Last Friday the Trump Administration released a key climate report showing that actions need to be taken now to reduce climate change. One of those keys is solar power, which another report showed has dropped in price by 99 percent over the past 40 years, but the growth of renewable energy is still hampered by outdated rules.
First off, the Trump Administration released the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA). The administration released the report over the long weekend, which has been widely interpreted as an attempt by the administration to stifle the report’s dire findings. The report is produced by the US government’s Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) established by Presidential initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. If it wasn’t required to be issued, the Trump Administration may have stifled the report further.
It starts by stating: “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States.”
One of the key factors that will help reduce the impacts of climate change is moving to clean, renewable energy. The falls in renewable energy costs have been incredible, with the costs of silicon photovoltaics falling 99 percent over the past 40 years. A key driver in the drop in costs has been government policies. The policies were both instrumental in boosting technology and spurring adoption, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study.
While solar has dropped significantly in price and is being installed at record pace across the US, a new study from the Wind and Solar Alliance showed that outdated rules and regulations are hindering its further growth—particularly among regional transmission organizations (RTOs) like the PJM interconnection which serves as a wholesale electric market for much of the northeastern US. The report found that rules for being included in RTOs continue to consider outdated rules and terms that favor slower to respond generators like coal plants. But the report comes as many RTOs are considering new rules with the hopes that rule makers will include renewable-friendly rules as they develop new standard.
Utilities, on the other hand, seem to keep finding the value of solar power. Especially on a large-scale. Last week Phoenix’s Salt River Project (SRP) announced that it will add 1,000 megawatts of solar power between now and 2025. The Arizona utility, currently has about 200 megawatts of solar online, chose to up its solar acquisition because of consumer demand, as well as the economics of solar power.Tweet