Solar Power International: A Wrap-Up

Co-authored by Bryan Jacob, Simon Mahan and Alissa Jean Schafer All of the things we mentioned in our blog after the opening session did come up again throughout Solar Power International (#SPIcon).  Maybe we should have been placing bets.  We were in Las Vegas, after all. We were definitely correct with one of our predictions.  [...]

Wind and Solar Power: Complementary Energy Resources

Here at Solar Power International, a number of attendees have openly wondered: how can wind power and solar power work better, together? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two resources pair together quite nicely, naturally.

With nearly 3.5 gigawatts of wind power purchase agreements, and over 5 GW of installed solar power, the South has begun to embrace renewable energy. Pairing utility scale wind and solar power in the South could improve renewable energy market share as well as relieve potential integration issues. For example, as higher levels of solar power penetration occur, several utilities have noted a trend moving towards higher winter peak generation demand.

Corporate Solar Purchasers in the Southeast: A Growing Major Market

More than ever before, corporations throughout the world are powering their businesses with renewable energy. According to Power Forward 3.0, nearly half of the companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), improve energy efficiency, and/or increase renewable energy sourcing—this stat is up five percentage points from 2014. Pushed by social and economic forces, this upwards trend is expected to continue. After a huge bump in 2015, when the Federal ITC was originally scheduled to expire, demand levels of corporate solar capacity have returned to a more incremental rate of increase, with June 2017 numbers already close to 2016’s year end total.

Welcome to Solar Power International in Las Vegas

Moving beyond the antiquated notion of “baseload” generation – instead what we need is “flexible, resilient, reliable” power.
The Suniva trade case. Abigail Ross Harper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), asserted that all of the jobs represented in the room are at risk. We will have an entire session devoted to this topic today.
Diversity in the solar industry. The Solar Foundation released a report (2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study). Apparently women represented a full half of the new solar jobs created last year. That’s good news, but I’m sure we’ll learn about other aspects of that report throughout SPI.
Disruption. Our keynote speaker (Rory McDonald) from Harvard Business School, opened our eyes to “competing and innovating in a disruptive environment.” Solar has been and will continue to be a disruptive force in the energy sector.

Unblocking the Sun – Join Us!

Today, the sun will be completely blocked by the moon in the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979. As people assemble in the “path of totality” to witness this rare event, we want to remind you that while it is indeed amazing to see the moon block the sun, we must fight to keep monopoly utilities in the Southeast from doing the same!

What are the connections between solar power and honeybees?

You might not think that the humble honeybee has much in common with solar power. But actually the two are connected in unique and interesting ways. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has a special connection to honeybees with three residents beekeepers on staff, a hive at our Asheville office, and it goes without saying that we’re pretty big fans of harnessing the sun for clean, renewable energy.

Solar Sunday at Highland Brewing Company!

SACE is excited to partner with Highland Brewing Company for Solar Sunday on May 7th. Bring the family for a tour of Highland Brewing’s impressive rooftop solar system, complete with a rooftop bar! Enjoy music by local band Chalwa, enter to win local raffle prizes (listed below), and mingle with SACE staff, who will be on hand to chat about clean energy in western North Carolina. This event is family-friendly!

Time for Virgin Islands to Transfer Power, to Renewables

There’s already a high level of self-sufficiency in St. Croix – where many, many homes rely almost entirely on rainwater cisterns for their freshwater supply. As batteries and residential renewable energy become cheaper, many residents may willfully follow Mr. Boyd’s footsteps, and begin to fully opt-out of the Virgin Island electric system by going off grid. But for economies of scale, utility-scale renewables and large batteries can pack a big economic punch. Lower systemwide power prices can help reduce electric bills, but also attract new companies seeking paradise on a dime. Meanwhile, brandishing ecological credentials could improve the islands’ largest industry: tourism. In the Netherlands, tourists readily pay for windmill and wind farm excursions.
As the Virgin Islands celebrate the 100th anniversary of Transfer Day, let’s hope it won’t take another 100 years for renewable energy.

Energy matters. It powers our lives.

Energy has transformed our world into the society we enjoy today. It cools our homes in the summer, heats them in the winter and transports us to wherever we are going.

Future is Bright for Women in the Solar Industry

This week Atlanta was one of 15 cities to celebrate the annual National Women in Solar Energy week. Organized by the non-profit, Women In Solar Energy (WISE), #nationWISE is a multi-city roundtable discussion that focuses on the development of women in the solar industry. Attendees in Atlanta represented a broad range of solar professions including non-profits, utilities, finance, [...]