Utilities are continuing to ramp up solar power and renewable energy, and some are starting to reduce the costs of solar power. Meanwhile the news in solar power last week also found that the residential solar industry in the US saw a big drop in the first quarter.
In a preview of the Q2 2017 U.S. Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association found growth in the residential solar industry dropped by 17 percent in the first quarter. In a piece about the upcoming report, GTM Research said most of the slowdown to California, where the amount of newly installed residential solar fell 22 percent between the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. The firm also observed that some other major solar markets saw drop-offs as well.
Also in California cost to participate in Pacific Gas and Electric’s Solar Choice program is falling. The program is an alternative to installing solar on a rooftop for homes and businesses. Thanks to the growing amount of solar power its installing, the utility said costs for residents dropped 30 percent. While for some businesses it fell as much as 50 percent.
In Detroit DTE Energy of Michigan announced that it plans to slash its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The utility will continue to install more solar and wind power and retire more coal-fired power plants in the coming years.
A new report from Clean Energy Group showed that energy storage could increase the value of solar power in California. The report showed that incentives for solar power are changing in the state, which will make solar power less valuable. But energy storage systems and the incentives for affordable housing could help restore the savings from solar power.
Also, in low-income solar, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) introduced a new guide, Bringing the Benefits of Solar Energy to Low-Income Consumers, to show how policymakers can implement solar programs to benefit low-income people and households. The guide showed that the lower cost of energy from solar power can best benefit those with lower incomes and who pay a disproportionately higher amount of their income (7.2 percent) on energy than median income households that spend 3.5 percent of their income on electricity bills.
Despite its parent company SolarWorld AG declaring insolvency recently, SolarWorld Americas is continuing to operate as normal. The parent company said it filed for insolvency because it could not longer compete with costs from cheaper imports.
Last week Vivint Solar partnered with Mercedes-Benz to offer its residential energy storage systems in the US for the first time. The company will start offering the modular battery systems in California and plans to offer them in more markets soon.Tweet