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.
In a dynamic discussion at the Rockefeller Institute of Government on April 18 in Albany, N.Y., financial experts explained how they “follow the puck” by observing technological and social trends as they move their funds from fossil fuels toward clean energy.
Last year was a record-breaking year for the solar asset backed securitization (ABS) market. The market not only crossed the 1-billion mark but also registered the highest securitization value in a single year. Part of this success was a result of new players such as Mosaic, Sunnova Solar Energy, and Dividend Solar Finance coming on board.
Interest in Ghana’s solar market is booming. However, the nation has a long way to go to reach its goals. As of March 2017, the Ghanaian Energy Commission had issued provisional licenses for developers to install roughly 3000 MW of photovoltaic capacity. Actual growth is much slower.
“Puerto Rico is suffering,” said José H. Román, interim president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, to a crowded room of attendees at the Future of Energy Global Summit in New York City on April 9. The summit explored how the global renewable energy market is changing even as it faces policy headwinds in North America. For Puerto Rico, a United States territory, hope for the future seems distant given its currently harsh economy and inadequate infrastructure.
For many energy innovators, securing venture capital may seem to be an impossible challenge. Taking this issue to heart, the technology company Rho AI is exploring the power of artificial intelligence to find capital for companies in the renewable energy marketplace. Having recently earned a grant from the United States Department of Energy to create a solution called Partner AI, Rho AI is reaching its seventh month of development. Partner AI is an online artificial intelligence-based solution that will work to streamline today’s renewable energy venture capital process.
At the annual MIT Energy Conference on Mar. 2- 3 in Cambridge, Mass., practitioners and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss their views about the future of energy. Throughout the conference, experts agreed that the world is transitioning to new energy sources and the next disruption may be around the corner. The panel “Energy Financing – From Idea to Investment and Onward” focused on how the industry can think about financing innovative projects that may struggle in a highly regulated market with big players.
Like a brilliant new TV show, new energy technologies must run the gauntlet of the pilot phase, soliciting interest from utilities and developers. In the electric industry, piloting new equipment can be particularly difficult because new, advanced energy-technology pilots must demonstrate that deployment won’t compromise the stability of the electric grid.
If Pope Francis was the United States Secretary of the Treasury, he might have issued the Department of the Treasury's recent press release on April 22 with this comment from his encyclical “Laudato Si:" “Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out.”
Now that installations of solar PV coupled with battery storage (solar+storage) are becoming more common in commercial markets, it is important that disadvantaged communities not be left behind. One of the reasons for this lag in market uptake of clean energy in low- and moderate-income communities is a persistent financing gap.
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...