The outlook for the solar industry just got a lot brighter this past week! Find out everything you need to know about solar with EnergySage’s Solar Energy News Roundup for the week of December 21st, 2015.
Solar Energy Advocates Guaranteed a Merry Christmas After ITC Extension
Stakeholders in the renewables industry have reason to be joyous this holiday season after receiving the top item on their Christmas list: a 5-year Federal ITC extension. Last Friday, Congress agreed to extend key tax credits for wind and solar after expediting the vote a full year ahead of the expected deadline. The vote relieves a burden of stress for thousands of U.S. solar installers who would struggle to stay in business without the solar tax credits that fund roughly 30% of every photovoltaic installation. With this ITC extension occurring just a week after the UN emissions agreements in Paris, solar stocks are on the rise and industry experts are predicting a renewable energy boom.
Michigan Company to Build Largest Solar Energy Array East of Mississippi
DTE Energy announced this week that they plan to build the two largest solar arrays in Michigan, boasting their proposal will be the largest utility-owned solar array project east of the Mississippi. The combined two sites will generate enough power for 9,000 homes, and the larger of the two sites will be the third largest in the entire United States. Once completed, industry experts expect this project to put Michigan on the map as a leading state in installed solar capacity.
Major Net-Metering Reduction Voted On in Nevada
Nevada has become the next location of net-metering drama as the Public Utilities Commission voted on Tuesday in support of a new solar tariff structure and the elimination of retail rate net-metering. The vote is important because the new proposed rate will lessen the expected monthly savings of solar homeowners in Nevada, and overall may hurt solar’s growth prospects in the Silver State. In response, SolarCity and Vivint Solar have stated they’ll be forced to halt operations in the state; the state is expected to lose approximately 6,000 solar-related jobs as a result.
Big Cities Step Up Support for President’s Clean Power Plan
A growing list of cities and municipalities are stepping up in support of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Mayors of new supporting cities like Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and West Palm Beach have joined existing cities like New York City, Chicago, and South Miami in the growing list of clean power advocates. The rationale of these mayors is straightforward: climate change puts their populace at risk due to rising sea levels and increased frequency of climatic events, and they recognize the Clean Power Plan as a positive step towards combatting it.
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- Entrepreneurs in the cell phone industry were at times surprised to see how popular their products were becoming in rural and developing world. Today’s solar investors, however, are quicker to see the market opportunity. Over the past few months, a number of high-profile investors have backed small startups selling solar panels in India, East Asia and Africa. In these rural but developing markets, the focus for solar innovation centers around the word “mobile”. Unlike in wealthier nations, there is no accessible grid for many homeowners to leverage to meet their power needs. Instead, solar startups must provide efficient solar battery options to make off-grid solar feasible in more remote locations.