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National “Shout Out For Solar” Day

shout-out-for-solarToday is National Shout Out For Solar Day! Despite its tremendous popularity, as well as its importance to the U.S. economy and our environment, solar energy is facing an uncertain future in Washington, D.C. and in some state capitals. It’s critically important to show your support for solar by urging your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to “#GoSolar #USA!” Help us spread the word on Twitter by using some of the sample tweets below.

Suggested Tweets:

  • Click to Tweet: Shout Out for Solar! The #solar industry is 3X as big as 3 yrs ago and can power 4 million homes! www.americasupportssolar.org #gosolar
  • Click to Tweet: Here’s a Shout Out to the nearly 175k men and women working in the #solar industry today! #GoSolar americasupportssolar.org
  • Click to Tweet: I’m Shouting Out for #Solar because of nearly 20 MILLION TONS less carbon in the environment every year! Americasupportssolar.org #gosolar
  • Click to Tweet: Shout Out for #Solar today and say you support clean #energy for our environment, economy and future! #GoSolar Americasupportssolar.org
  • Click to Tweet: Shout Out for the half a million #homeowners who have chosen to #GoSolar, protecting the environment and improving the economy!
  • Click to Tweet: Solar Tweeps: Raise your hand(le) if you #supportsolar and give a Shout Out for #Solar today! #GoSolar www.americasupportssolar.org
  • Click to Tweet and then fill in with the Twitter user of your choice: I know the [@NHL] supports #solar! Can we get a Shout Out for Solar from them today? #GoSolar americasupportssolar.org

2014 was a year of tremendous growth for the U.S. solar industry.  Today, there’s an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in the United States – enough to power 4 million American homes, or every home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey.

This unprecedented growth is helping to create tens of thousands of American jobs, save hundreds of millions of dollars for U.S. consumers and businesses, and reduce pollution nationwide. And, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our industry’s enormous potential.

To help celebrate this remarkable progress, lay the foundation for an even brighter future and send an important message to policymakers nationwide, we need to show the world how much public support this crucial technology enjoys. Help us spread the word by shouting #GoSolar from the rooftops on January 16th!

Print and share your #GoSolar signs!

Download signs

Click here to download a handy factsheet on Shout Out For Solar Day. If you want to learn more about how solar is powering America, we’ve created an educational website: America Supports Solar. Check it out!

How To Participate

  1. Download and print your sign. Take a picture of you holding your sign.
  2. Upload your picture to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #GoSolar. We’ll find it!
  3. Finally, join the Thunderclap so your tweet or post goes out on January 16!

 

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Selling Solar Homes

Homebuyers pay more for solar PV homes, says Berkeley Lab report

Selling Solar HomesA multi-institutional research team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, universities, and appraisers found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems —averaging about $4 per watt of PV installed—across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types. This equates to a premium of about $15,000 for a typical PV system. The team analyzed almost 22,000 sales of homes, almost 4,000 of which contained PV systems in eight states from 1999 to 2013—producing the most authoritative estimates to date of price premiums for U.S. homes with PV systems. FINALCover_010915

“Previous studies on PV home premiums have been limited in size and scope,” says Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report. “We more than doubled the number of PV home sales analyzed, examined a number of states outside of California, and captured the market during the recent housing boom, bust, and recovery.”

More than half a million U.S. homes had PV as of 2014, and the number is growing rapidly. The growth in home PV systems means that the real estate industry will need reliable methods to value these homes appropriately. Further, having greater certainty in those methods will likely facilitate additional growth in the residential PV market.

Berkeley Lab's Ben Hoen (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt)

Hoen is a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Berkeley Lab, who collaborated with researchers from Adomatis Appraisal Services, Real Property Analytics/Texas A&M University, University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University, and Sandia National Laboratories.

The study also found only a small and non-statistically significant difference between PV premiums for new and existing homes. Additional findings include the existence of a PV “green cache” (home buyers paying a certain amount for a PV system of any size and incrementally more as system size increases) and an apparent sharp depreciation rate for the PV premium in home sales transactions as those PV systems age. The study also finds that market premiums are statistically similar to those estimated using the income and cost approaches, methods familiar to appraisers. This similarity to standard appraisal practices further bolsters the report’s usefulness to real estate professionals and markets.

“As PV systems become more and more common on U.S. homes, it will be increasingly important to value them accurately, using a variety of methods,” says co-author Sandra Adomatis, an appraiser who helped develop the Appraisal Institute’s Green Addendum and who has written and spoken extensively on valuing green features. She noted, “Our findings should provide greater confidence that PV adds a quantifiable premium to a wide variety of homes in California and beyond.”

The research was supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.

navigant research

Revenue from distributed energy storage is expected to exceed USD 16.5 Billion by 2024, says Navigant Research

navigant researchA new report from Navigant Research analyzes the global market for distributed energy storage systems (DESSs), including global market forecasts for power capacity, energy capacity, and revenue through 2024.

These advances are helping to meet demand for distributed and flexible resources created by the spread of solar PV, electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, and home energy networks.

One of the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally, distributed energy storage is the focus of rapid innovation and intense competition. In particular, residential and commercial energy storage has far exceeded industry expectations for growth and market volume in 2014, and is poised for significant growth in the coming years. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from DESSs is expected to grow from $452 million annually in 2014 to more than $16.5 billion in 2024.

“The development of advanced battery chemistries, including lithium ion (Li-ion), flow batteries, advanced lead-acid, and other next-generation chemistries, has enabled rapid advancement in the distributed storage market,” says Anissa Dehamna, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “These advances are helping to meet demand for distributed and flexible resources created by the spread of solar PV, electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, and home energy networks.”

