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Freitag, 29. Juli 2016

Opportunities for Independent Renewables Developers in a Changing Policy Environment

Opportunities for Independent Renewables Developers in a Changing Policy Environment

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In the past, most of the growth in large renewable energy installations was carried out by independent developers. Today, the typical developer’s business model is based on capturing the yield arbitrage between early stage projects and operating assets (or a middle point in the development process) due to different risk profiles. But the collapse of SunEdison seems like the nail in the coffin for this business model.
Developers have benefitted in the last 15 years from a significant reduction in development risks: wind and solar technologies (as well as their respective supply chains) have matured, standardized procedures and contracts have appeared, and capital has become easily accessible. At the same time, government policies — such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) and guaranteed grid access — designed to support a high-risk industry have remained in place. Such policies increase the yield arbitrage between the development stages.
This policy scheme works well for wind developments, as they are complex endeavors, but solar developments face different barriers. In solar, resource variability within the same region is not significant; projects can be deployed following land ownership or local authority limits, and the build complexity of projects is low. This paradigm means that a significant number of developments can quickly arise in the same market simultaneously.
The first victims of solar were FiTs — when solar costs were low enough to benefit from these policies, projects boomed. Governments tried to respond by lowering the FiTs, but by then, the costs of solar were even lower. The only way to stop the cost spiral created by FiTs is to eliminate them — and with them, a profitable business model.
In an attempt to continue to support the renewable energy sector, several governments have implemented a tender system in which projects have to compete for a guaranteed long-term contract. For some time, independent developers with strong links to financial markets were competitive. However, markets were flooded with projects fighting for the same contracts, all using the same technology and located in the same region.
As a result, projects with the lowest capital cost structure, access to cheaper PV modules, and better electricity yields have an advantage. In the most recent tenders, developers have been outbid by large energy corporations like Enel Green Power and ENGIE or manufacturers like SunPower (backed by Total), JinkoSolar, and Recurrent Energy (backed by Canadian Solar).
Chasing Opportunities: Moving All the Way Down the Value Chain
From the start of the industry in the ’90s until now, independent developers have mostly excelled at securing and managing supply, financing engineering procurement construction contracts, and mitigating technological and regulatory risk. The demand side of the equation was more or less straightforward — get a FiT if developing in Europe or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the local utility if developing somewhere else. To successfully move forward in 2016, independent developers will have to reach out to the end consumer directly and work to understand consumers’ energy needs.
Developers could follow the following three strategies:
1.    Develop relationships with large end users to sign corporate PPAs
2.    Move into community solar
3.    Move into electricity retail
PPAs
Signing PPAs with large end users is perhaps the simplest option for independent developers. This approach mimics a current business model, simply replacing a large off-taker — the utility — for another large off-taker — a corporation. Corporate PPAs are increasingly common. This area has grown from around 600 MW in 2013 to more than 3 GW in 2015 globally. Initially, companies signed corporate PPAs and used them as an image and hedging tool, but now economics is the main driver.
This business model also has weaknesses. Corporations at least have some resources available to analyze offers from developers and shop around for the lowest cost for the quality of service needed. Developers not only have to be better than other developers, but also better compared to the local utility. To be successful, developers will have to develop the skills to match their customers’ energy needs.
Community Solar
Another area in which independent developers can play a major role — especially in the U.S. — is community solar programs. Although these programs are usually developed, financed, and run by the utility, programs also can be outsourced to a one-stop-shop third party.
The third-party model is popular with electric cooperatives but is less so with investor-owned utilities (IOUs). IOUs prefer to own assets and seek a return on investment. Independent developers have also successfully worked with utilities to develop community solar projects. For example, the Clean Energy Collective has been co-developing projects with local utilities in Colorado and Massachusetts that do not want to have the full risk of the development.
Some states, like Minnesota, allow third-party developments to benefit from virtual net metering. According to Mike Taylor, Principal of Knowledge at Solar Electric Power Association, over 900 MW of solar projects have been proposed in Minnesota, although not all of them are expected to reach completion.
Electricity Retail
Finally, some developers operating in liberalized markets have also opted to become retailers. In countries like Germany and the United Kingdom, FIT prices are well below those of residential and commercial electricity. By becoming retailers, developers can achieve higher margins.
An example of a developer turned retailer is Octopus Energy, the largest developer of solar plants in the United Kingdom. The company began as an independent developer in 2011, when it built its first solar generation plant. Since then, Octopus Energy has built 154 solar farms in the United Kingdom and another 66 projects in France.
The farms financed by the company generate 40 percent of the United Kingdom’s large-scale solar. It has also invested in wind generation and anaerobic digestion plants to offer gas services to clients. In addition, the company offers rapid response gas generation, which is crucial for balancing supply when there is no wind and sun. Octopus Energy’s retail arm began operating in 2016; so far, it is too soon to assess its success.
Playing an Active Role
These are just a few examples that show opportunities still exist in renewables for independent developers. However, developers will have to take a more active role in securing off-takers for their electricity and in understanding their customers’ demand profiles in order to maximize arbitrage opportunities.
Lead image credit: Oregon Department of Transportation | Flickr

