Last year almost every state took undertook policy actions on rooftop solar, changing incentives for homes and businesses. Meanwhile, companies across the world are upping their purchases of renewable energy with the majority of purchases coming from US companies, it’s just another way clean energy is growing.
More than 90 percent of all states, and Washington, DC, took policy actions on rooftop solar in 2018. In all, 264 actions were proposed or undertaken in the year, more than ever before, according to the most recent version of The 50 States of Solar by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). The actions included new demand charges on rooftop solar customers and changes to net-metering policies in states. The organization also noted that as the use of energy storage has increased and more rooftop solar comes online, the policies are getting more complex.
In 2018 companies became much bigger purchasers of renewable energy across the world. According to BloombergNEF companies purchased 13.4 gigawatts (GWs) of renewable energy through long-term power purchase agreements across the world. That’s more than double the 6.1 GWs of contracts they signed in 2017. Fully 60 percent of the contracts, more than 8.5 GWs were signed in the US. Facebook led the world in terms of renewable energy purchases in the year with more than 2.6 GWs of purchases last year.
Indeed, energy storage coupled with solar power is growing across many states. Consumer Energy installed a new solar array coupled with an energy storage system in Michigan. The 500 kilowatt solar array has a 500 kilowatt energy storage system as well. It’s the utility’s first hybrid rooftop solar and energy storage system, which will allow it to study how the system works.
Solar power power is also growing in the developing world where it can be the most beneficial in lifting people out of poverty. Some new systems Panasonic and World Vision developed for an off-grid community in Kenya, for instance, will provide electricity and light to 150 homes and families. The systems also will help power an egg incubator and drip irrigation systems in the community to increase economic activity.Tweet