NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: SUN OR STORMS FOR SOLAR?

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Good News On Climate – The Public Is Starting To Get It
  • Weekend Video: The Libertarian Failure On Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: New Energy Is Doable – And Is Being Done
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World Gets A Step Closer To Enforceable Climate Laws
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Ready To Power The World Future
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Sahara Sun Could Power The World
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Turbines Building Off UK Coast
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, September 22:

  • TTTA Thursday-Why Having Babies Could Be The Climate Change Answer
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Texas Wind Backed By Amazon
  • TTTA Thursday-Big Sun Sparkles In Nevada
  • TTTA Thursday-EV Racing Coming To The Streets Of Brooklyn
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: In The Wake Of The Massive Aliso Canyon Leak
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Rise Of Distributed Energy Resources Goes On
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Community Solar Matures And Evolves
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Snapshot Of U.S. Solar Right Now
  • QUICK NEWS, September 20: Survey Shows People Oppose Fossil Fuels; Solar Bargain Hits World Record; China In Record Wind Build Rate
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Utility Puts Out Its Vision Of New Energy On A New Grid
  • QUICK NEWS, September 19: People Will Pay To Fight Climate Change; Wind To Keep Getting Cheaper; Tesla Batteries To Ease Aliso Cyn-Caused Power Shortfalls
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, September 26:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Future Of Offshore Wind Foreseen
  • QUICK NEWS, September 26: The Sonification Of Climate Change; Wind Is Red, White, And Green; The New Hybrid Solar-Storage Concept Module

    Monday, November 16, 2015

    TODAY’S STUDY: SUN OR STORMS FOR SOLAR?

    Executive Briefing: The Future of U.S. Solar

    Shayle Kann, November 2015 (GTM Research)

    Executive Summary

    Solar power is on an impressive growth streak in the U.S., having gone from 2 gigawatts of cumulative capacity at the end of 2010 to a likely 26 gigawatts at the end of this year. More importantly, costs have fallen enough to make it clear that solar will play a meaningful role in the future of electricity in the U.S.

    For the solar industry, it is time to start thinking about the next order of magnitude. Solar generates approximately 1% of all electricity in the U.S. today, but there is a realistic path toward 10% over the next 10-15 years. That path is by no means guaranteed; solar faces both advantages and disadvantages as it begins to truly scale. This report highlights the key forces likely to push, or impede, solar growth in the coming years and identifies opportunities for the solar industry to ensure its future.

    Catalysts for Growth

    • Rising Electricity Prices will continue to make solar more competitive in comparison

    • Falling Solar Costs should continue for the foreseeable future, albeit at a more moderate pace than the past five years

    • The Clean Power Plan could open up new state markets to solar and diversify the demand landscape

    • Electricity Market Reinvention through initiatives such as New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision carries the promise of new revenue streams for solar as a grid asset

    Risk Factors

    • Investment Tax Credit Expiration is looming and likely to generate the first down year for the U.S. solar market in well over a decade

    • Solar’s Value Deflation Effect, through which the marginal value of solar power decreases as solar penetration grows, means that grid parity will be a moving target

    • Electricity Rate and Net Energy Metering Reform can still erode the economics of distributed solar through the introduction of higher fixed charges, higher or new demand charges, or lower export rates for solar generation

    Market Opportunities

    • Investing in energy storage and load control can make solar a better long-term citizen of the grid

    • Testing radical cost-reduction opportunities will leave the door open for step-function reductions in solar costs

    • Participating in market reinvention will ensure that distributed solar receives its full value as the electricity market becomes increasingly distributed

    Solar Has Come A Long Way In The U.S.

    The Anatomy of a Booming Market

    Five years ago, as 2010 came to a close, the U.S. was home to a total of 151,000 solar installations that provided 2.0 gigawatts of generation capacity. Thanks to a 2008 extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit, and a 2009 stimulus-package-driven program to enable the conversion of the tax credit to a cash grant (much needed in the wake of the ongoing financial crisis), the U.S. installed 852 megawatts (MWdc) of solar photovoltaics (PV) that year alone. Solar costs were falling precipitously; utility-scale solar installations were constructed that year for an average of $3.58/watt (Wdc), down from 63% from a decade prior. At the time, all of these numbers seemed impressive.

    My, how times have changed. This year, we forecast that the U.S. will install 7.7 GW of solar PV, more than nine times the 2010 total. By the end of this year, the U.S. will have 26 GW of solar PV operating. Total capacity has increased by an order of magnitude in just five years.

    Meanwhile, costs have continued to plummet. Today, the average cost to install a utility-scale fixed-tilt solar project in the U.S. is around $1.45/W all-in (including developer margins). We have even heard quotes for best-in-class projects in the Southeast U.S. planned for completion in 2016 at nearly $1.00/W. And average costs shouldn’t be far behind; we forecast that fully loaded average prices will hit $1.04/W by the end of the decade.

    Over the next few months, the U.S. solar market will reach two symbolic milestones. First, early next year, the millionth solar installation will begin operation. Second, around the end of this year, solar will begin generating over 1% of all electricity in the country.

    These milestones can be viewed through two different and equally appropriate lenses. On one hand, solar’s transformation from a tiny blip on the radar of the expansive electricity sector to a $15B+ annual industry with an ever-growing coalition of supporters is remarkable. The market has proven resilient in the face of incentive reductions, import tariffs, and many other roadblocks; solar clearly is here to stay. On the other hand, for all its growth, solar remains a bit player in the electricity sector. The industry has yet to fundamentally change the generation mix, or to significantly impact U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. There remains a long way to go…

    Getting To The Next Order Of Magnitude…What Will 250 GW Look Like?...Catalysts For Growth…Solar’s Tailwinds Are Strong…Risk Factors…The Headwinds Are Blowing…Ensuring The Solar Future…The Solar Industry’s Work Today Is Laying The Groundwork For The Next Decade Or More…

    Conclusion

    Why the Future Is Bright, or Solar’s Coming Dawn, or the Market’s Day in the Sun

    Traditional energy forecasters have always struggled to catch up with the solar market’s growth. And while many of them have now awoken to the possibility that solar may account for a meaningful portion of the electricity market in the coming decades, few have truly considered the shape of the path between here and there. It will be bumpy; solar remains an incentive- and regulatory-driven technology, and its near-universal public appeal will not always translate to perfect policy. But I find it very difficult to conjure a realistic scenario that doesn’t include solar achieving the next order of magnitude by 2030, if not earlier.

    In the meantime, there is no shortage of work to be done by the solar industry, electricity regulators, utilities, and policymakers to ensure that the transformation at the edge of the grid produces a more affordable, efficient, resilient, and clean energy future.

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