Last week the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of a trade petition that threatens the US solar industry and thousands of jobs. Meanwhile mixed news came out of New York, where the state announced its transition plan from net-metering to a new rooftop solar compensation plan without some acrimony. But also, as part of climate week in New York, the international Green Bank Network will help finance renewable energy projects around the world.
The biggest news for the US solar industry last week was the ITC ruling. The ITC ruled in favor of the trade petition brought by Suniva, a now bankrupt photovoltaic manufacturer, owned by Chinese interests. The trade petition and the ruling could lead to a doubling of the cost of imported solar panels in the US, which would slow down growth in the industry. The US solar industry and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have spoken out against the petition, noting that it will slow growth in the industry and put tens of thousands of US jobs at risk.
The country will need all the solar it can get if it’s going to slash its greenhouse gasses 80 percent by 2050. That’s what the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Energy + Environmental Economics found in their new report, “America’s Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to Safer Climate Future.” The report is a blueprint showing how the US can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2020 with wind, solar, energy efficiency and clean vehicles. At the same time the country would reap benefits worth seven times the cost of the transition.
Financing from multiple organizations will help that transition. Hence, the announcement that the Green Bank Network will help genreate $29 billion in financing for international clean energy projects. The announcement was made during Climate Week NYC where Green Banks from as far as Japan and Australia attended the Green Bank Summit, where the group announced they were expanding membership and information sharing to help increase project funding opportunities.
The other big news out of New York last week was more controversial for the solar industry. The New York State Public Service Commission introduced the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) plan. That new plan will replace net-metering in the state with a new method of reimbursing home and business owners for the energy their systems put back on the grid. But solar advocates and conservationists charged that the new methodology uses incomplete methodologies that don’t calculate the economic and environmental benefits of solar power.Tweet