Across the world 100 gigawatts of new solar power could be installed by the end of 2017, according to new research looking at sales of silicon. Another study found that another type of photovoltaics (PV) could provide up to 40 percent of the US’s energy needs. Meanwhile, solar power could get at least two new financing options in the US.
New research from Germany’s Bernreuter Research anticipated that the amount of solar power installed across the world could reach as high as 100 gigawatts this year, with China installing the lion’s share—52 GWs. That’s much higher than the 75 GWs that other researchers anticipated earlier this year.
While the majority of solar power comes from silicon PV panels, there are other types of PV that could also provide some of the US’s power supply. One growing potential source is see-through solar power. These are solar technologies that can be incorporated into windows. According to researchers at Michigan State University, such solar technologies could provide roughly 40 percent of the energy needed in the US. The way these technologies can be applied includes integration into new windows or added as a film to existing windows, helping keep its costs low. However, the technologies are also less efficient than solar panels.
Last week, a bill was reintroduced at the federal level that would allow for a powerful financing tool that the fossil fuel industries have used for decades to be used for renewable energy—master limited partnerships (MLPs). The tool allows companies to combine the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships. That keeps the cost of financing low and entices private investment. The bill was introduced in the House and Senate with bi-partisan support in both houses of Congress.
Another potential avenue for supporting solar and renewable energy projects, particularly in the commercial sector is commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing. Basically it entails placing a assessment on a property to finance the purchase of clean energy. It’s a low-interest rate approach that promises a long-term payback period. To help boost the use of the tool, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Alta Energy issued a white paper last week showing how businesses can better use the tool to invest in clean energy in the hopes of expanding the tool’s use.Tweet