At EnergySage, we’re giving thanks for sunshine this week. Read on to find out the top solar energy news stories for the week of November 23rd, 2015.
GOP Rep Pushes for Competitive Solar Market in Florida
After recently having panels installed on his own roof, State Representative Fred Costello has created a bill that calls for a deregulated solar market in the Sunshine State. According to SEIA, Florida has the third-highest rooftop solar potential of any state, but ranks 14th in cumulative solar capacity. Costello, a Republican, believes that a deregulated solar market is necessary to encourage solar in the state, and hopes his bill will generate two outcomes that any free market Republican would support: competition and economic growth. The bill would achieve the following:
- Open the market to all forms of renewable energy
- Allow ratepayers to receive credits for selling their electricity back to the grid (also known as net-metering)
- Remove existing barriers to competition for solar generation
Federal Agencies Pledge to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 42 Percent
This past Monday, the U.S. Federal Government announced it will reduce emissions from its operations 41.8 percent below 2008 levels by 2025. These cuts will impact the government’s 360,000 buildings, 650,000 cars and considerable supply chain. The federal government is the United States’ largest energy consumer by a significant margin, and its commitment will strengthen the United States’ position at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21). This week’s announcement is one of many recent emissions commitments made by the U.S. in an effort to lead by example ahead of COP 21.
For the First Time, Emerging Markets Investing in Renewables More Than Richer Nations
A surprising new dataset from Bloomberg has found that, for the first time, emerging markets are spending more than the developed world on clean energy investments. China alone is currently investing more in renewable energy than the U.S., UK and France combined. In total, emerging markets invested $126 billion in renewables in 2015, up 39 percent from the previous year. Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and India round out the top five emerging markets investing in clean energy.
New Stanford Research Proposes Solution to Solar Reliability Debate
Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson and his research team have released a report showing that solar energy can be part of a reliable and affordable national electric grid when paired with low-cost energy storage. Jacobson’s research is focused on debunking one common criticism of solar: that, due to inconsistent levels of sunlight, solar energy systems aren’t reliable enough to provide consistent energy on cloudy days or off-peak months. Jacobson’s analysis of all 50 states in the U.S. collectively supports that a 100 percent renewable future is possible for the United States.
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- The rapid growth of the solar industry has disrupted the traditional utility business model, and conversations about net-metering caps, fixed charges and other issues are taking place between renewable energy stakeholders, utility leaders, and regulators across the country. UtilityDive looks at state-level debates across the United States and analyzes the top 5 trends in distributed energy policy.