Sometimes it feels like news moves at the speed of light! Here’s a round up of solar energy news for the week of August 17th, 2015.
Google Introduces Project Sunroof
This Monday, Google announced they were teaming up with Vivint Solar and other initial partners for a new feature called “Project Sunroof.” This tool allows users to enter in their address, to receive an estimate of their savings if they went solar and to be connected to solar providers – features we already added to our own platform a few years ago. As EnergySage works in over 30 states and has a significant number of installers signed up, Project Sunroof is not the first online tool for going solar. While there are some significant limitations with the pilot website, the modeling is “fairly extensive” and uses data from Google Earth to estimate the suitability of solar for your roof. Google stated that they hope to improve the tool and expand the project nationally and globally.
New Reports Predict Expansion of Solar-Plus-Battery Systems
The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a new analysis, conducted with HOMER Energy, the shift from customers receiving electricity from a utility to getting electricity from rooftop solar – also known as “load defection” – could be “much bigger in the near future, especially when solar is paired with battery energy storage.” These findings follow two trends: solar prices falling for the fifth consecutive year, due to the reduction of soft costs, and electricity prices increasingly becoming more expensive. In order to continue servicing their customers, power companies are looking into offering or expanding community solar programs. Within the next 10 to 15 years, solar-plus-battery systems tied to the grid, which are rapidly becoming cost-effective, are expected to be the lowest-cost energy system available for consumers.
Citigroup, a global investment bank that often addresses the costliness of climate change, released a report that compared the cost in two scenarios in which climate change is either ignored or addressed. According to Citigroup, the “Action” scenario costs $1.8 trillion less than the estimated global expenditures in the “Inaction” scenario. Additionally, it suggested that we must globally install 53 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV each year in order to limit the negative impacts of climate change. The bank also forecasted solar PV to become competitive with traditional energy sources by 2030.
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- Greentech Media discusses the benefits of solar PV, battery storage and solar-plus-battery systems to the customer and whether a business should implement these solutions together. The Takeaway: firms should evaluate their energy-usage and model these solutions.