Worldwatch Institute study examines the global market for solar and wind energy production Washington, D.C.—-Global use of solar and wind energy continued to grow significantly in 2012. Solar power consumption increased by 58 percent, to 93 terrawatt-hours (TWh), and the use of wind power increased by 18 percent, to 521 TWh. Although hydropower remains the world’s leading renewable energy, solar and wind continue to dominate investment in new renewable capacity and are quickly becoming the highest-profile renewable energy sources, write Worldwatch staff in the Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend (www.worldwatch.org). Global solar and wind energy capacities continued to grow even though new investments in these energy sources declined during 2012. Global investment in solar energy in 2012 was $140.4 billion, an 11 percent decline from 2011, and wind investment was down 10 percent, to $80.3 billion.But due to lower costs for both technologies, total installed capacities grew sharply.
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America’s No. 1 full-service solar power provider now available through Viridian’s 20,000-contractor network
San Mateo, Calif., and Stamford, Conn., Sept. 23, 2013—SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY), America’s No. 1 full-service solar power provider, and Viridian Energy, a pioneer of affordable clean energy among retail electricity providers, are teaming up to offer solar electricity directly to homeowners at a discount to their current electricity rates through Viridian’s 20,000-contractor network.
SolarCity provides customers with free solar panel installation, and makes it possible for them to pay less for the solar electricity than they currently pay for utility bills, with permitting, installation, insurance, monitoring, and repairs included. Through Viridian and SolarCity, customers are able to have access to clean power at any time of day while reducing their utility bills.
They can generate their own clean energy with a solar power system from SolarCity during the day and continue to choose Viridian’s affordable green energy at night and other times when available solar power has been consumed.
“Viridian and SolarCity have made clean energy more accessible and affordable to a wide range of American homeowners,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “This partnership will help far more homeowners realize that it’s possible for them to pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility bills.”
Viridian will offer SolarCity’s popular solar power services both to new and existing customers through its extensive network of independent contractors. Viridian will offer SolarCity products and services beginning in its New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Delaware markets with an expectation to further expand the reach of this partnership in 2014. Viridian currently has more than 230,000 customers in the U.S.
Since inception, Viridian Energy has been dedicated to providing clean energy for homes and businesses that is also cost effective,” said Michael Fallquist, founder and CEO of Viridian Energy. “The addition of SolarCity products deepens our offerings and allows customers another way to live a greener lifestyle. We are pleased to announce the addition of SolarCity products to our customers.”
SolarCity’s solar power systems typically produce the most energy in the middle of the day, when the sun is brightest, and provide any unused energy back into the grid to be consumed at the nearest point of demand. SolarCity customers typically receive credit for putting excess green power into the grid, which can be used to offset their remaining utility bill. Viridian’s energy is used at night, or at any other time when more power is needed than is being generated with solar panels. In this way, SolarCity and Viridian can provide a clean power option far more affordably than is otherwise possible.
I love getting fan mail. Got to be one of the best jobs of the day. A gentlemen doing his own start up in green named Robert Connor Cortese asked me to explain clearly what are some examples how going renewable is the business trend of the markets and the government.
So as I have written in a few posts in 2012:
1. DOE announced on March 1 the start of an initiative to capture wind energy off U.S. coasts. As part of a planned six-year, $180 million initiative, an initial $20 million will be available this year as the first step in supporting up to four innovative offshore wind energy installations. These offshore wind projects will accelerate the deployment of breakthrough wind power technologies that will help diversify the U.S. energy portfolio. Offshore wind resources in the United States are estimated at more than 4,000 gigawatts.
The demonstration projects will help address key challenges associated with installing utility-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes. In addition to the new funding, DOE is continuing to work with partners across the federal government to implement a comprehensive offshore wind energy strategy, conduct resource assessments, and streamline siting and permitting processes.
2. Emerging from the global economic recession, investments in renewable energy technologies continued their steady rise in 2011, with total new investments in renewable power and fuels (excluding large hydropower and solar hot water) reaching $257 billion, up from $220 billion in 2010. In a year marked by falling costs for renewable energy technologies, net investment in renewable power capacity was $40 billion greater than investment in fossil fuel capacity, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy program (www.worldwatch.org) for the Institute’s Vital Signs Online service.
Total renewable energy investments in industrial countries in 2011 accounted for 65 percent of global investment, increasing 21 percent to $168 billion overall. In contrast, the 35 percent of global new investment that went to developing countries increased 10 percent, to $89 billion. Of that sum, China, India, and Brazil accounted for $71 billion in total investment. Investment in India grew 62 percent——the highest growth rate for any single country over 2010 totals. In 2011, “financial new investment” in renewable energy installations (a category that excludes small-scale projects and R&D) in industrial countries outpaced investments in the developing world, but in 2010 investments in this category in developing countries had surpassed those in industrial countries for the first time.
A major development in 2011 was the dominance of solar power in technology-specific investments——driven by a 50 percent reduction in price over the year——with $147.4 billion invested in solar compared with $83.8 billion for wind projects and $10.6 billion for biomass and waste-to-energy technology. Although this was not the first time solar surpassed wind in total investment, it was the first time that this involved such a wide margin.
3. Recently I reported that a new study shows the transition to clean energy would reduce consumer energy costs by $83 billion, in addition to greatly reducing air pollution and water use.
The new report used wind and solar output modeled how the power system would operate with a cleaner fuel mix in 2030 and 2050. Without even using technologies such as demand response and renewable energy forecasting, the study found that current electric reliability would be maintained at current levels in all hours of the year in the study scenario of wind and solar providing around 37% of the electricity on the power system.
Wind energy provided more than 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa and South Dakota last year, and more than 10 percent in seven other states. Xcel Energy’s Colorado utility system has frequently obtained more than 55% of its electricity from wind energy, the main grid in Texas has gone as high as 32%, and the utility system in Portugal has gone above 90% on some occasions. Dozens of wind integration studies in the U.S. and Europe have found that wind energy can provide more than 40% of total electricity on an annual basis without any reliability concerns.
Source: Power of Wind
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