Peter Maloney for UtilityDive: The U.S. energy storage market put in a strong showing in 2015 with its “best quarter and best year of all time,” according to the GTM/ESA report. And current market trends point toward continued strong growth.
The recent extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit, and new guidelines under consideration at the Internal Revenue Service are expected to further boost energy storage and the pairing of storage with renewable resources.
In the fourth quarter alone, the U.S. deployed 112 MW of storage capacity, representing more than the total of all storage deployments in 2013 and 2014 combined.
For the full year, 221 MW (161 MWh) of storage was installed. In 2014 65 MW (86 MWh) of storage was installed in the U.S. Cont'd...
As European Solar Installations Slow, China, US and Japan Lead Global Installed PV Capacity in 2016, IHS Says
Global Revenue for Advanced Batteries for Utility-Scale Storage is Expected to Reach $3.6 Billion by 2025, According to Navigant Research
Joby Warrick for The Washington Post: Wind and solar power appear set for a record-breaking year in 2016 as a clean-energy construction boom gains momentum in spite of a global glut of cheap fossil fuels.
Installations of wind turbines and solar panels soared in 2015 as utility companies went on a worldwide building binge, taking advantage of falling prices for clean technology as well as an improving regulatory and investment climate. Both industries have seen stock prices jump since Congress approved an extension of tax credits for renewables as part of last month’s $1.14 trillion budget deal.
Orders for 2016 solar and wind installations are up sharply, from the United States to China to the developing economies of Africa and Latin America, all in defiance of stubbornly low prices for coal and natural gas, the industry’s chief competitors. Cont'd...
There could be a limit on how much solar power can grow. That’s because the more solar power we add to the grid, the less valuable it becomes. It’s a simple supply-and-demand story: solar reaches peak generation during sunny afternoons, but there’s a limited demand for such additional power during those times. As a result, solar begins to compete with itself, driving down the price that utilities are willing to pay generators.
Solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of the world’s electricity generation today, but as more is added to the energy mix, the economics become increasingly unfavorable. Shayle Kann, head of GTM Research, and Varun Sivaram, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, cite recent studies of the grids in Texas and Germany that suggest the value of solar will be cut in half by the time it makes up 15 percent of the energy mix. A study of California’s grid concluded that if solar power were to reach 50 percent of the grid, it would be only a quarter as valuable as it was before any solar had been added. Kann and Sivaram combined the data from those studies to make the comparison below. Cont'd...
By Emily Cassidy, Research Analyst for EWG.org: Biofuels produced from switchgrass and post-harvest corn waste could significantly reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change, according to an analysis by EWG and University of California biofuels experts.
EWG’s analysis found that the life cycle carbon intensity of cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass was 47 percent lower than that of gasoline. Ethanol made from corn stover – the leaves and stalks that remain in the field after the grain is harvested – has a life-cycle carbon intensity 96 percent lower than gasoline’s.
By contrast, studies have found that the life cycle carbon intensity of corn ethanol is greater than that of gasoline (Mullins et al. 2010, EPA, 2010a). Yet current federal policies strongly favor the production of conventional biofuels such as corn ethanol at the expense of lower-carbon alternatives. View full article...
From Melissa Abraham | MIT Energy Initiative : Report highlights enormous potential and discusses pathways toward affordable solar energy.
Solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long-term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions — but to realize this potential will require increased emphasis on developing lower-cost technologies and more effective deployment policy, says a comprehensive new study, titled “The Future of Solar Energy,” released today by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).
“Our objective has been to assess solar energy’s current and potential competitive position and to identify changes in U.S. government policies that could more efficiently and effectively support its massive deployment over the long term, which we view as necessary,” says MITEI Director Robert Armstrong, the Chevron Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT.
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