Joined: Sep 2009
U.S. Solar Shines
Despite what SiruslyWrong might try to lead you to believe....
Report: U.S. Solar Power Shines, Will Increase 75 Percent This Year
CARL FRANZEN JUNE 15, 2012, 6:02 AM 756
A new report on the state of the solar industry in America indicates that despite a global oversupply and a potential trade war with China, the U.S. solar industry had its second-best quarter ever in terms of installations, during the first quarter of 2012.
The number of installations, 506 megawatts worth, enough to power just over 350,000 homes, was bested only by the fourth quarter of 2011, which saw a whopping 708 megawatts worth of solar installed.
On top of that, the report, drafted by clean-energy market analysis firm GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association and released Tuesday, a trade group, forecasts that total U.S. installed solar power will increase 75 percent his year alone, with 3.3 gigawatts-worth of solar power installed, compared to the 4.4 gigawatts that are currently installed in the country and were added over years of development.
“This will be by far the largest year we’ve ever had for solar in the U.S.,” said Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM, in a phone interview with TPM. “Relative to expectations, the first quarter was very strong. We saw both the commercial and residential markets grow.”
Indeed, commercial solar installations, those put in place on corporate properties, accounted for the overwhelming majority’s worth of solar power installed in the quarter — 288.8 megawatts, according to the GTM and SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
Furthermore, residential power installations (those installed on homes) accounted for 93.9 megawatts. The final category, utilities power installations, or solar put in place by power companies, accounted for 123.6 megawatts of installations, but that number was actually a steep decline from both the third and fourth quarters of 2011.
However, as the report points out, “direct comparisons between these two quarters [fourth and first] carry little meaning,” because “construction timelines for a relatively few large projects can cause large swings from quarter to quarter more than any underlying market dynamics.”
In essence: The natural construction cycle for solar projects and other power installations, governed by weather and the fiscal year, means that generally, utilities won’t be installing solar panels in larger numbers until later in the year, so long as they have those projects already lined up, “in the pipeline,” as it were.
“The pipeline is still huge,” Kann told TPM.
Intriguingly, when it came to the state-by-state breakdown for solar installations for the first quarter of 2012, New Jersey lead the nation in solar installations, with a whopping 173.8 megawatts of solar power generation capacity installed in the three month period. California, more commonly associated with solar, was second with 148.4 megawatts.
“New Jersey has been a leader in solar for years thanks to good state level policy,” Kann explained, “That’s the most important thing.”
Kann pointing to the state’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC) program, which allows solar installation owner to sell credits on a competitive state market, credits earned for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity every single project generates. He said that other states were wise to follow in New Jersey’s path.
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Now advocating for Chris Christie I see!!!
Joined: Sep 2009
Its surprising how little you know about the solar industry. First you post only negative articles about the U.S. solar industry and then you imply the growth in New Jersey's solar industry is somehow a result of Christie. You really need to read up on New Jersey solar legislation history. Hint: It didnt begin under Christie.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Solar power in New Jersey has been aided by a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 22.5% of New Jersey's electricity come from renewable resources by 2021, and by one of the most favorable net metering standards in the country, along with Arizona, allowing unlimited customers of any size array to use net metering, although generation may not exceed annual demand.
New Jersey is second in the nation in the total number of homes and businesses which have solar panels installed. As of November 30, 2010, 7,578 solar photovoltaic systems have been installed. New Jersey is the second largest solar state in the U.S. with 137 megawatts of installed solar power in 2010 which was almost a 140% increase over the 57.3 megawatts installed in 2009 and 517% increase over the 22.5 megawatts of installed New Jersey solar in 2008. In addition, New Jersey became the second state (California) to install over 100 MW in a single year (2010). Many of the homes, schools and businesses which have installed solar panels can be monitored online on the internet.
1 Net metering
2.1 Renewable Portfolio Standard
2.1.1 Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
3 Solar 4 All project
5 See also
6 External links
Main article: Net metering
New Jersey has one of the two best net metering laws, along with Colorado, and is one of five states to receive an A in a comparison of the 38 states plus Washington D.C. which have net metering. Five received an F. New Jersey and Colorado were the only two states to allow unlimited net metering customers, up to 2 megawatts for each customer. In 2010 the limit was removed. New Jersey is one of three states which have no limit, although generation may not exceed annual demand, and the Bureau of Public Utilities has the option of limiting participation to 2.5% of peak demand.
The New Jersey Clean Energy Program provides a rebate of $1.75/watt for residential systems less than 10 kW with an energy audit, or $1.55/watt without an energy audit. Non-residential photovoltaic systems up to 50,000 watts receive a rebate of $1.00/watt. An additional $0.25/watt for each is available for systems partially manufactured or assembled in state, such as inverters or solar PV modules. The rebate had, prior to February 2, 2009, been $3.50/watt. During 2009 and 2010 the 30% Federal tax credit becomes a 30% grant for systems completed or started during those two years and completed before 2017, and beginning in 2009, has no limit either for commercial or residential systems. Prior to 2009 residential credits were capped at $2,000.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
Main article: Renewable Portfolio Standard
New Jersey's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is one of the most aggressive in the United States and requires each electricity supplier/provider to provide 22.5% from renewable energy sources by 2021. In addition, 2.12% must come from solar electricity, an amount estimated to be 1,500 megawatts (MW). Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) must be purchased by electricity suppliers to meet the state targets or else they face a fine known as a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) that was $0.691/kWh in 2010.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
Main article: Solar renewable energy certificate
In 2004, New Jersey adopted a program promoting the use of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to meet the solar energy carve-out of the state RPS. In the 2011 Energy Year, 306,000 SRECs (or MWhs of solar electricity) must be purchased by electricity suppliers in the state in order to meet the state solar requirement. That requirement grows to over 5 million in 2026.
An SREC program is an alternative to the feed-in tariff model popular in Europe. The key difference between the two models is the market-based mechanism that drives the value of the SRECs, and therefore the value of the subsidy for solar. In a feed-in tariff model, the government sets the value for the electricity produced by a solar facility. If the level is too high, too much solar power is built and the program is more costly. If the feed-in tariff is set too low, not enough solar power is built and the program is ineffective.
The SREC program allows for the creation of a certificate with every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced. The certificate represents the "solar" aspect of the electricity that is produced and can be unbundled and sold separately from the electricity itself. Electricity companies, known as load-serving entities, are required by state RPS laws to procure a certain amount of their electricity from solar. Since it is often more costly for them to build solar farms themselves, the load-serving entities will purchase SRECs from solar generators and use the SRECs to comply with the state laws. With an SREC market, the value of an SREC is determined by supply and demand, subject to certain limitations. If solar is slow to develop, SREC values will remain high, encouraging the development of solar. If too much solar is added, SREC values will decrease, which in turn lowers the attractiveness of the investment. The goal of an SREC market is to find the SREC price that effectively represents the difference between the cost of producing other electricity and the cost of producing solar electricity. As the cost of solar electricity comes down, so will the value needed for SRECs. SRECs in New Jersey have traded as high as $680 per MWh on SRECTrade.com. In comparison, the average sale price for the electricity itself ranges from $50 per MWh to $180 per MWh. The value created from the benefits of selling SRECs dwarf the value created by the actual electricity produced in today's market. This means that SRECs play a major role in the return on investment for solar in New Jersey.
A little knowledge goes a long way.
Last edited by Havakasha; 06-19-2012 at 07:16 PM.
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Damn you're stupid.
Originally Posted by Havakasha