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Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that the Clean Power Plan is being repealed, the attractive cost of renewables and improvements in battery storage technology mean that wind- and solar-generated power are here to stay.
Last week, both houses of the U.S. congress passed versions of a tax reform bill. As readers might recall, tax reform was one of the platforms on which Trump ran for president and getting a major tax reform bill passed would be a big win for him. Each version of the bill has implications for the renewable energy industry but the wind industry is particularly worried about the House bill.
BayWa r.e. renewables subsidiary successfully commissioned its first project in Southern Africa, a combined solar PV plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba in October.
On November 13, utilities in Massachusetts announced that they would begin to accept bids pursuant to the new “Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target or SMART” program, which seeks to ultimately add up to 1,600 MW of solar capacity.
The SMART program was voted into law in April and explained in great detail by Renewable Energy World contributor John Farrell in this post. Farrell likens the program to the California solar incentive and Germany’s long-expired Feed-in Tariffs, which kick started solar in each region.
The call for grid modernization is occurring across the world and utilities are positioned at the forefront of this industry transformation. While some states and countries are moving at a more rapid pace than others, grid modernization is a necessary outcome for utilities to ensure long-term sustainability.
Orsted A/S, the Danish company built on oil and gas extraction, will issue its first green bonds as it moves toward completing a transition to renewable energy.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf this week signed into law a provision that will support strong renewable energy credit prices in the state. According to the governor’s office, the legislation requires that renewable energy facilities only generate RECs if the power from the facility is delivered to an electricity distributor operating within the commonwealth.
Within the next month, energy watchers expect the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on an order from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would create new pricing rules for certain power plants that can store fuel on site to support grid resilience. This initiative seeks to protect coal-fired and nuclear power plants that are struggling to compete with cheaper energy sources.
Solar manufacturers are being battered by higher costs and smaller margins after an unexpected shortage of a critical raw material. Prices of polysilicon, the main component of photovoltaic cells, spiked as much as 35 percent in the past four months after environmental regulators in China shut down several factories.
Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable-energy unit of Europe’s largest utility, plans to bid in Mexico’s power auction this month after raising $1.35 billion with a deal to sell stakes in eight wind and solar projects in the country in October.