Renewable energy resources are an easy, cost-effective way to reduce both electricity costs and carbon emissions. However, a common criticism leveled at renewable energy resources like wind and solar is: what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining? There are many options to solve for this criticism, from net metering policies to pairing solar with energy storage. One additional new method for combating this critique is through hybrid energy systems: by installing wind and solar hybrid systems, renewable energy developers are finding innovative ways to produce more energy with even greater consistency.
As renewable energy becomes more widely adopted throughout the United States, it is worth pausing to take stock of the economic benefits associated with increased levels of solar, wind and other renewable energy resources. From providing lower cost electricity to generating reliable, local jobs and to avoiding costly externalities associated with emissions from burning fossil fuels, renewable energy is an economic boon.
More than thirty states in the United States currently have renewable energy policies. Most of these goals, targets, and mandates allow for compliance from a range of different types of renewable energy technologies. In a few cases, however, states have included a technology-specific mandate as a part of their renewable energy policies. One such policy mechanism is a solar carve-out.
There are two key methods for harnessing the power of the sun: either by generating electricity directly using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or generating heat through solar thermal technologies. While the two types of solar energy are similar, they differ in their costs, benefits, and applications.
Community solar provides access to solar for residential electric customers who otherwise would not be able to install solar panels on their property. To date, though, community solar has not seen the same levels of adoption as residential rooftop solar. We conducted a Q&A with Arcadia Power to learn more about how their new community solar offering helps lower barriers to participation.
Since Hawaii became the first state in the country to pass a 100 percent renewable energy target in 2015, a number of other states, cities and utilities have followed suit. In fact, more than a dozen states and US territories have gotten in on the action with targets to procure all of their electricity from either renewable or non-emitting resources. As new states pass legislation, we will be sure to keep this list up to date.
Nationwide, one-in-three solar shoppers are interested in home energy storage solutions. Within the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, this percentage is even higher: nearly three-quarters of all consumers indicate they are interested in receiving solar quotes that include energy storage. To meet this demand, a few national solar installation companies have partnered with energy storage manufacturing companies to exclusively offer their batteries to solar shoppers. One such example is the partnership between Vivint Solar and LG Chem.
Solar energy is taking off in the US. In 2019, the solar industry will likely surpass 2 million residential rooftops with solar panels installed nationwide. Some states and cities are further along in the adoption of solar energy than others, while others are new markets poised to become leaders in future years. To breakdown the best cities and states for solar in 2019, we leveraged our own data as well as the recently released Shining Cities 2019 report from Environment America.
A large portion of the cost of electricity comes from a very small portion of hours out of the year. As a result, utilities, electricity grid operators and private companies alike are finding innovative solutions to these infrequent but substantial electricity costs. One product in particular that has already proven to be successful throughout the country is demand response.
Earlier this month, EnergySage published our eighth Solar Marketplace Intel Report™. The publicly available report provides data on the state of the solar market nationwide and at the state level, the breakdown of equipment packages quoted by solar installation companies, and additional energy interests from solar shoppers. Our key takeaways are outlined below. We welcome your analysis of this data as well!