No. 01 – Is SolarCity’s move to cease operations in Nevada indicative of all companies operating there?

That is what I planned on finding out, but unfortunately getting through to some of the entities there was harder than I thought.

After reading about SolarCity I felt that the Solar Power market would now be open to small to mid-size companies. Maybe they would be able to capitalize on the news and start to market to their service;”We’re still here.” I went on line, typed in solar installers in Nevada. I printed out a list of about twenty companies operating in Nevada. I called eight that looked reputable, and didn’t get through to anyone. Not one. One company’s number led me to a little old lady; sorry Ma’am. Most of them had answering services; “for our directory press 1.” No wonder national companies are able to dominate the market, there’s no competition. And now the impression is that there’s no market at all. SolarCity’s announcement is dominating the discussion about Solar in Nevada.  I was expecting to reach people that would be willing to discuss their plans to innovate, advertise, and fight for market share. I wanted to know whether their customers had questions, whether they even thought that the decision actually hurt the Nevada solar market. I also wanted to know whether or not there was a demographic that could still be marketed to, such as conservationist, empty-nesters, upper middle-class owners, green renovators, off-grid homeowners, farmers, and businesses. Tomorrow NV Energy is supposed to submit their rate plan for Net-metering, I’d be nice to hear from the industry, not just SolarCity, about their plans for 2016 under the new rate scheme. Stay tuned.

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L.A. councilman wants to put ground-based solar arrays on pause – Los Angeles Times

Councilman Felipe Fuentes argued that before any more such projects are approved, the city should work out a “city planning review process” that would allow community reaction. In a letter to the board, he asked for officials to take action before the utility’s next round of solar applications this summer.

via L.A. councilman wants to put ground-based solar arrays on pause – Los Angeles Times.

Collaborative Opportunities for Research, Development, and Demonstration of Solar Thermal Technologies and Systems at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities

SNL is seeking proposals from commercial partners who would like to invest in the development of new solar thermal technologies and/or validation of their technological concepts using SNL’s expertise and infrastructure. Together, we intend to create or improve solar thermal technologies applicable to US manufacturing or deployment. Utilizing EERE-provided funding, SNL will match 30% of the Sandia labor costs for selected proposals for a period of up to two years.

via Collaborative Opportunities for Research, Development, and Demonstration of Solar Thermal Technologies and Systems at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities.

Ohio governor signs bill freezing renewable-energy standards – The Washington Post

[Reprinted in whole so that you can see the glaring political influence.]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) dashed the hopes of environmentalists, leading manufacturers and renewable-energy businesses Friday and signed a bill shelving requirements for utilities to ramp up the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Ohio has been a battleground over whether to roll back 2008 legislation requiring the state to acquire 12.5 percent of its energy portfolio from renewables and to reduce energy consumption by 22 percent by 2025.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the utility First Energy and the American Legislative Exchange Council pushed to roll back the standards. On the other side, 51 manufacturers, including Owens-Corning, Whirlpool, Honeywell and Honda, signed a letter urging Kasich to let the requirements stand.

Supporters of the standards hoped that Kasich — who has praised the Ohio jobs generated by the renewable-energy industry and backed tough regulations on fracking chemicals and gas leaks — would veto the state legislature’s bill freezing and reevaluating the standards. Instead, he signed it in private; as of early evening, he had issued no statement.

Kasich is running for reelection this year.

“In the past we’ve been very pleased with our ability to work with the governor and with his leadership on natural gas regulations,” said Cheryl Roberto, associate vice president for clean energy at the Environmental Defense Fund. “So we are very disappointed because we can’t see the bill as anything but a step backwards.”

EDF said that the legislation has created 25,000 jobs in the renewable industry and through energy efficiency has saved Ohio ratepayers $1 billion.

Scott Segal, a lobbyist with Bracewell & Giuliani representing utility interests, said that the renewable standards would drive up electricity costs that would “fall disproportionately” on Ohio’s poor.

“We are pleased that Governor Kasich signed SB 310, protecting Ohio’s consumers and business owners from higher energy prices,” said Eli Miller, the Ohio state director for Americans for Prosperity, the group backed in part by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. “These standards have proven to be unrealistic. Governor Kasich has done the right thing by providing a temporary freeze to these standards so that the economic well-being of our working families and businesses can be factored in before moving forward.”

But environmental groups said that the study group created to reevaluate the standards would end up gutting them.

