“The UK has largely been governed by EU legislation for the past 20 years. However, with the vote in June to leave the EU, the UK could now have the freedom to vary its energy policy while the EU has to also consider its own path foward – in particular, whether the UK can remain a part of the EU Integrated Energy Market (IEM). In such a period of uncertainty, it will be critical for energy stakeholders to consider potential scenarios, re-evaluate their strategies and position themselves for success.”
What happens to an industry when the big names get hammered in the stock market? Everyone begins to worry.
SolarCity and Sunrun were once the market darlings but are now casualties of their own fame and the momentum of a larger downward trend in all markets, especial the oil industry. Cheap oil has reduced the urgency to switch to solar, at least in the consumers’mind.
But what about stocks? I though COP21 would have had a stronger affect on renewables. In 2014 I wrote about the solar trade war and how China would be left with glut of solar panels unless the Middle East and India stepped in the buy up the supply. It was surprising to hear Saudi Arabia ambitiously tout their renewable energy plans, even implying that they would reduce their reliance on oil. Well, now we see the fruits of those seeds. (Saudi Arabia was smart enough to put quite a bit of cash in its sovereign wealth fund (which was the third largest in the world) to reduce the impact of the economic shocks.)
And what about Neveda and Net-metering? The debate has grown increasingly hot in Hawaii and Nevada, leading me to believe that utilities have fround their golden nugget. Nevada is a bear market for solar. Could that wave spread to other states and jurisdictions? Forget Big Oil, beware of Big Utility.
I’ve sold solar stocks toward the end of 2015, and the remaining stocks I have are so devalued that it wouldn’t make a difference if I continued to hold them. They can only increase in value. And that’s the outlook for solar – it can only get better, but it might get worst before it does.
[Update on my attempt to contact Solar companies operating in Nevada: I did receive one call from a gentleman operating there, and I want to apologize for not calling him back. Talk to you soon.]
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.
“We are citizens who lobbied our legislators in support of the recently tabled bills that would have expanded opportunities for individual Montanans to generate renewable energy for their homes or businesses. Known as “net metering,” our proposals would have removed needless legal barriers so that on-site renewable electrical generation could be less costly and more accessible to all Montanans.”
This exclusive study will bring together a consortium of utilities, project developers, software and hardware providers, and other key microgrid and nanogrid stakeholders, to:
Discuss best practices and forward-looking business models
Explore regulatory frameworks that can facilitate market growth
Collaborate with industry peers and develop lasting relationships with key partners across the small grid industry in a close, collegial and low risk environment.
Providing access to a high-level team of Navigant small grid subject-matter experts in a casual, in-person group setting, the study will provide answers to the following questions:
What are the most promising economic models for financially sustainable microgrids and nanogrids?
What are the key technologies (and key vendors) playing or emerging in the small-grid sector?
What are the critical deployment issues and opportunities particular to small-scale grids?
What are the primary microgrid/nanogrid growth drivers, markets, and segments?
But utilities see things differently. As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels up on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have “net metering” laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.
That’s a genuine problem for utilities. All these solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that, without policy changes, this trend could soon put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent.
PetersenDean announced today that the Solar4America campaign will begin offering electricity to consumers nationwide at under six cents per kilowatt hour. The program has already been launched in Arizona and California and will roll out to Texas in October, with four other states to follow in the first quarter of 2015. http://solarthermalmagazine.com/2014/09/24/solar4america-rolls-national-program-fixed-cost-electricity/
Federal regulators have given final approval for construction of a 330-mile electric transmission line to bring lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City.
Just the other day while riding around I notice the number of new construction projects with Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner. All of this new development – Multifamily, is going to put an enormous strain on the cities electrical grid. The utilities know it, the city administration is aware of it and consumers need to be concerned about having to pay for it.
You can read about the Champlain Hudson Power Express here: http://www.chpexpress.com One feature that I find interesting is that they’ll be using HVDC transmission lines.
“ALEC and its allies are currently lobbying state lawmakers and regulatory commissioners to rewrite industry rules regarding solar panels. The apparent goal: to ensure that customers with rooftop panels pay more each month and to make would-be adopters think twice about paying the upfront cost of installation. ALEC’s anti-solar attacks have drawn friendly fire from self-identified Tea Party groups who see the effort as anything but free-market friendly. Groups like Barry Goldwater Jr.’s TUSK America say that a user fee is just a new tax aimed at limiting consumer choice—exactly the type of argument you’d normally hear from a conservative firm like ALEC. Liberals and other solar proponents, meanwhile, see the push as the latest example of utilities and fossil fuel producers doing whatever it takes to protect their bottom lines. And no matter what side you’re on, it’s clearly counterproductive to make solar energy less attractive given the prevalence of big-dollar federal and state initiatives currently aimed at making the cost of solar competitive with that of fossil fuels.”