City Power Play Report: Part 2 - Communities Choosing Clean Energy

City Power Play Report: Part 2 - Communities Choosing Clean Energy

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Community Choice
In most states, a city wanting to change its energy future has two options: beg its utility or form its own. But one state-level policy opens a third way for cities to have more choice over their energy options: community choice aggregation (CCA).
Now authorized by legislatures in 6 states, community choice aggregation has been called “municipalization lite,” allowing cities to control both the cost and amount of renewable energy in their energy mix without buying the electric grid. Instead, the community picks the power sources and the existing electric utility maintains the grid infrastructure.
Below is part two of our City Power Play Report , a report released in October 2013 about the types of policy solutions cities can enact to increase their ownership of renewable energy. Be sure to come back and read part 3, published in the next week, and read part 1, released earlier this week.
Adapted from Sonoma Clean Power
Adapted from Sonoma Clean Power
Once a state law is in place, the local governing body can explore the formation of a CCA (henceforth called “community utility”). This process usually includes a feasibility study examining the setup costs as well as the potential savings to consumers, increased energy savings, and increase in renewable energy. Next, a vote must occur within the governing body or via public referendum (state laws vary) to form a community utility. A municipal governing body typically develops a plan outlining governance, a financial plan, and a process for making changes to rates, energy supply, etc.39 Each participating municipality must pass an ordinance to join the community utility.
The basic principle is that residential and small commercial customers are “aggregated” by a municipality, which becomes their negotiator with energy companies. The city or country (or an amalgamation of several) solicits bids for electricity to serve this aggregation of customers. Individual customers can opt- out of the community utility and remain with the current utility provider.
States with Laws Allowing CCAs
Most communities that have joined or formed a CCA have primarily focused on lowering the cost of energy and energy efficiency. The Cape Light Compact in Massachusetts has served 200,000 customers in over 20 municipalities since the late 1990s, negotiating lower electricity prices. The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council is the country’s largest CCA serving 134 communities, and has achieved lower electric bills and less polluting power sources since its formation in 2001.40
The California CCA market has several prospective entrants after nearly a decade of legal battles between supporters of early CCA efforts and Pacific Gas & Electric. The issue was finally resolved after PG&E lost a ballot measure to restrict CCAs and additional state legislation was passed requiring PG&E and other incumbent utilities to cooperate fully with communities seeking to form CCAs.
Some newer CCAs have had a sharper focus on cleaner energy, and in some cases, have used the opportunity to focus on keeping more energy dollars in the community.
Marin Clean Energy
The community utility serving 125,000 customers in Marin County and Richmond, CA, was authorized in 2008 by a unanimous vote of county supervisors and launched in 2010 with an immediate focus on cleaner energy.41 Participating communities joined the community utility by enacting a local ordinance.
The Marin Energy Authority’s default electricity service is 50% renewable, with renewable power (or credits purchased from Shell Energy) supplied from wind, solar, and biomass projects in California, Oregon, and Washington. Customers can also pay a premium for 100% renewable energy service.
Clean isn’t the only focus. The community utility intends to save a nation-leading 2-3% of annual sales with energy efficiency, by increasing incentives, providing financing through the utility bill, and aggressive marketing.42 They also intend to use demand response programs (e.g. cycling customer air conditioners during times of peak energy demand) to reduce the peak energy use of the utility by 5%.43 Such measures can reduce energy costs by using less, avoiding purchases of expensive energy when it is in short supply, and by shifting energy demand to periods when energy is less expensive.
The community utility also intends to increase local procurement of energy, touting its economic benefits. So far, they buy power from a 972 kW solar project at the local airport that was built with local labor, and financed at a local bank.44 The utility’s resource plan calls for up to 10 MW of local distributed solar energy. Contract prices start at approximately 14¢ per kWh for the first 2 MW of capacity, and are reduced for each additional 2 MW tranche of capacity added, to 10.5¢. So far, the program has subscribed close to 2 MW. If the program is completely subscribed, it would supply about 20% of the community utility’s renewable energy.
Oak Park
Oak Park is one of hundreds of cities in Illinois that adopted municipal aggregation in 2011 and 2012. Abnormally high electric rates from incumbent utility Commonwealth Edison led many of these communities to change suppliers, with rate savings of 25-30% for customers.
In April 2011, Oak Park adopted a CCA by public referendum, as required by Illinois law.45
Oak Park differs from other cities in the state because its aggregation program is buying renewable energy credits from regional wind farms sufficient to cover all of the electricity sales for its customers, making it “100% renewable.” This practice is somewhat controversial (see RECs and Rascals sidebar).
The city is also considering adding in a locally managed energy efficiency program, like Marin Clean Energy.46
Challenges with CleanPowerSF
Since passing an ordinance in 2007, the city of San Francisco has been investigating community choice aggregation, but the proposed community utility still faces several roadblocks.47
The city’s public utilities commission (SFPUC) has been working for three years on the implementation of a plan, approved by the Board of Supervisors (city council) in 2010, to deliver 100% renewable energy to the city’s residents and small businesses. The plan would come at a monthly premium to existing electricity service from incumbent monopoly utility PG&E. Original forecasts had energy prices doubling, but revised rates would increase costs by about $5 per month for residential customers.
But while the proposed program would rapidly shift the city’s energy supply to clean sources, it’s not clear that it would result in any new (or local) renewable energy. Like Marin Clean Energy, CleanPowerSF contracted with Shell Energy (a subsidiary of Shell Oil) to buy renewable energy credits to fulfill anywhere from 45 to 85% of the clean energy supply,48 with promises to focus on more local energy generation in the future. Mayor Ed Lee is critical of the program’s renewable energy claims and the perceived lack of local economic development.
The program is temporarily on hold after the city’s public utility commission refused to set rates at their August 2013 meeting, after nearly a year of debate.49 Furthermore, the commission and mayor have indicated an interest in using money set aside for CleanPowerSF to repair water and power infrastructure damaged in the 2013 Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park and the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.50 If that happens, it may halt the progress toward a community utility indefinitely.
For More Information
CCAs are growing in several places around the country. Activists in San Diego have formed an Energy District campaign for a CCA. Sonoma County, known for its leading PACE program, has already completed a feasibility study showing it could get up to 60% of its power from local sources.51 Their aggregation, Clean Power Sonoma, is scheduled to launch in early 2014 with 33% renewable energy, rising to 50% by 2018.52
municipal aggregation53
CCAs also continue to expand in Illinois and Ohio, where retail electricity deregulation or earlier authorizing laws have removed major barriers.
While CCAs grant local control, they are not necessarily about local energy, as Midwest Energy News reports:
For example, Marin Clean Energy contracts with a Shell Oil subsidiary for its renewable energy certificates, as does Oak Park and Cincinnati, OH. San Francisco’s CCA is being held up in part by the perception that it is just switching corporate overlords and doing too little to shift to clean, local power.
Much like a municipal utility, a CCA is simply a tool that provides a community with more opportunity to clean and localize its energy future, but it’s no guarantee.
RECs and Rascals

Building Codes

Building codes establish minimum standards for building safety and energy use, and they are one of the most effective and cost-effective ways for communities to save energy dollars.
States generally set minimum standards for energy performance of buildings. Typically, these codes apply to new construction, and differ for residential and commercial buildings. All but 8 U.S. states set residential building codes at the state level, and all but 7 set commercial codes at that level.54
Many states also allow some or all cities to set their own, higher standards. The following map shows which states allow some or all cities to set building energy codes locally. The U.S. DOE publishes a regular map of currently adopted state energy codes.55
Local Residential Building Code Authority
The communities that use this authority can save millions in energy costs over the lifetime of their buildings, and accelerate their progress toward a smaller climate footprint. To get a sense of the benefits of action on energy codes, the following graphic shows the relative efficiency of typical energy codes for buildings.56 The most common is the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The IECC codes are prescriptive standards: setting new energy efficiency targets for buildings and detailing the specific measures builders must take to meet those standards. Adopting new codes can make a significant difference for new buildings. For example, a community that adopts the 2012 IECC in replacement of the 2006 version will save the average homeowner anywhere from $150 to $1,100 per year in energy costs.57
IECC 2006 Baseline
As shown in the following table, many municipalities that have the authority to exceed state standards have done so, recognizing the cost-effectiveness of action. Many have adopted the latest IECC Code (2012) and others specify an improvement relative to the state standard (e.g. Massachusetts cities and Santa Monica, CA).
Municipalities Exceeding State Standard Codes
Future improvements in building energy efficiency may be easier. Major environmental groups have recently reached an accord with home builders – who frequently oppose code updates because of higher upfront costs – to implement a residential building performance standard that is 20% better than IECC 2012.58 The standard would give builders more flexibility than the current IECC standards, because the methods of measuring performance in the proposed standard are easier and less costly than those typically allowed under state-adopted IECC standards.
The accord may also help address the major failing with building codes – enforcement. While many states set energy codes, they often leave enforcement to cash-strapped cities. The Institute for Market Transformation estimates that compliance with building energy codes is as low as 50% in some areas, but that every $1 spent on enforcement returns $6 in energy savings.59 See IMT’s state-by-state interactive map on potential energy savings from improved enforcement.60
For More Information
Austin, TX, energy code61
Boulder County, CO, energy code62
Babylon, NY, energy code63
Seattle, WA, energy code64
Massachusetts state “stretch” energy code65
Santa Monica, CA, energy code66
Marin County, CA, energy code67

Local Taxing Authority

Few things can accomplish more than the local power of the purse, and at least two municipalities have used local taxes to power up their economy and advance clean, local energy generation.
Boulder's Carbon Tax
In Boulder, CO, citizens approved a local carbon tax on electric bills in 2006 to finance investments in energy efficiency and local renewable energy. The tax, increased to the maximum authorized amount in 2009, generates approximately $2 million per year. The rate per kilowatt- hour varies by customer class, shown below.
Boulder's Climate Tax Rates
Most of the carbon tax revenue supports the EnergySmart program that conducts energy audits of residential and commercial properties and makes recommendations to building owners about potential energy savings. The tax revenue also supports solar rebates (Boulder has some of the most solar energy per capita in the U.S.) and energy conservation programs for businesses.68
The carbon tax in Boulder is part of a broader effort to move toward energy self- reliance, including building energy ratings, a climate action plan, the most recent international building energy code, and voter authorization to pursue a municipal electric utility to ramp up renewable energy development.
For more information, see the Climate Action Plan Excise Tax in Boulder’s city code.69
Babylon's Innovative Solid Waste Fund
In Babylon, NY, town leaders repurposed an existing fund to energy savings. The municipal solid waste fund had a surplus, and town officials wanted to use that money to help residents save money on their energy bills. They changed their town’s definition of solid waste to include carbon emissions,70 allowing them to use the collected funds to set up one of the first and most successful PACE programs for financing energy efficiency improvements.
Read more in our PACE Program section or see the definition of solid waste used by the Town of Babylon.71

Solar Mandates for New Homes

While some cities have focused on reducing energy use to keep more money in the local economy, others have focused on producing (rather than importing) more clean, local energy.
Lancaster
Lancaster, CA, made waves in the spring of 2013 when its city council unanimously approved revisions to their zoning code, requiring new housing developments to average at least 1 kilowatt of solar PV capacity per home.72 Developers must meet the requirement for every phase of development, but the code allows them to aggregate the requirement into larger projects.73
“We want to be the first city that produces more electricity from solar energy than we consume on a daily basis,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said in an interview with the New York Times.
Meeting the mayor’s solar goal requires a total in-city generating capacity of 216 megawatts (a world-leading 1.44 kilowatts of capacity for every resident in the town of 150,000). About 90 megawatts are already producing power or are in development.74
Lancaster also created a power authority to attract solar investment. The authority has partnered with various private companies, including SolarCity, to share revenue from solar power purchase agreements. For example, the power authority will issue bonds to prepay for electricity from installed solar arrays and sell it to area schools. City staff estimates the city’s schools will save $43 million in electricity costs over the 25-year term of the agreement, and the power authority will recover 130% of the debt service payments in selling the energy to the schools.75
Sebastopol
Sebastopol, CA, followed shortly behind Lancaster in 2013. Their ordinance is more ambitious, requiring solar installations on new homes to provide 2 Watts per square foot (e.g. 4 kW for a typical 2,000 s.f. home) or offset 75% of the home’s electricity use.76
Lancaster Solar Array
Parking lot canopy solar array at Lancaster Jethawks stadium. Credit: Todd Woody.
This part two of our City Power Play Report, a report released in October 2013 about the types of policy solutions cities can enact to increase their ownership of renewable energy. Be sure to come back and read part 3, published in the next week, and read part 1, released earlier this week.

Blade Manufacturer TPI Composites Prices IPO for Growth

Blade Manufacturer TPI Composites Prices IPO for Growth

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Composite wind turbine blade manufacturer TPI Composites last week priced its initial public offering of 6.25 million shares.
The decision to go public was driven by the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company’s interest in strengthening its balance sheet, increasing working capital and creating a path to liquidity for TPI’s private equity investors, TPI President and CEO Steven Lockard told Renewable Energy World.
Shares were priced at $11, and TPI granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 937,500 additional shares at the initial public offering price. Trading commenced on July 21 on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol TPIC. On July 28, shares were trading at $14.40, according to NASDAQ.
Image: TPI Composites President and CEO Steven Lockard, Credit: Guy MANCUSO Photography
TPI has been involved in the wind industry since 2001, and its current customers include wind turbine providers GE, Vestas, Gamesa and Nordex. Wind-related sales account for the majority of TPI’s revenue, according to Lockard. The company also has some development activities in the transportation space with limited volume production.
“There has been a fairly significant move to outsourcing of blades in a strategic partnership model that TPI has helped to enable by dedicating facilities and factory space for building our customers' blades,” Lockard said.
Currently TPI has six operational wind blade facilities and two more that are on the way. Operating facilities are located in the U.S., Mexico, Turkey and China.
“We’ve announced recently a new facility in Mexico — Mexico plant two — with Gamesa as our anchor customer, and then a second facility in Turkey — Turkey plant two — with Vestas as our anchor customer,” Lockard said.
The company’s footprint of factories serves both the large wind markets and a number of growing markets.
“As an example, the U.S. is a large market, and our U.S. operations in Iowa and our Mexico operations would serve the U.S. market,” Lockard said. “Mexico and Turkey are both roughly 1-GW markets per year, whereas China and the U.S. and countries in Europe are larger markets, but Mexico and Turkey are running at significantly higher growth rates.”
He added that the company can ship blades from its China facility to markets around the world that are in close proximity to a port.
TPI also works in R&D in materials and process, tooling technologies, and inspection and detection technologies.
“There continue to be innovations in the advanced materials space that are allowing us to make longer blades, meet performance specifications, and help drive down levelized cost of energy (LCOE),” Lockard said. “LCOE has come down about 61 percent over the last six years, and that’s mainly from longer blades and taller towers, which allows the hub height to reach areas where the wind stream is richer, and the swept area to be larger.”
Lead image credit: Guy MANCUSO Photography

How LIDAR is Transforming Remote Solar Sales and System Design

How LIDAR is Transforming Remote Solar Sales and System Design

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What do self-driving cars, the Mars rover and remote solar site assessment have in common?
All three technologies use Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) to enable them to quickly and accurately assess the environment in which they perform their operations. Since the 1960s, when LIDAR was first used by NASA scientists for research purposes, it has quickly captured the imagination of professionals that want to remotely make precise measurements or three dimensional models of an area. Over the last 15 years, technological improvements and cost reductions have greatly increased the accessibility of LIDAR data, which is having a beneficial effect on the solar industry. In order to understand how LIDAR is transforming the way solar is designed and sold, it is important to have basic knowledge of how LIDAR data is gathered.
LIDAR is a technology where a scanner emits pulses of light energy (using a laser) at buildings and other objects in an area, and measures how long it takes for the pulse to return. The laser pulse travels at the speed of light. Accordingly, the distance it travels can be calculated by multiplying the amount of time it takes for the pulse to arrive back at the scanner, with the speed of light, and dividing that figure by two (since the pulse makes a round trip).

Equation 1: Distance measurement using LIDAR
In the case of solar, this device is typically fitted on a plane, which also contains a global positioning system (GPS), and an inertial measurement unit (IMU). The GPS unit measures the elevation, and the location (latitude and longitude) of the plane. The IMU measures the tilt and other data about the plane and scanner position in order to adjust the distance calculations.
Figure 1: Illustration of LIDAR capture. Source: LIDAR-America.com
Combining location and distance data recorded by the scanner, software packages can generate a 3D model of the location. In the case of a self-driving car or the Mars rover, the vehicle uses this 3D model to autonomously navigate without colliding into any obstacles. In the context of solar, this 3D model can be used to calculate building heights, roof slopes, and tree heights. It is also used to calculate how much irradiance (sunlight) and shading is cast on a rooftop by objects such as trees, chimneys and buildings. By combining the resulting 3D model with weather data from the location, software applications can calculate irradiance and shade metrics, such as solar access and total solar resource factor (TSRF) values.
Importantly, these shading values have been proven by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to be statistically equivalent to onsite measurements. An NREL study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) found that remote shading engines that implemented LIDAR were within 3.5 percent of on-site measurements. On the basis of the NREL study, and their own independent assessments, several financing entities and rebate authorities, such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (the United States’ largest rebate authority), now accept remote shading reports in lieu of on-site measurements.
solarFigure 2: LIDAR being used to generate 3D model of site. Source: www.aurorasolar.com
According to the DOE, the customer acquisition costs for a typical 5-kW residential system are $1,100. This is largely due to costs associated with site visits, wasting time and money by marketing to homes that are not a good fit for solar, and educating the homeowner about the economic benefits of them going solar.
LIDAR helps address many of these problems; sites can quickly be identified and screened for their solar potential and accurate system design, and bankable shade reports can be generated remotely. Homeowners can easily see how much irradiance their roofs receive, making it easy for installers to explain their solar design decisions. Most importantly, these functions can be performed quickly: a remote shade report takes less than 15 minutes to generate.
Integrating LIDAR into the solar design process offers the prospect of faster and cheaper solar, without a meaningful loss in accuracy. NREL estimates that remote site assessment has the potential to reduce industry soft costs by $0.17 per watt. To put that in context, remote site assessment could save you the equivalent of half the cost of an average string inverter. The land area covered by LIDAR is constantly increasing, and as the technology finds more commercial applications, the cost of acquiring LIDAR is falling. This is good news for the solar industry: LIDAR-based remote site assessment provides an accessible mechanism to dramatically lower the soft costs of the industry.

Figtree Stands Tall Among Nation’s Commercial PACE Providers

Figtree Stands Tall Among Nation’s Commercial PACE Providers

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State and local governments in the U.S. embrace PACE because of its ability to create jobs, promote economic development, meet sustainability standards and improve local building stock using no public monies. According to PACENation, 29 states and the District of Columbia have enabled PACE financing in their respective jurisdictions.
As with HERO’s residential PACE offering, the funds that support commercial PACE improvements are delivered via private sector investors. Commercial PACE provider Figtree arranges PACE financing (and mortgage lender consent) for commercial, industrial, agricultural and multi-family property owners by aggregating and selling the projects as municipal bonds.
Now operating in over four dozen California jurisdictions, Figtree Financing was the first in California to successfully aggregate projects among multiple markets and finance them in a single bond issue. Figtree finances projects ranging from $5,000 to those in the millions of dollars (all contingent upon qualified property values).
HVAC, solar PV, boilers, chillers, roofs, new windows and doors — even xeroscaping — are among the money-saving improvements financed. Clients run the gamut from owners of Class A office structures to hotels-motels, apartment complexes, REITs and agricultural interests.
Figtree was also the first commercial PACE provider to receive state-wide judicial validation — a ruling that legally vetted Figtree’s financing model, providing cities and their legal counsel confidence in the operational integrity of its financing model while saving municipalities the unwelcome expense of devoting staff time to vet what was then a virtually unknown (and misunderstood) economic development tool.
Despite successful assurances and financing successes, commercial PACE providers simply haven’t realized the runaway growth that residential firms like HERO have trail-blazed. Across the U.S., PACENation online documents the number of commercial retrofits at less than 1 percent the valuation of its residential PACE counterparts.
Seeking an uptick in interest and investment, Figtree has again broken new ground — this time by diversifying its product menu outside the PACE space. Last month, Figtree announced a definitive merger agreement with Dividend Solar, whose self-described sweet spot is providing $0-down loan financing for credit-worthy homeowners interested in the benefits of solar ownership (and the healthy 30 percent investment tax credit solar ownership provides). Dividend Solar is a consumer finance company specializing in unsecured solar financing; they lend money based on FICO scores.
The yin to this sustainable yang is that Figtree Financing specializes in commercial PACE, offering property owners a unique, $0-down, off-balance sheet financing solution that frees them to enjoy the economic benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water frugal improvements without encumbering their credit capacity.
The merger represents the first ever combination of a residential solar lender and PACE financing provider.
“This is a merger of complementary products and talents that gives us remarkable marketplace traction while providing a more complete solution set to businesses and consumers,” Figtree Financing CEO Mahesh Shah said.
Figtree operates in California and has developed a national PACE platform that it has been eager to roll into other PACE friendly states for over a year. Dividend Solar is a sustainability-focused consumer finance company that operates in 28 states. Dividend’s footprint will come in handy for Figtree as it works to expand its commercial PACE offerings across the U.S. Dividend itself offers a ready-made contractor network eager for financing options for prospects who want to realize the value proposition of solar ownership regardless of their credit capacity.
And Figtree’s PACE expertise, distribution network and market acumen will afford Dividend a valuable platform from which to launch its residential PACE (and non-PACE) offerings in California before expanding into the company’s broader 28-state footprint.
LL Funds Committment
The merger comes with yet another ‘dividend’ — a commitment of up to $200 million from LL Funds
“Figtree’s experience in non-solar energy efficiency products presents an adjacent expansion opportunity for Dividend,” Shivraj (Raj) Mundy, Operating Partner for LL Funds, said. “The merger establishes product diversity that is not only more attractive for customers, but lessens reliance on factors beyond the company’s control, such as government and regulatory policy.”
So how will this new company position itself? Shah said that that decision is not final, but the newly merged company is leaning toward retaining the Figtree brand for its commercial PACE offerings and maintaining the Dividend Solar name for its residential PACE offerings. The company plans on sustaining Figtree’s offices in San Diego and Dividend’s San Francisco hub, while maintaining offices in Austin.
Today’s PACE Momentum Delivers Extraordinary Reach — and Ubiquitous Rewards
On a macro level, an econometric study conducted by the ECONorthwest found that $4 million in PACE funding generates $10 million in gross revenue, $1 million in combined federal, state, and local tax revenue, and 60 clean, green jobs.
And if that weren’t enough, the IRS has just ruled that PACE interest falls within its mortgage deductibility guidelines, i.e., the interest portion of a PACE payment can be treated as a deduction to personal income taxes.
According to PACE Nation’s Mike Centore, “The guidance solidifies PACE’s position as one of the most economically competitive financing tools for home energy and water upgrades — interest rates comparable to and often better than home equity loan rates, repayment terms aligned with the useful life of eligible measures, and the possibility of interest payments being tax deductible.”
With a simple vote of approval by a local land-use authority, PACE’s unique financing architecture allows property owners to reap the energy savings, federal, state and local tax incentives of energy improvements on demand.
It’s a deal-closer for contractors, an economic win for property owners, a catalyst for clean energy job creation and a boon for investors — or municipalities looking to improve aging building stock as they work to meet regional, state and federal water conservation and clean energy mandates using no public monies.
And as the Figtree and Dividend partnership suggests, tilling new industry soil can bring a bountiful harvest of choice, savings and sustainable economies of scale.
Lead image credit: Bysolar, Inc. | Flickr

IndyCar Driver Stefan Wilson Shifts Solar into High Gear

IndyCar Driver Stefan Wilson Shifts Solar into High Gear

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TerraSmart had the pleasure of meeting Indycar driver Stefan Wilson earlier this month at our Intersolar booth in San Francisco. That may be the last place one would expect to find a racecar driver, but Stefan is as passionate about clean, renewable energy as we are. Plus, he has big plans to impact the carbon footprint of the Indycar sport. We contacted him to learn more.
With a long tradition of racing in his family, Stefan Wilson was invited to make his Indy 500 debut last May in the Verizon-sponsored  No. 25 Driven2SaveLives-KVRT Chevrolet. Rather than just putting tire to track, Stefan used the centennial Indy500 as a launch pad for his new #THINKSOLAR campaign designed to bring ecological awareness to a fossil-fuel-powered sport at one of the greatest events in racing.
solar
The Indy 500 has served as an innovation showcase for the automotive industry for decades, rolling out advances like turbo-charging into mainstream motor vehicles and more. But, times are changing and racing is too. Stefan believes it’s time to see solar-powered paddocks, pit lanes and tech hubs. With gasoline generators currently powering nearly every garage on the track, Stefan’s desire to revolutionize the sport with clean energy solutions could not be more timely as solar power is becoming more accessible every day.
“When I imagine the future, I believe solar will be a big part of how we produce energy. I can’t see any other form of energy that is as eco-friendly and scalable as solar. I’m passionate about it and want to bring it into the sport I’m passionate about.” — Stefan Wilson
Stefan’s goal to utilize various aspects of solar technology at the Indy 500 even extend to powering some of the cockpit electronics with a small photovoltaic panel built onto his 230-mph car. In coming races, he envisions replacing the gas generators used to power telemetry instruments with solar panels and having the roof of every garage at the brickyard support clean energy with solar panels, with the hope to expand solar’s role at the Indy 500 to all participating racing teams.
The #THINKSOLAR campaign is determined to get drivers and their fans excited about solar. In future races, Stefan’s team will be able to track the production and the use of solar power in the pit and stream it live on the Internet for fans to watch how solar is working to make the car faster. Stefan believes that through showcasing solar technology in auto racing, Indy fans will begin to recognize the value of solar power in their own lives, helping the proliferation of solar in everyday life.
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#THINKSOLAR — Making an Impact
Other aspects of the #THINKSOLAR campaign reach audiences outside of global motor racing:
  • STEM Education: The campaign’s work with NREL’s Junior Solar Sprint in Indiana, a program that works with teams of middle school students to build and race solar-powered cars, inspires future generations to innovate with clean energy. Stefan’s goal is to promote STEM education by replicating this program to other race car communities worldwide.
  • Global Stewardship: #THINKSOLAR has partnered with SolarAid, a non-profit in the UK that helps communities in Africa replace toxic kerosene lamps with solar-powered lighting. Through #THINKSOLAR, Stefan was able to offset his team’s entire carbon footprint in the Indy 500 with 32 solar powered lights, replacing 48,000 pounds of kerosene and drastically improving the safety and indoor air quality for the families that use them.
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Speed Is Not Only at Indy
Bringing solar to auto racing events that captivate millions around the world is a boon for clean energy. But solar velocity is not for car racing alone.
Solar energy’s adoption in the U.S. has accelerated at top speeds in recent years. At TerraSmart we associate the thrills of auto racing with our own excitement over the double-digit growth that the solar industry and its consumers have experienced across the country.
According to recent data from the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) the industry is booming:
  • The U.S. solar market in 2016 has reached 29.3 GW of total installed capacity, enough to power 5.7 million American homes.
  • Solar now accounts for 64 percent of new electric capacity additions in the U.S., outpacing conventional sources of electricity.
  • With more than 1 million individual solar installations nationwide, the industry is on pace to nearly double in size in 2016.
  • Every 2.5 minutes, American workers install a new solar system, adding more than 200,000 solar workers to the U.S. economy.
  • It took four decades to install one million solar systems, but it will take only two years to add the next one million systems.
We look forward to watching Stefan’s progress in Indycar both on the track and with his #THINKSOLAR campaign. With small changes in our own lives, we can help make solar an easy choice for everyone, and we can enjoy the amazing ways technology, and even race cars, are helping to make it all possible.
Images Courtesy of Stefan Wilson Racing
This article was originally published by TerraSmart and was republished with permission.

Port of Los Angeles unveils $27 million solar+storage microgrid project

Port of Los Angeles unveils $27 million solar+storage microgrid project

The Port of Los Angeles is one of the nation's largest ports.

The Port of Los Angeles and Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals L.P. are launching a $27 million project that feature a 1 MW rooftop solar installation backed by a 2.6 MW battery storage system.
Burns & McDonnell is providing design-build engineering and overall project management services for the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project, which will also integrate a number of electric vehicles and cargo handling equipment into terminal operations. The microgrid will serve as a showcase of how clean and sustainable energy solutions “can revolutionize marine terminal operations” and allow terminal operations to continue in the event of a widespread power outage, Burns & McDonnell said.
The California Air Resources Board is partially funding the project with $14.5 million as part of a wide-ranging effort to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants throughout the state.
“The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest gateway for commerce in America, so what better place to demonstrate an all-new approach to eliminating greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions,” said Renita Mollman, vice president and general manager of Burns & McDonnell’s California region.
Matt Wartian will serve as project manager for the duration of the engineering design, construction and startup phases of the project. Engineering is set to begin this month, with construction beginning in October and completion by mid-2017.
“The Port of Los Angeles is leading the world toward a sustainable future, and today we’re raising the bar again,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With this partnership, we begin a new era for global shipping where we can eliminate emissions as we power our economy ahead. I look forward to seeing this innovative technology in action.”
While Burns & McDonnell has executed a number of microgrid projects incorporating solar and zero emissions technology, in the past, Wartian said the Omni Green Terminal Project “will set a whole new standard.” He added, “We expect a number of other facilities will be launching similar zero-emissions projects based on the results from the Omni Green Terminal.”
The solar power system will be the centerpiece of the project, Burns & McDonnell stressed. It will operate in parallel with the Los Angeles area grid through sophisticated energy management system controls that will enable the terminal to “island” and continue operating as a microgrid for a limited period of time in the event of a widespread power outage, the company said.
“With key elements of the Omni Terminal remaining operational during an outage, it will function as a depot for emergency goods and services to the broader Southern California region.”
The terminal will likewise feature charging infrastructure to convert AC to DC power needed for battery-powered vehicles and equipment. The chargers allow battery-stored electricity to be converted to AC power needed for motors and drives or to charge other vehicles. Electric equipment at the terminal will include battery-powered drayage trucks and yard tractors to move goods throughout the terminal and two 21-ton forklifts and a top handler for loading and unloading goods.
The Omni Green Terminal will also employ a ShoreCat Marine Exhaust Treatment System that can capture more than 90% of emissions from stacks of berthed ships at the terminal. Berthed ships are the largest sources of greenhouse gases and priority pollutants at marine ports worldwide.
“The Green Omni Terminal Project will be a scalable model to upgrade the 26 other terminals at the Port of Los Angeles, as well as other terminals worldwide” Wartian said.
Jeffrey Burgin, senior vice president of Pasha, added, “This is a Wright Brothers moment. We’re going to be the proving ground to change the paradigm of how large industrial facilities can run on clean energy. We’re confident we can show this is absolutely attainable.”
Another solar+storage project is underway in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has contracted E.ON and Greensmith Energy to provide frequency response and voltage control from the 10 MW Iron Horse Battery Energy Storage Project — which employs lithium titanate oxide batteries supplied by Landis+Gyr – that will be linked to a 2 MW solar array. The project, located at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, is scheduled to be completed by in the first quarter of 2017.

Brasil retrasa a diciembre la única licitación solar en 2016

Brasil retrasa a diciembre la única licitación solar en 2016

28/07/16 | Noticias principales, Brasil, Desarrollo de mercado

Governo do Estado de Minas Gerais
Se anula oficialmente la subasta fotovoltaica prevista en julio y se retrasa la subasta fotovoltaica del 28 octubre al 16 diciembre.
El gobierno brasileño ha cancelado definitivamente la subasta fotovoltaica prevista inicialmente para el 29 de julio y ha retrasado el certamen solar previsto en octubre al 16 de diciembre. Con ello, este año hay fijada solo una fecha para una licitación solar nacional en Brasil.
La licitación de reserva del 29 de julio se celebrará el 23 de septiembre pero se ha cancelado la categoría fotovoltaica en este certamen, según se publicó en el diario oficial el jueves. En la primera licitación de reserva solo podrá participar la fuente hidráulica.
La segunda licitación de reserva de este año, que contará con una categoría para la fotovoltaica, ha sido retrasada al 16 de diciembre. La fecha de esta licitación era inicialmente el 28 de octubre. Se mantienen para esta licitación las dos categorías previstas en un principio, eólica y fotovoltaica.
Para esta subasta ya se han registrado 12,5 gigavatios en proyectos fotovoltaicos. El gobierno brasileño ha dispuesto medidas para que los proyectos registrados para la subasta solar anulada puedan concurrir al certamen de diciembre.
De momento, se desconoce la potencia fotovoltaica que se va adjudicar en el certamen de diciembre pero la asociación Absolar pide que se subasten dos gigavatios fotovoltaicos anuales en licitaciones, también en este año.
En marzo de este año, el gobierno brasileño marcó dos licitaciones de reserva en 2016: una en julio y otra en octubre. En ambas se preveía la participación de la fuente fotovoltaica.
A finales de junio, el gobierno decidió retrasar la licitación de julio, sin fijar una nueva fecha. En el evento Brasil Solar Power, que se celebró en Río de Janeiro hace un mes, el ministro de Energía Fernando Coelho Filho anunció no obstante que este año se celebraría en Brasil al menos una licitación solar.
Ahora el único certamen solar con fecha fijada es el del 16 de diciembre. La fecha de inicio de suministro de los proyectos que resulten adjudicados se mantiene en el 1 de julio de 2019.
Hasta la fecha se han celebrado en Brasil tres licitaciones solares nacionales, una en 2014 y dos en 2015. En cada una de ellas se adjudicó alrededor de un gigavatio en proyectos fotovoltaicos. Estas iniciativas deberían iniciar el suministro en 2017 y 2018.  (Redacción)

Senec mit mehr als 10.000 verkauften Photovoltaik-Speichersystemen

Senec mit mehr als 10.000 verkauften Photovoltaik-Speichersystemen

28. Juli 2016 | Speicher und Netze, Topnews
Der Leipziger Hersteller von Batteriespeichern erwartet in diesem Jahr einen weiteren Absatzrekord. Bislang hat die Deutsche Energieversorgung mehr als 10.000 Photovoltaik-Speicher in Deutschland verkaufen können.

Die Deutsche Energieversorgung GmbH, die die Photovoltaik-Speichermarke Senec vertreibt, hat allein in Deutschland mittlerweile mehr als 10.000 ihrer Systeme absetzen können. Auch für das laufende Jahr sei mit einem neuen Rekord zu rechnen, teilte der Leipziger Speicherhersteller am Donnerstag mit. Anhand der Bestellungen über das eigene Netzwerk an Großhändlern und Partnerinstallateuren sei mit einem deutlich steigenden Absatz zu rechnen. Dies führt Senec auch auf seine Strategie zurück. „Unser Gesamtkonzept aus wirtschaftlichen Energiespeichern, Power-to-Heat Lösung und zusätzlichen Services wie Senec.Cloud kommt bei unseren Kunden sehr gut an“, erklärt Geschäftsführer Mathias Hammer.

Zudem habe das Unternehmen sein Netzwerk in den vergangenen Jahren deutlich ausbauen können. Es arbeite mit vier Photovoltaik-Fachgroßhändlern zusammen, die über Anteile eng mit dem Unternehmen verbunden seien. „Durch die festen Großbestellungen unserer Fachhändler haben wir bereits jetzt die doppelte Menge abgesetzt wie im gesamten Vorjahr“, so Hammer zur aktuellen Auftragslage. Auch die Präsenz auf der diesjährigen Intersolar Europe in München habe einen positiven Effekt und zahlreiche neue Kontakte gebracht. (Sandra Enkhardt)

Frost & Sullivan: Weiter hohe Wachstumsraten für Photovoltaik-Weltmarkt bis 2020

Frost & Sullivan: Weiter hohe Wachstumsraten für Photovoltaik-Weltmarkt bis 2020

28. Juli 2016 | Märkte und Trends, Topnews
Der weltweite Photovoltaik-Umsatz wird bis 2020 mit jährlichen Wachstumsraten von 9,5 Prozent auf knapp 180 Milliarden US-Dollar wachsen. Dann wird Asien nach Auffassung der Analysten fast zwei Drittel des Marktes für sich beanspruchen.

Nach der aktuellen Studie „Global Solar Power Market—2016 Update“ von Frost & Sullivan lag der weltweite Photovoltaik-Umsatz im vergangenen Jahr bei 113,75 Milliarden US-Dollar. Die Analysten gehen von durchschnittlichen jährlichen Wachstumsraten von 9,5 Prozent für die kommenden Jahre aus. Damit steige der Umsatz bis 2020 auf 179,13 Milliarden US-Dollar, heißt es in der Veröffentlichung vom Donnerstag. Auch die jährlich installierte Photovoltaik-Leistung werde weiter wachsen – durchschnittlich um 8,6 Prozent jährlich – und damit von 50,788 Gigawatt im vergangenen Jahr aus 76,6 Gigawatt im Jahr 2020 steigen.

Die Analysten gehen davon aus, dass die mittleren Stromgestehungskosten sowohl für Photovoltaik-Dachanlagen als auch Solarparks bis 2020 weltweit die Netzparität erreichen werden. Dazu tragen neben den regulatorischen und politischen Anreizen auch höhere Skaleneffekte bei, wie es weiter hieß. „Anreize zur Förderung der Solarenergie und die vor kurzem gegebenen Versprechen im Rahmen des COP 21 Weltklimagipfels stellen sicher, dass der Markt für solare Photovoltaik über die nächsten fünf Jahre exponentiell wachsen wird,” sagt Analystin Pritil Gunjan von Frost & Sullivan. „Die Netzintegration von erneuerbaren Energien und Investitionen in Initiativen zur Energiespeicherung werden gleichermaßen den Markt voranbringen.”

In der Studie gehen die Analysten auch auf die erwartete Entwicklung in verschiedenen Regionen ein. Asien werde ein enormes Wachstum bei der Photovoltaik erleben aufgrund von wirtschaftlichem Wachstum, Urbanisierung und einer sich weiter ausbreitenden Elektrifizierung. Im Jahr 2020 werde der Kontinent 64,1 Prozent des Photovoltaik-Weltmarktes für sich beanspruchen, so die Analysten. Dabei würden China, Indien und Japan zusammen mehr als 80 Prozent aller Photovoltaik-Anlagen, die über die nächsten fünf Jahre geplant seien, auf sich vereinen.

Auch für Nordamerika erwarten die Analysten ein „robustes Wachstum“. Mit der Verlängerung der Steuervergünstigungen für Photovoltaik-Anlagen in den USA würden in der Region voraussichtlich bis 2020 insgesamt 20 Millionen private Photovoltaik-Anlagen existieren. Weniger optimistisch ist die Studie für Europa, das aufgrund der Rücknahme von Förderungen und Anreizen einen Rückschlag erleben werde. Investitionen in die Netzinfrastruktur, insbesondere in entlegenen Gebieten ohne Netz, würden die Nachfrage in den aufstrebenden Photovoltaik-Märkten in Lateinamerika und Afrika dagegen weiter ankurbeln. „Die Teilnehmer der Photovoltaik-Lieferkette werden voraussichtlich neue Technologien entwickeln, die die Kosten verringern und Photovoltaik in flexible Infrastrukturnetze integrieren werden. Innovative Geschäftsmodelle zur Integration von Solarenergie werden zudem auch neue Chancen für intelligente Zähler, Demand Response als auch Net-Metering mit sich bringen”, so Analystin Gunjan. (Sandra Enkhardt)

GTM Research erwartet Milliardenvolumen für deutschen Speichermarkt bis 2021

Entwicklung des deutschen Speichermarkts nach GTM-Analyse bis 2021

Grafik: GTM Research

GTM Research erwartet Milliardenvolumen für deutschen Speichermarkt bis 2021

28. Juli 2016 | Speicher und Netze, Topnews
Die Analysten gehen davon aus, dass sich der Markt gegenüber 2015 um den Faktor 11 vergrößern wird. Besonders im Heimspeicher-Segment wird Deutschland seine weltweite Spitzenposition behaupten können.

Deutschland gehört zu den führenden Energiespeichermärkten weltweit und verfügte Ende 2015 über 67 Megawatt an Speichersystemen mit einem Wert von 169 Millionen US-Dollar. Für dieses Jahr würden Installationen von Energiespeichern mit 161 Megawatt erwartet bei einem Marktvolumen von 339 Millionen US-Dollar, so eine aktuelle Analyse von GTM Research. Für den Zeitraum zwischen 2015 und 2021 erwarten die Analysten eine Verelffachung des deutschen Speichermarkts mit der Steigerung des Marktvolumens auf dann 1,03 Milliarden US-Dollar.

Sinkende Einspeisevergütungen, hohe Strompreise und viele installierte Erneuerbare-Energien-Anlagen seien attraktive Marktvoraussetzungen für Speichersysteme, heißt es bei GTM Research weiter. Zudem gebe es Förderanreize für Batteriespeicher, die für ein weiteres Wachstum des Marktes in den kommenden Jahren sorgen dürften. GTM Research geht davon aus, dass gerade im Bereich der Heimspeicher Deutschland bis 2021 seine weltweite Spitzenposition wird behaupten können und dann 49 Prozent aller Speicher – gemessen an Megawattzahlen – installieren werde. Das Interesse nach Photovoltaik-Eigenverbrauch werde bis dahin weiter zunehmen, so Analyst und Autor Brett Simon von GTM Research.

Neben dem Heimspeichermarkt wächst in Deutschland aber auch die Nachfrage nach Großspeichern. Der Energieversorger Steag realisiert derzeit insgesamt sechs Batteriespeicher mit jeweils 15 Megawatt an verschiedenen Kohlekraftwerken, die bis 2017 fertiggestellt sein sollen und dann für den Primärregelenergiemarkt zur Verfügung stehen. GTM Research geht davon aus, dass dieser Markt bis Ende 2017 gesättigt sein dürfte. Dann rückten Energiespeicher für den Sekundärreversemarkt stärker in den Fokus. Sinkende Preise und neue Geschäftsmodelle würden zudem den „Nicht-Heimspeicher“-Markt in Deutschland in den kommenden Jahren beflügeln, der derzeit noch unter den fehlenden wirtschaftlichen Perspektiven leide. (Sandra Enkhardt)

Jinko Solar unterzeichnet Stromabnahmeverträge für 188 Megawatt in Mexiko

Jinko Solar unterzeichnet Stromabnahmeverträge für 188 Megawatt in Mexiko

28. Juli 2016 | Märkte und Trends, Topnews
Der chinesische Photovoltaik-Hersteller hat nun mit der nationalen Stromkommission für seine drei geplanten Photovoltaik-Kraftwerke entsprechende Vereinbarungen unter Dach und Fach gebracht. Ab Mitte 2018 sollen die Solarparks mit insgesamt 188 Megawatt Solarstrom produzieren.

Jinko Solar hatte sich erfolgreich an der ersten Stromauktion in Mexiko im April beteiligt. Nun seien für die drei bezuschlagten Projekte mit insgesamt 188 Megawatt Leistung Stromabnahmeverträge mit Mexikos Elektrizitätskommission (CFE) abgeschlossen worden, teilte der chinesische Photovoltaik-Hersteller am Donnerstag mit. Nach der Vereinbarung werde Jinko Solar ab etwa Mitte 2018 Solarstrom aus den drei Photovoltaik-Kraftwerken liefern. Die CFE werde den kompletten Solarstrom vergüten. In welcher Höhe gab Jinko Solar allerdings nicht bekannt. Der Stromabnahmevertrag habe eine Laufzeit von 15 Jahren.

Jinko-Solar-Chef Xiande Li zeigte sich zufrieden, dass das Unternehmen für seine ersten großen internationalen Projekte in Mexiko nun solchen Vereinbarungen erreichen konnte. Mexiko sei ein attraktiver Photovoltaik-Markt, von dem das Unternehmen profitieren wolle. Das mexikanische Energieministerium hatte 18 Photovoltaik-Projekten von elf Unternehmen in der ersten Ausschreibung des Landes nach der Strommarktreform im April einen Zuschlag erteilt. Eine zweite Auktion sei für September geplant. Noch erfolgreicher als Jinko Solar war Sunpower bei der ersten Ausschreibung. Das US-Unternehmen sicherte sich Zuschläge für Photovoltaik-Kraftwerke mit insgesamt 500 Megawatt Leistung. (Sandra Enkhardt)

IHS: Globaler Speichermarkt verdoppelt sich 2016

IHS: Globaler Speichermarkt verdoppelt sich 2016

28. Juli 2016 | Speicher und Netze, Topnews
In diesem Jahr werden weltweit voraussichtlich 2,9 Gigawattstunden an neuen Speichersystemen ans Netz angeschlossen. 2025 wird die Kapazität nach Ansicht von IHS bereits bei 21 Gigawattstunden liegen.

Der Weltmarkt für netzgekoppelte Speichersysteme wird sich in diesem Jahr von 1,4 auf 2,9 Gigawattstunden mehr als verdoppeln. Bis 2025 werde die neu installierte Speicherkapazität auf 21 Gigawattstunden steigen, so die am Donnerstag veröffentlichte Studie von IHS. Nach Ansicht der Analysten würden sich über die kommende Dekade Lithium-Ionen-Batterien  als „Mainstream“-Speichertechnologie durchsetzen. Mehr als 80 Prozent der weltweiten Neuinstallationen würden dann auf Lithium-Ionen-Technologie entfallen. „Energiespeicher werden genauso schnell wachsen wie Photovoltaik in den vergangenen Jahren, getrieben von starkem Interesse vieler Akteure, was auch die jüngsten Zusammenschlüsse und Akquisitionen unter Autobauern sowie großen Öl- und Gaskonzernen belegen“, erklärt Marianne Boust, Analystin von IHS Markit. Marktführer bei Energiespeicher seien die USA und Japan. Allerdings seien auch in Südafrika, Kenia und den Philippinen starke Aktivitäten zu verzeichnen, zumal die Kosten für Batteriesysteme weiter sinken.

Nach den Erwartungen der IHS-Analysten werden Japan und die USA die größten Speichermärkte weltweit sein und für rund ein Drittel des erwarteten Umsatzes von insgesamt 50 Milliarden US-Dollar über das nächste Jahrzehnt verantwortlich sein. In Australien und Japan werde die Energiespeicherdurchdringung bis 2025 auf etwa fünf Prozent der installierten Erzeugungskapazitäten anwachsen. Dies zeige auch die wachsende Bedeutung von Energiespeichern bei der Netzstabilität, der Integration von Erneuerbaren und dem Energiemanagement insgesamt.

Wichtige Motivationen für die Installation von Speichersystemen seien Eigenverbrauch und Back-up-Bedürfnisse, so IHS weiter. Die Hälfte der Speicherinstallationen dürfte auf solche Gründe zurückzuführen sein. Wobei insgesamt acht Länder, darunter Japan, China und die USA, in diesem Bereich eine kumulierte Kapazität von einer Gigawattstunde überschreiten werden, wie es weiter hieß. Auf die traditionellen Geschäftsmodelle von großen Energieversorgern werde diese Entwicklung eine massive Auswirkung haben. (Sandra Enkhardt)