“We continue to support renewable energy,” said Tammy Ridout, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power, the giant Ohio-based utility. “But a lot has changed in Ohio since those requirements were put in place in 2008, so we think it makes sense to freeze the current mandates while the state takes the time to evaluate what should be done.”

Ridout said that AEP would maintain its energy-efficiency plan and file for an extension of that plan this year. It has also signed power purchase agreements to buy renewable energy that will remain in effect. But the study committee the new bill creates can reevaluate whether AEP and others can charge ratepayers for such investments.

The new proposed regulations the Environmental Protection Agency issued this month for carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants could make the state’s own renewable standards less critical. To meet the EPA targets, states will have to rely heavily on energy efficiency and renewables.

“I don’t think it will be long before the state revisits these decisions,” said Samantha Williams, a staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Chicago office. “Energy efficiency and renewable energy are the biggest tools in cost-effectively reaching the EPA’s new carbon pollution goals.”

Williams added that “once decision-makers digest the new clean power plan, they are going to have to reopen the toolbox that this law essentially shuts.”

 

via Ohio governor signs bill freezing renewable-energy standards – The Washington Post.

Greg Barker: Solar energy should be default option for UK businesses- Businessgreen mobile

http://m.businessgreen.com/bg/interview/2338179/greg-barker-solar-energy-should-be-default-option-for-uk-businesses?utm_term=&utm_content=Greg%252520Barker%25253A%252520Solar%252520energy%252520should%252520be%252520default%252520option%252520for%252520UK%252520businesses&utm_campaign=BG.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=BG.DCM.Editors_Updates

“If you look at where deployment is we’re seeing strong growth in domestic and in large-scale solar arrays, but where we’re under-deploying is in mid-sized solar – and that’s almost a mirror image of where growth has been in Europe to date,” he said. “I want to make on-site generation the natural default for all UK businesses and solar is one of the most obvious technologies for any onsite generation to start with.”

LADWP to hire staff, streamline its applications for solar customers – latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-ladwp-solar-program-20140319,0,312844.story?track=rss#axzz2wRke7iIt

Prospective solar customers have had to endure delays and a lot of bureaucratic run around to install solar power, but municipalities are finally easing some of the back log. Do you have any stories about delays or rejections you’ve experienced trying to have your solar system installed?

‘Solar PV industry clouded by dumping’ | Business Line

via ‘Solar PV industry clouded by dumping’ | Business Line.

“Competitive pressure from foreign module manufacturers, particularly from China, and excess supply in the equipment market have had a significant impact on the domestic manufacturing business. An anti-dumping investigation against these low-cost imports is currently in progress, and the government needs to issue a preliminary tariff ruling at the earliest to provide desperately-needed relief to the ailing manufacturing industry.”

Updated (11/7) Freddie Sun – New York Gets Its Renewables Game Plan Together.

Potential Valuation Problems For SolarCity Commercial Paper

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1816492?source=iphoneportfolioapp_copy (added 11/7)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/cuomo-starts-1-billion-new-york-green-bank-for-energy-lending.html

For some time I’ve hounded Governor Cuomo, okay, a few times on twitter, about New York’s dismal record for promoting solar, and astoundingly he has shot back with his own challenge to the renewable energy sector – make your projects worthy of investment. Now, I take this tone for two reasons, first, the announce of a Green Bank that will spur investments in the market, and secondly, the secondary market where these energy investment will be sold as bundles. Did you get scared too?

Whenever I hear that some group of loans will be packed and sold on a secondary market I think of the housing market, and there are now calls to disband the two GSE that performed the same function for real estate that the Green Bank will perform for the Renewable Energy market. not to mention that this plan is proposed by Cuomo, a former head of HUD.

What’s unfortunate is that renewable energy is the hot potato subject in politics. The fossil-fuel lobby is so entrenched in Washington, everyone has to mention Soyndra, even though its a poor example, its still the standard of failure for the Solar industry. Forget that China was generously supporting solar their industry. Today, we marvel at their resiliency, as if we really didn’t want to impose tariffs. That matter has more to do with where our government funding will go, either to start ups as the Green Bank, or towards a local push directed at municipalities and utilities. I see a fractured war, too many fronts.

I don’t want to write too much until I read the entire proposal, but I have some reservations, namely the variables that affect energy as an investment. Though PPA are great, is that where the bulk of investing will go? What about small start ups, installers, integrators, and contractors that what to diversify? Of course I’ll re-writing this. Okay, I’ll just make corrections beneath this. Integrity and whatnot.