Last week in the renewable energy industry the US showed its support for the Paris Climate Accord in Bonn, Germany, despite the absence of leadership from the current administration. Closer to home Sunrun may have outpaced SolarCity in terms of financing new solar. And in North Carolina, a church, a nonprofit and Duke Energy are headed to court in a case that could allow third-party financing for solar in that state.
When President Donald trump (R) pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord earlier this year, he become the only world leader to pull out of the agreement to reduce climate change. In fact, the US is now the only country that hasn’t agreed to the accord. That hasn’t proved popular with the US citizenry and more than 1 million people have now signed the “I Am Still In” petition, showing that the American public supports the accord and will take action to reduce climate change even while the government does not. The petition was presented at the latest meeting on climate change in Bonn, Germany.
The news comes at the same time as the latest World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds that renewable energy is now the cheapest source of new energy in more parts of the world and that it expected solar power will be the dominant form of new electric generation as it becomes the cheapest form of electricity going forward in places like China and India. Meanwhile wind power will dominate European countries.
In the US things are shaking up a bit in terms of the nation’s largest residential solar companies. SolarCity, which has been the largest residential solar installer for years is starting to feel some heat from the competition. In the second half of 2017 GTM Research anticipated that Sunrun will finance more residential solar installations than SolarCity. SolarCity will still install more solar overall, since it also sells systems directly and makes commercial installations. It should also be noted that SolarCity decided to move away from financing residential solar systems through power-purchase agreements and leases.
A North Carolina Supreme Court case that pits a church and a nonprofit against Duke Energy could make it easier to finance solar power in the state. NC WARN funded the installation of solar power on the Greensboro Faith Community Church’s roof in 2015 under a power-purchase agreement. However, Duke Energy urged regulators to impose a $60,000 fine on the nonprofit and while the court case is ongoing, the nonprofit isn’t charging the church for the electricity the solar system it financed produces.Tweet