The outlook for the solar industry is getting brighter every day. Find out everything you need to know about solar this week with EnergySage’s Solar Energy News Roundup for the week of December 7th, 2015.
Leading Tea Party Conservative is Solar’s Biggest Fan
Tea Party founder and well-known conservative Debbie Dooley made headlines this week after beginning a campaign to take a stand for solar in Florida. Contrary to what some might expect, Dooley is a proud advocate of solar energy. The Tea Party cofounder is spearheading an initiative that would go before voters in the Sunshine State next year to give residents the option of signing solar leases and PPAs with solar providers. Florida is one of only four states in the U.S. that prohibits solar companies from entering into solar leases and PPAs with property owners.
Global Emissions Fall While the Global Economy Grows
This past Monday, a newly released report gave both world economists and climatologists a reason to be excited. A team of global researchers found that, for the first time, worldwide carbon emissions fell in the same year that the global economy grew. This news is exciting for a number of reasons:
- A peak in global emissions was not predicted for at least another decade
- Renewable energy’s biggest opposition comes from fear of stifling economic growth
- The news is timed perfectly for the COP21 talks, acting as proof of progress for skeptics in Paris
New Report Shows Homeowner’s Willingness To Pay Skyrockets With Solar
A common industry assumption – that solar increases the value of your home – was confirmed by a new report on residential solar this week. The report found that, for an average 3.6 kW solar home, buyers are willing to pay $15,000 more than for a comparable non-solar home. For the solar industry as a whole, this is great news because it validates the worldwide trend towards solar adoption. However, this report only includes owned solar energy systems, leading to further questions about the value of SolarCity’s top offering – leases and power purchase agreements.
Vermont Utility Now Offering Tesla Powerwall Batteries
Vermont’s top utility is making innovative strides in maximizing energy use and lowering costs for customers. Green Mountain Power (GMP) announced this week that they are launching a new cost-sharing program through which customers can buy or lease Tesla Powerwall Batteries. GMP will give monthly bill credits to customers and, in exchange, receive access to the electricity stored in the batteries when the customer doesn’t need it. The new plan from the Vermont utility is the definition of sustainable – it will maximize use of the equipment, increase energy efficiency, and lower costs for both parties. Bravo!
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- The renewable energy industry has been predicting for years that renewables could lead to the end of fossil fuels, but it’s no longer just “tree huggers” who are witnessing an energy revolution. Silicon Valley entrepreneur and business expert Tony Seba, who began his career in technological development for Cisco in 1993, is now confident that fossil fuels will be obsolete by 2030. He argues that renewables will continue to disrupt growth over the next 15 years until fossil fuels become a relic of a different era. For industry stakeholders, this is no surprise. However, Seba’s statements have piqued the interest of some who have not yet taken the clean-tech industry seriously.