US Solar Market Set to Grow 119% in 2016, Installations to Reach 16 GW

Led by the utility-scale segment, GTM Research forecasts 16 gigawatts (GW) of solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2016, more than doubling the record-breaking 7.3 GW installed in 2015.

After record year, U.S. energy storage forecasted to break 1 GW capacity mark in 2019

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

By the end of 2016, cumulative global installed photovoltaic (PV) installations will surpass 310 gigawatts (GW), compared to just 40 GW at the end of 2010.

U.S. Solar Market Sets New Record, Installing 7.3 GW of Solar PV in 2015

In yet another record-breaking year, the solar industry in the United States installed 7,286 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2015. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced the historic figures today ahead of the March 9 release of the U.S. Solar Market Insight report.

Global Solar PV Pipeline Surpasses 200 GW, IHS Says

With the United States in the lead, due in large part to the recent extension in the country's solar investment tax credit (ITC) late last year, the global solar photovoltaic pipeline now exceeds 200 gigawatts (GW). At a combined capacity of 110 GW, projects in the U.S., China and Brazil make up half of the current PV pipeline, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight.

IHS Analysis: SMA and SolarEdge solar inverter businesses booming, on back of United States growth

Leading solar inverter suppliers SMA and SolarEdge recently reported strong profits in their latest earning calls, but the United States remains their key market and key source of recent financial success.

Global Revenue for Advanced Batteries for Utility-Scale Storage is Expected to Reach $3.6 Billion by 2025, According to Navigant Research

Lithium ion batteries lead in utility-scale applications of batteries on the grid, report finds

China is Ranked a Booming Market for Wind Capacity Growth, According to Navigant Research

With global variation in policies, wind energy industry manufacturers and developers must be flexible in order to thrive, report finds

IHS confirms solar wafer supply shortage in 2016

In October 29 2015, IHS issued a research note to warn about a potential solar wafer supply shortage in 2016. Now, as we enter into the first quarter of 2016, we have found new evidence to confirm this earlier concern.

Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Efficiency Companies Raise $1.7 Billion in 2015

Smart Grid funding up with $425 Million; Battery/Storage raised $397 million; Energy Efficiency increases to $852 million

Wind, solar power soaring in spite of bargain prices for fossil fuels

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...

Why Solar Power Could Hit a Ceiling

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...

Research Report - Better Biofuels Ahead - The Road to Low-Carbon Fuels

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.[1]

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...

MITEI releases report on the future of solar energy

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.

New Report Offers 'Distorted View' of Solar ITC

"Unfortunately, the report looks at the solar Investment Tax Credit in a vacuum, without any consideration given to the 100-year history of preferential tax treatment enjoyed by fossil fuels," Resch said.

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