....Players that now dominate the market include SolarCity, Vivint, Verengo and Real Goods Solar. Their growth has been tied to their ability to raise money for financing installations and the systems they have set up to improve the efficiency of their operations, from making sales to tracking permits to putting solar panels on the roof.
With sizable scale and revenues, these larger companies can afford to buy companies to further improve how quickly they can complete the sales and installation steps. Both SolarCity and Real Goods recently bought several companies to do just that......
SEIA praises Obama's solar support in SOTU address 29. January 2014 | Markets & Trends, Investor news, Industry & Suppliers, Global PV markets | By: Ian Clover
The solar industry was singled out for special presidential praise in the address, with U.S. President Barack Obama drawing positive words from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Obama at Nellis Airforce Base.
President Barack Obama has been a strong supporter of solar, as backed up in Tuesday's SOTU address to the American people. Nellis Airforce Base/Flickr
Tuesday's State of the Union (SOTU) address by Barack Obama has been praised by the SEIA for the U.S. president's solid show of support for solar.
After proffering praise to the role natural gas has played in helping the U.S. economy bounce back strongly after recession, Obama reserved special mention for solar power, particularly the White House's own efforts in helping PV proliferate more widely across the nation, as well as the industry's role in local job creation.
"Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can't be outsourced," Obama boomed. "Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do," added the President, who also remarked confidently that the U.S. is now a global leader in solar power.
Having first installed solar panels atop the roof of the White House as far back as the '70s (these 32 panels were removed by the Reagan administration a decade later), Obama decided to bring them back last year, installing between 20-50 on the roof.
Such tangible solar support from the U.S. government has been welcomed by SEIA president and CEO, Rhone Resch, who said: "From the rooftop of the White House to the floor of the People's House, President Obama continues to show his strong, unwavering support for solar energy.
"On behalf of the 143,000 Americans who work in the U.S. solar industry ? and the tens of millions of people who support it ? the best way to thank the President for his leadership is to go out and prove him right," added Resch, who revealed that solar is now the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the U.S. ? a claim backed-up by a recent report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
"Fresh off a record-breaking year," Resch continued, "America?s solar energy industry is looking forward to another great year in 2014 ? thanks, in part, to President Obama?s continued leadership and the smart public policies that are making solar more affordable than ever.
"With an estimated 13,000 MW of solar currently installed in the U.S., we?re generating enough clean, reliable electricity today to power more than two million American homes ? or every single home in a state the size of Colorado. Like the President, we see 2014 as a year of action, a year of progress and a year in which more and more Americans turn to solar to save money, help meet their energy needs and improve our environment."
: mal sehen was die kommenden Monate bringen...
bin am Montag morgen mit 1.000 Stück für 2,60 Euro rein und habe vor, diese erstmal bis Jahresende liegen zu lassen, denn langfristig gesehen ist das hier ein sehr interessantes Unternehmen und die Worte vom Präsidenten gefallen mir auch... Viel Glück allen Investierten...
Thu, 2014-01-30 05:00Russell Blinch Russell Blinch's picture Two Big Reasons Why Solar Power is Under Siege Repost This Comment on this StoryEmail this story
Forget the U.S. war on coal, that?s not going so well for the team in the charcoal jerseys. The real shooting war has opened up against renewable energy, particularly solar, because of its potentially disruptive nature to vested interests.
Solar power is the go-to source for new generating capacity in the U.S. Some 930 megawatts of photovoltaic solar power was installed in the third quarter of 2013, a jump of 35 percent over last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. And 2013 will go down as the year the United States surpassed uber leader Germany in new solar installations.
And the momentum shows no signs of slowing this year because home owners and companies are rapidly embracing the idea of harnessing power from the sun rather than from expensive and increasingly brittle power grids.
Solar panels are the new granite countertops in home building ? an amenity that?s becoming a standard in residential housing, according to Bloomberg in a report. At least six of the 10 largest American homebuilders include panels in new housing construction today.
And what is a movement without stock market darlings? Companies such as Elon Musk?s SolarCity and SunEdison, to name just two, are often hot stocks on a daily basis. INDUSTRY FEELS A CHILL
But there are two big threats to growth -- from the power utilities and their century-old monopolies and from powerful conservative organizations that are keen to pick a fight against all things green.
In November Arizona sent a chill through the solar industry after its regulator allowed the state?s largest utility to impose a grid fee on homeowners that want to install rooftop panels.
The charge will end up costing consumers anywhere from $3 to $6 a month, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The utility had wanted to charge as much as $50 per month.
