Solar power and renewable energy look like they’re off to a sunny start‚ at least at the state level. Within the first week of 2018 new legislation in Florida was proposed to pilot the use of solar and energy storage in disaster recovery, New York’s Governor pledged to end the use of coal power in the state and SunEdison emerged from bankruptcy.
Last week while the world was recovering from the end of 2017 already things were moving forward into 2018 and beyond. For instance, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) offered up a coal-free New York in his state-of-the-state vision. In his address, which he offered previews of ahead of time, he called on New York to end using coal-fired power plants by 2020. He also called on the state to invest in 1.5 gigawatts fo energy storage projects to help bring more renewable energy into the state. He also called for the state install 800 megawatts of offshore wind and expand no-cost community solar to 10,000 low-income residents in the state.
A new bill in Florida sponsored by State Rep. Holly Raschein (R) is likely the first proposed solar legislation in the US in 2018. It seeks $10 million in funding for a pilot program to show how solar plus energy storage can play a critical role disaster recovery. The pilot project, which will be installed in the Florida Keys, will allow critical infrastructure like hospitals and first responders to be powered by solar and energy storage systems that can island from the larger electric grid, allowing them to provide services during a disaster and through the recovery efforts.
In the waning hours of 2017 SunEdison announced that it has emerged from bankruptcy. The company was once the largest solar company in the US and one of the biggest renewable energy companies in the world. However, after a growth spree fueled by acquisitions, it filed for bankruptcy in April 2016. The formerly public company has reemerged from bankruptcy as a privately held company.
As 2018 gets underway it should be an interesting year for renewables, to say the least. The growth of renewable energy seems to be shifting more to states rather than the federal government, which is led by Republicans who have shown more interest pushing for more fossil fuels rather than renewable energy.Tweet