a range of energy storage policy efforts. It puts the state clearly in the storage leadership role on the U.S. East Coast.

December 27, 2017

House Bill Seeks New Energy Storage Tax Credit

U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.) and Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) last week introduced a House bill that would create a new investment tax credit for energy storage.

“Supporting and encouraging the use of innovative energy technologies can help lower energy costs and improve grid resiliency,” Costello said in a statement. “When paired with recent advancements in clean and renewable energy choices, energy storage can strengthen the security of our electric grid, offer consumers greater choice, and lower the cost of energy bills.”

December 25, 2017

China's New Policy Will Move Solar Closer to Regions Where It's Needed

China’s plan to introduce a system to monitor and evaluate the solar-power market will help direct new investments to regions where fewer plants are idle, according to industry researchers.

The policy, which targets mostly ground-mounted projects, will provide data on where to avoid and where to invest, so it “will alleviate some idle solar capacity,” said Peng Peng, director of policy research at the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association. 

December 24, 2017

A Revealing Look at Wind's Big Markets and Emerging Challenges

On the global stage, China is the leading market for wind energy. With wind capacity of 168.7 GW at the end of 2016, it held a market share in new deployments of over 42 percent. China’s commitment to renewables, with a focus on wind, doesn’t show signs of ebbing: aiming for 20 percent of its energy needs to be met with clean energy by 2030 and pledging to invest US$367 billion in renewables by 2020, MAKE Consulting predicts China averaging over 25 GW of new wind capacity annually for the next decade.

December 22, 2017

Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Re-Power Puerto Rico Includes DERs, Renewables

If Hurricane Sandy, during which millions of New Yorkers lost power and damage to the electric grid was substantial, was the spark that ignited New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision, aka REV” then perhaps Hurricane Maria will be the spark that ignites a new energy vision for Puerto Rico.

On Tuesday, December 12, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced a plan to rebuild and transform Puerto Rico's electric power system with modern grid technologies and control systems. The new system will have increased renewable generation, such as wind and solar; incorporate new distributed energy resource (DER) technologies, such as energy storage and microgrids; reduce dependency on fossil fuels; and enable energy to become abundant, affordable and sustainable for the people of Puerto Rico, according to the Governors.

December 21, 2017

Brazil to Dominate Latin America’s Wind Power Market in 2018

Latin American wind has grown swiftly in recent years to almost 20 GW by August 2017, with 80 percent of installed capacity in Brazil and Mexico.

Senior analyst for Latin America at MAKE Consulting, Brian Gaylord told Renewable Energy World that MAKE expects Latin America to rebound next year, with 4 GW of new wind power capacity.

December 20, 2017

Wind in Europe — How Does It Blow?

Europe maintains a healthy market but is looking forward to fresh energy and climate ambitions to add certainty over what the post-2020 landscape will mean for new wind power.

Trade association WindEurope reports that wind power is providing over half of all new generating capacity being installed across the EU member states, with onshore providing the majority.

Some 4.8 GW of new onshore wind was installed in the first half of 2017, with the sector attracting €5.4 billion (US$6.4 billion) in new asset financing over the same period; comparable figures for the offshore sector saw 1.3 GW installed offshore, and €2.9 billion (US$3.4 billion) in financing. WindEurope predicts 2017 will be a record year for installations, with over 10 GW of new onshore wind (3.1 GW offshore) installed across the EU-28.

December 13, 2017

Independent Renewable Energy Producers to Appeal Regulatory Decision on Payments

A group of independent power producers are vowing to appeal a recent Michigan Public Service Commission ruling affecting how their facilities are compensated by Consumers Energy for the electricity they produce.

On Nov. 21, the three-member MPSC ruled in a case involving “avoided costs” paid by Jackson-based Consumers Energy (NYSE: CMS) to small, independent power producers. When their existing contracts expire, the new rates would take effect and would lead to lower payments, according to the Independent Power Producers Coalition of Michigan. The group represents biomass, hydroelectric and waste-to-energy facilities across the state. 