In Hawaii, homeowners also face penalties for going solar. The Hawaiian Electric Co. announced in September that homeowners need to submit their solar plans beforehand and that they could be charged for any upgrades to help the utility deal with the influx of new power.
?Certainly any charge that negatively affects the economics of solar is a potential threat to growth,? said MJ Shiao, a senior analyst with GTM Research in an email. Now that there is a precedent for charging homeowners, Shiao said the next concern will be to see how transparent the utilities are when estimating the cost of solar on their grids.
The action is a shot over the bow for sustainability champions and so it is not surprising well-funded right-wing groups are entering the fray.
The industry trade group, the Edison Electric Institute, kicked it all off after it released a candid report last year outlining how the industry was facing ?disruptive challenges? from renewables and, remarkably, envisioned a scenario where homeowners could cut the cord entirely from their utility.
While expecting customers to stay on the grid until renewable energy becomes ?fully viable,? the group said ?one can imagine a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent.?
Enter the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The controversial group with ties to the Koch brothers that specialises in writing legislation for state houses, wants to cast green-minded homeowners as ?free riders.?
The lobby group will have a heavy agenda against renewables in 2014 that includes penalizing home owners, weakening state clean energy protections and undermining the Environmental Protection Agency.
"As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially free riders on the system,? John Eick, one of ALEC?s legislative analysts, told the Guardian. ?They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non-direct generation customers are being penalised." THREE KEY DRIVERS
Despite Darth Vader and the gang?s unleashing of the Death Star against renewables, it?s clear that solar energy has momentum going into the New Year, driven by high demand, falling costs and innovation.
Solar panel costs dropped by 60 percent and the cost of installations are falling sharply too. There is also a new app that makes buying solar panels as easy as buying a ticket on an airplane.
SolarCity, the brainchild of Elon Musk who is either the Thomas Edison of our time or Tony Stark of Ironman fame, has begun a pilot program that could prove to be the ultimate end run around the utility model.
Customers, beginning with industrial users, will be able to use massive battery packs from Musk?s Tesla Motors as backup power ? thereby conveniently solving the problem of an intermittent sun.
And not all conservatives believe big business should have veto power over the power choices of consumers. Debbie Dooly, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party, made a splash in July when she stood with the Sierra Club in the fight for solar power in Georgia.
?The free market has been one of the founding principles of the Tea Party since it began and a monopoly is not a free market,? she told Climate Progress.
So let the battle be joined but it is clear the team in the green shirts has much momentum as 2014 unfolds.
: Grandiose Nachrichten aus Colorado, top für RSOL
Diese Nachricht kommt aktuell aus Colorado, dem Hauptsitz von Real Goods Solar!
Colorado to take deeper look at net metering issues; policy saved for now
Net metering protest in Colorado Net metering is a very popular policy in Colorado, according to a recent poll. (Bob Carmichael)
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a motion by the Colorado Energy Office to move issues related to the U.S. state's net metering policy to a new docket, delaying an attempt by Xcel Energy Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.) to effectively cap the policy.
Vote Solar Initiative (San Francisco, California, U.S.) says that this will allow for a ?diverse stakeholder discussion? about the future of solar in Colorado. A recent poll had indicated that Xcel's proposal was unpopular with state residents, with 78% supporting net metering.
?The vast majority of Coloradans want rooftop solar to be more available and more affordable,? said Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) Executive Director Edward Stern. ?This is truly about power to the people.?
?This decision today helps ensure a thoughtful discussion about the value of rooftop solar. We appreciate the Colorado Energy Office and the Public Utilities Commission?s action on this issue.?
This move ends the current CPUC schedule around Xcel's plan, with the exception of a public hearing on February 3rd, 2014. No schedule for the new docket had yet been released when this article was published.
Xcel's plan: back-door cap on net metering
As part of its 2014 compliance plan, Xcel submitted a study which claimed that PV owners participating in net metering represented a cost burden of USD 0.06 per kWh. To make up for this alleged shortfall, Xcel has proposed to pay itself out of the state's Renewable Energy Standard Adjustment (RESA) fund.
Since the RESA charge is capped at 2% of a customer's utility bill, this would mean that no more PV system owners would be able to participate in the program once the RESA reached this cap.
Costs, benefits to be studied further
The study cited by Xcel was strongly criticized by solar advocates, who said that the study either undervalues or did not count several benefits of distributed PV.
The Colorado Energy Office's proposal states that the docket should address the appropriate procedures to study the costs and benefits of net metering. This opens the door to further studies, and potentially the adoption of a standard methodology, such as the one proposed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC, Latham, New York, U.S.).
The issue of how to value distributed PV has been contentious in several states, with competing sets of studies cited in Arizona's net metering decision as well.
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