What Changed In The Solar Industry In December?

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The solar energy industry keeps on plowing forward (or shining forward?), even in the winter. Below were notable developments in the industry last month — not just big project news, but industry-changing news. Enjoy!


Washington, DC, passed a 100% renewable energy bill.

HBI and IREC developed a program to help at-risk youth get jobs in the solar power industry.

In Connecticut, solar power showed its muscle by winning 9 out of 12 auction contracts. Solar has become the most competitive option for new electricity even in Connecticut!

NASA started testing Alta Devices’ record-setting solar cell.

Clean energy R&D — who needs that? Well, that seems to be the attitude of the US Department of Energy, which “may be sitting on approximately $600 million in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funding for clean energy research and development (R&D), despite clear and strong congressional guidance to invest public dollars in new technologies and innovation that will pave the way for America to be a leader in a clean energy future,” as NRDC experts put it.

Floating solar could supply 14% of the USA’s electricity needs, according to a report published by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Real Goods Solar received $127 million in pre-orders for its solar shingles, which are based on a technology bought from Dow Chemical. (We reported on Dow solar shingles all the way back in 2009, 2011, and 2012.)

Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya started bringing pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid homes in Kenya.

Engie announced it had “signed a 50-year strategic alliance with the city of Greater Springfield in Queensland, Australia, to help transition it to being a zero net energy city by 2038.”

Environment America indicated that new home solar laws and loans could triple the country’s solar base by 2045.

sonnen & tiko Energy Solutions received pre-qualification from the transmission system operator for the grid in Germany, TenneT, to leverage its existing distributed network of energy storage systems pooled into a virtual power plant to provide primary balancing power.

The World Bank Group announced “a new set of climate targets for 2021–25 and that it was doubling its current five-year investments to around $200 billion in support of countries taking ambitious climate action.”

IHS predicted that the global solar industry will reach 123 GW of new capacity installed in 2019. (I guess this isn’t yet a change, but it’s a record-breaking forecast indicative of all the progress in the solar energy industry.)

Stanford mapped approximately every solar roof in the US and found 1.47 million.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. 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, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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