Several challenges still remain for DESSs, according to the report, including the need for cost reductions, effective software and controls, and integration expertise across nearly every storage technology. Successful vendors are likely to be those that have cultivated strong distribution networks and offer one or more of the following in addition to energy storage: advanced software and controls, alternative financing structures, or integrated PV.

The report, “Community, Residential, and Commercial Energy Storage,” analyzes the global market for DESSs, with a focus on three distinct applications: community energy storage (specifically energy storage at the distributed transformer), residential energy storage (with and without solar PV), and commercial energy storage. The study provides an analysis of the market issues, opportunities, and challenges associated with distributed energy storage. Global market forecasts for power capacity, energy capacity, and revenue, broken out by application, technology, region, and ownership model, extend through 2024. The report also examines the key technologies related to DESSs, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

 

MESIA Winners

MESIA Unveils Winners of the 2014 Solar Awards

MESIA WinnersIn the majestic theatre of Dubai skyline on the terrace at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) unveiled the winners of the 2014 Middle East Solar Awards during a gala ceremony on December 1, 2014.

In total, there were twelve trophies that were being contested across several sectors. The awards selection was conducted by an independent panel of 7 judges from around the world and chaired by Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Midfa, MESIA chairman. Alice Cowman (CEO of Clean Energy Business Council) was part of the jury along with Taher Diab ( Director Strategy and Planning – Dubai Supreme Council of Energy), Bellen Gallego (Founder of CSP Today), Jason O’connel (Editor at Utilities Middle East), Reza Sheybani (Chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association), Frank Wouters (CEO of Wouters LDT and former deputy Director General of IRENA) and Daniel Zyweitz (CEO and Founder of Enerwhere).

“MESIA turned 5 years on November 24 this year and we are now the largest solar association in the MENA region, recognized and respected for its independent expertise. As an avidence MESIA was awarded by DEWA for its contribution in advancing solar power in the UAE. The Association was also awarded at the World Green Economy Summit” said Abdulaziz Al Midfa, the Chairman of MESIA and Chairman of the jury.

The winners of the 2014 Middle East Solar Awards are:

The Woman of the Year accolade went to Michelle T. Davies, Head of the Clean Energy and Sustainability Group at Eversheds LLP. Mrs. Davies won the award on the back of her active involvement in supporting governments in the UAE, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on forming solar policy and regulation.

The Media Personality of the Year award went to Robin Mills, the author of The Myth of the Oil Crisis and Capturing Carbon. Mr. Mills is also an outspoken and well-respected columnist at The National newspaper, with over 9,000 followers on Twitter.

The Legal Advisor of the Year went to Eversheds, an early and active supporter of the Middle Eastern solar industry. They are currently advising on several solar mandates across the region. Eversheds is advising on 8 out of the 10 solar projects in Jordan Round I. Eversheds has also advised on over 15 solar equity investments in the Middle East.

One of the most hotly contested awards was Project of the Year. It went to Enerwhere. The young Dubai-based company has been busily developing a number of solar hybrid power solutions to commercial and industrial clients in the Middle East and Africa on a rental and PPA basis.

The Regional Company of the Year went to Access. This UAE based company has become the largest fully privately-owned developer dedicated to developing sustainable energy projects in Africa. Access has won high profile solar mandates across the region and has partnered with some of the world’s leading solar companies.

Another big winner was Egypt. The country’s Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (ERA) won the Policymaker of the Year Award. The trophy went to Prof. Hafez El-Salmawy, Managing Director. Dr. El Salmawy is widely recognized as the “Godfather of Egypt’s solar FIT regime.”

Egypt was also proudly represented by Lamyaa Abdel Hady, Director of Solar FIT Program, Ministry of Electricity. She won Solar Initiative of the year. Her role has been critical in the Ministry’s recent announcement of the solar/wind FIT program. Her impact is clear: a 2,300MW solar FIT program, the largest of its kind in the MENA region

Jordan was also very well represented by NEPCO, who scooped up the Utility Company of Year. The organization support and guide the ambitious renewable energy target of 7% renewable energy in the primary energy mix by 2015 and 10% by 2020 in the country. These targets have been broken down by technologies: 600-1200MW wind; 300-600MW solar; and 30-50MW waste-to-energy.

The Commercial Advisor of the Year went to IFC (International Finance Corporation). In 2014, the IFC signed financing packages worth $207.5 million to collectively fund the construction of seven of the twelve first round solar PV power parks totalling 102 MWdc/91MWac across Jordan.

The Technology of the Year award went to NOMADD. The company developed Desert Solar Solution specifically designed to meet the biggest challenge facing the solar industry: Dust on panels. It meets all the key criteria for the job, including being waterless, fully automated, cost-effective and reliable.

Finally, the Solar Conference of The Year recognized MENASOL for its 2014 conference with over 50 presentations featuring market data, plant performance, costings and construction tips, delegates take away recordings that will have a real impact on their business operations.

This year, the Lifetime Achievement Award was very special as MESIA community wanted to thanks, of posthumous way, Mr Jit Chakravarty for his dedication to the Solar Industry. Jit was a passionate solar engineer and solar pioneer in UAE. He has been recognized with with the “Innovation of the year” award in MEE for solar pumping. He also containerized Solar plant for Umm Al Zmool – 100kW off grid (largest UAE off grid site).

For more information about the winners, please click here.

“This ceremony is a reflection of the growing scale and significance of the solar industry in the Middle East,” said Vahid Fotuhi, President of MESIA. “The winners range from 5 different countries, a record-high for MESIA. They also include both very large and quite small companies. And we have a record number of female winners this year. The future for this region is looking very bright,” he added.

This annual gala ceremony, organized by MESIA was taking place in conjunction with the 3rd Annual MENA Clean Energy Forum hosted by the Clean Energy Business Council. The ceremony, was attended by over 200 dignitaries, government officials and senior business executives from across the Middle East.