With distributed solar growing at a record pace, states nationwide are assessing the benefits and costs of this dynamic resource. The implications of these studies couldn't be higher, as cornerstone policies such as net metering are on the line.
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In its review of 15 distributed solar PV benefit and cost studies, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) finds significant variability in estimated distributed PV values, owing to differences in methodology, local context, and input assumptions. RM
This report provides a new cost-benefit analysis of the impacts of solar distributed generation (DG) on ratepayers in the service territory of Arizona Public Service (APS). The study shows that distributed solar generation (DG) and net energy metering will provide Arizona Public Service (APS) customers with $34 million in benefits each year.
A recent NREL report finds that in 2011, 17% of U.S supermarkets were in utility territories where PV could be installed at or below the cost of traditional generation. In 2012, they estimate that this percentage increased to 40%. The report is
Today, from security and battlefield readiness to cost savings and efficiency, America’s military is making an unprecedented commitment to renewable energy sources, and solar is “walking point” on many of these new, innovative efforts.
As of early 2013, there are more than 130 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems powering Navy, Army and Air Force bases in at least 31 states and the District of Columbia. See what states have the most solar installed on our interactive map.
Through the third quarter of 2011, the U.S. solar market installed more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) on the year, far surpassing the 2010 annual total of 887 megawatts (MW). The third quarter of 2011 was also the largest quarter for installations ever seen in the U.S., supported by utility-scale project completions and rapidly declining prices for PV modules.
In 2010, the U.S. installed 887 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected PV, 104% growth over the 435 MW installed in 2009. Despite this, U.S. market share of global installations fell to 5.1%, down from 6.0% in 2009. Over the past six years, the U.S. has been growing at a relatively even pace with the global market; as a result, U.S. market share of global installations has consistently hovered between 5% and 7% since 2005. In 2011, however, this pattern is likely to end. A first-half slowdown in major European markets (most notably Italy and Germany) combined with continued strength in the U.S. has already led most PV manufacturers and developers to seek opportunities in the U.S. market with many in the industry expecting the it to be the largest market in the world within a few years.
In 2011, however, this pattern is likely to end. A slowdown in major European markets (most notably Italy and Germany)2, combined with the continued strength of the U.S. market, has already led most PV manufacturers and developers to seek opportunities in the U.S. We anticipate an exciting, if volatile, year in the U.S. PV market. This report catalogues the beginning of this period.
The U.S. solar energy industry grew to new heights in 2008 and many industry observers expect thatgrowth to continue in 2009. Total capacity grew by 1,265 megawatts (MW)1 in 2008, up from 1,159 MW installed in 2007.2 This brings the total installed capacity up by 16 percent to 9,183 MW. Capacity in both photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating systems grew at record levels. And while no new concentrating solar power (CSP) plants were completed in 2008, projects totaling more than 6,000 MW are in the pipeline most with signed purchase power agreements. Solar pool heating capacity grew at a slower rate than in 2007, reflecting conditions in the residential real estate market.