December 12, 2017

Glenville, NY Adopts Solar Energy Law

Some types of residential arrays are prohibited by new legislation

A new solar energy law adopted by the Town Board sets limits on where large solar energy arrays can be built, while also setting standards for residential roof-mounted arrays.

Large commercial solar energy arrays — often called "solar farms" — would be kept out of residential zones but would be allowed in "highway commercial," "research and technology," "riverfront recreation/commercial" and "airport" zoning districts. Small-scale, ground-mounted panel arrays would also be allowed in those zones, but not in residential areas.

December 11, 2017

Australian Renewables Industry Buoyed by Queensland Election Results

The result of elections in the Australian state of Queensland is expected to bring reassurance to the country's renewable energy sector, after preliminary results showed a win for Labour.

During the election campaign the Queensland Labour party said it was committing A$50 million to the state's first solar thermal with storage project and aiming for 50% of Queensland's energy to be renewable by 2030.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the renewable energy would be a mixture of solar and wind, with battery and pumped hydro storage.

December 10, 2017

AG's Office Introduces Disclosure Requirement for Solar Merchants in New Mexico

Form includes information on payments, fees, and tax credits and rebates.

Investing in solar power infrastructure could become a more transparent process for potential residential consumers in the state with a disclosure requirement introduced by New Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General.

The disclosure requirement is a form that merchants would have to fill out for a potential customer in order to help the customer understand the solar power system purchase, lease and power purchasing agreement, according to James Hallinan, communications director for the AG's Office.

December 8, 2017

Solar Advocates in Maine Get Reprieve From Controversial Rule in Advance of Lawsuit Ruling

Maine’s rooftop solar installers won a four-month reprieve Tuesday when the Maine Public Utilities Commission voted to delay implementation of a rule on how people who install new systems next year will be compensated for electricity they feed into the grid.

The current net-metering rule requires utilities to pay small energy generators the full retail price for the electricity they send into the grid. But under the new rule, systems installed after Dec. 31 would have seen the credit on their electric bills reduced over time.

December 7, 2017

Illinois Power Agency Finalizes New Renewables Procurement Rules

The Illinois Power Agency this week filed a final version of its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, building on an October draft of the proposal.

The plan considers how the agency will run programs and procurements to obtain renewable energy credits for Illinois utilities' renewable portfolio standard obligations, as well as how to run the low-income focused Illinois Solar for All program.

December 4, 2017

Tax Law Changes Could Chill Solar, Wind Investments

Tax equity has become a critical part of the capital stack for solar and wind projects in the US, effectively letting large corporations shrink their tax bills by providing cheap capital for new renewable energy projects developed by third parties.

But the tax reform package weaving its way through Congress could shrink the appetites of those investors. And that would leave developers and project sponsors assuming more of the cost -- and risk -- to build up the nation's renewable energy capacity in the coming years. Leaders in the industry say those changes could slow the growth of renewable energy nationwide.

December 3, 2017

Q&A: Law Change Expected to Boost Pennsylvania’s Solar Industry

A recent change to Pennsylvania law is expected to give a boost to the state’s solar industry.

On Oct. 30, Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that will provide more protection for home-grown projects and prevent out-of-state solar power from affecting Pennsylvania’s marketplace for alternative energy.

StateImpact Pennsylvania discussed the significance of the change with Christina Simeone, Director of Policy and External Affairs for the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

December 1, 2017

Michigan PURPA Updates Create ‘Level Playing Field For Clean Energy’

Last Wednesday, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) finalized a new avoided cost formula that utility Consumers Energy must use to buy power from independent, qualified facilities (QFs) under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).

Solar advocates say the order will help create the certainty necessary to spur private investments and new growth in Michigan solar energy, while ensuring utility customers’ electricity rates don’t increase.

November 27, 2017

Community Solar Enrollment Now Open for Central New York Residents

This week marks the first for households and small businesses in Central New York and the state’s Southern Tier to enroll for a community solar subscription with a new, more customer-friendly contract. Three projects, each composing 2.7 MWdc, are owned by local developer Delaware River Solar (DRS). Solstice, a non-profit that supports community solar access, has initiated a campaign to enroll customers in eligible areas. Subscriptions are available to locals of Central New York and the Southern Tier, including the cities of Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton.