U.K. Looking To Increase Solar Eight-Fold by 2020
Energy Minister Greg Barker said the U.K. can multiply its solar power capacity eight-fold by 2020 in an effort to curb reliance on fossil fuels. Barker said he is consulting with companies about how the government can achieve its forecast of having 10 gigawatts of solar power within the next decade and thinks 20 gigawatts is attainable, up from 2.4 gigawatts at the end of June. By working with companies, Barker said the U.K. will be able to accelerate progress toward grid parity, where solar power can compete with fossil fuels without relying on subsidies.
Canadian Solar Offers Financing Option for Residential Projects
Canadian Solar Inc., North America’s largest solar manufacturer, is offering a financing program for residential projects in the U.S. to use its panels in building rooftop power plants. Customers may borrow as much as $40,000 for residential projects with financing provided by Boston-based Admirals Bank. The financing option lets homeowners qualify for U.S. tax credits and incentives offered to system owners, which is one of the advantages of owning rooftop power plants instead of leasing them from companies like Sunrun and SolarCity., a model that has gained popularity because of its low upfront costs.
Lack of Proximity Standard May Derail U.S. Tidal Energy Project
The Snohomish County Public Utility District is currently seeking approval to develop its 1 MW Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal Project. But Pacific Crossing, the company that owns a fiber optic cable linking California and Japan that lies near the proposed site says the turbines would be stationed dangerously close to their cable. There is currently no U.S. standard for the distance tidal energy projects need to be from other subsea installations. The FCC has charged an advisory committee to consult with the industry to develop guidance, delegating a special submarine cable working group to address the issue.
California’s AB-327 Bill Officially Signed
With key revisions, AB 327 was signed into law by Governor Edmund Brown. The signed bill addresses several critical topics in California’s solar sector, specifically extending net metering as well as the renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS). In its initial form, the bill was heavily criticized, but after several revisions, the bill emerged with broad support on several key items: net metering will no longer be suspended and the creation of an uncapped RPS. The bill also provides a path for the removal of the 5% net-metering cap.