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Published on September 17th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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What Changed In The Solar Energy Industry In August?

September 17th, 2018 by  


Another month is over (long over, actually) and it’s time for another update on what actually changed in the solar industry in that time period. Additionally, we got a significant look at new or updated professional forecasts for the solar industry in various arenas. Read below to see the big solar news of August.

The Big Picture

We found out that, for the first time, in the first half of 2018, US electricity generation from renewables surpassed electricity generation from nuclear energy.

Globally, 16 GW of utility-scale solar was installed in the first half of 2018, but that means the sector took a 20% hit compared to the first half of 2017.

China by itself installed 24 GW of solar power in the first half of the year.

In India, a whopping 62% of new power capacity came from solar in Q2 2018.

A new BNEF report forecasted that renewables would have 50% market share in the electricity sector by 2050.

Corporate clean energy procurements have already reached a record 3.57 gigawatts this year. The previous record of 3.12 gigawatts was set in 2015 and will clearly be blown out of the water.

BNEF also estimates that the world passed 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) of globally installed renewable energy capacity sometime in June 2018. The next 1 terawatt should come much more quickly than the first 1 terawatt. 🙂

Policies

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) kicked off the $1 billion Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program, which will put $100 million per year (for the first 10 years, at least) toward getting solar power on multifamily housing buildings.

California also passed legislation committing to 100% renewable power by 2045.

A push is underway to thwart new solar subsidies in New Jersey. We’re pushing back, since discussions around the topic have been highly misleading, unbalanced, and counterproductive.

Illinois Governor Rauner signed two bills to support solar development conditions for Illinois farmers and rural areas, bills projected to generate $250–350 million in tax revenue.

Ireland approved its long-awaited Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) and announced that it intends to deliver the first RESS auction sometime in 2019.

South Africa replaced nuclear energy with more renewables in a new national energy plan.

China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the USA’s import tariffs on solar PV products, which it believes violate WTO regulations.

While India has been adding a tremendous amount of solar power, steep costs drops over the past years and wide variations in bids have led to the government canceling projects solar developers won the right to build in previous solar power auctions. 2.4 gigawatts worth of winning bids from a July 2018 auction were canceled by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and winning bids totaling 1 gigawatt, also from a July auction, were canceled by the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Facebook committed to 100% renewable energy by 2020.

Big Projects

Switzerland-based asset management firm Capital Dynamics closed $1.2 billion of new investment in a clean energy infrastructure fund.

Macquarie Capital’s Green Investment Group, which used to be called the UK Government’s Green Investment Bank, acquired the solar development portfolio (including staff) from Conergy Asia & ME.

India announced plans for a 25 gigawatt solar power park in Jammu & Kashmir. Yes, 25 gigawatts!

Some solar tenders in Egypt came in at the extremely low price of under 3 cents per kWh.

Rooftop Solar Leaders

Vivint Solar started offering solar leasing in the Sunshine State, Florida, as well as Illinois.

Sunnova also brought solar leasing & loans into Illinois.

SunPower offered National Parks Conservation Association members a $500 cash rebate + a donation for the organization when they go solar before July 2019.

Sunrun confirmed its leadership as the largest rooftop solar installer in the US, adding 91 MW of rooftop solar in Q2 2018.

Hanwha Q Cells announced it would look to go private.

Tesla considered going private, but stayed public … even thought the press showed exactly why Tesla would have benefitted from going private.

Kazang Solar was awarded $1.6 million from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to provide solar home lighting to 7,000 mostly off-grid homes in Zambia.

Other

A coalition made up of 26 Caribbean nations, more than 40 private sector giants, 8-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt, and global music superstar Sean Paul combined to launch the $1 billion Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, which aims to make the region the first climate-smart zone in the world.

The solar-powered Airbus Zephyr S set a world record by staying aloft for 26 days.

Renewable energy is creating more jobs than any other sector in Indiana.

 

→ Last month’s roundup: What Changed In The Solar Industry In June & July?

 


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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