Solar Legislation

/Solar Legislation

Important Solar Bill Signed by Gov. Brown

By |October 10th, 2013|

Brown vows to protect existing solar customers while creating an unlimited solar market to meet
California’s growing need for clean energy

October 7, 2013

Sacramento   – AB 327 (Perea) was signed into law today by Governor Jerry Brown. In  signing the bill, the governor issued a rare statement clarifying that he expects AB 327 to protect existing solar customers while continuing to encourage more consumers to invest in rooftop solar through continued robust incentives for renewable energy.

“California is once again making history and setting a new bar for solar power,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA (California   Solar Energy Industries Association). “With this law, Governor Brown paving the way for truly capturing the vast potential of solar power in California.”

AB 327 (Perea) began 2013 legislative session, largely under the radar, as a residential rate reform bill. After significant amendments driven by Governor Brown’s office late in the session, AB 327 was passed by the California […]

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Republican Senator Praises Solar, Warns of Human-Caused Climate Change

By |June 5th, 2013|

Does Senator Lamar Alexander’s energy speech mark a shift in GOP tone?
 

In a speech at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) lauded distributed solar power, called for more R&D funding of clean technologies, and warned that humans are causing climate change.

The speech was a notable departure from recent GOP rhetoric on clean energy, which has been largely focused on playing up a handful of high-profile bankruptcies and questioning the validity of climate science.

Senator Alexander plays an influential role in Washington when it comes to energy policy. As the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, he helps guide how the Department of Energy is funded. The Senator is a major proponent of R&D spending on both cleantech and fossil fuels. He is also very outspoken about energy tax subsidies and commonly uses the term “big wind” in his efforts to repeal the production tax […]

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Clinton to Solar, “You Represent the Future” and “You Will Prevail”

By |September 13th, 2012|

He has only 308 solar panels on the roof of his presidential library, former President Bill Clinton announced at the opening of his Solar Power International 2012 keynote, and he is taking bids to drastically expand. “So if anybody wants in, send me an email.”
He then picked up the subject of creative cooperation he talked about at the Democratic National Convention.
To build “energy that is good economics, saves the planet from the worst consequences of climate change and promotes the national security of every country that is committed to clean, self-sustaining energy, you have to have cooperation between government and the private sector,” he said. “The constant mud fight, fact-free environment in which American politics often operates is counterproductive.”
He told a story about a minister who, during a sermon, excitedly told everybody in the congregation who wanted to go to heaven to stand up. Everybody but one little old lady […]

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Solar Power More Competitive than People Realize

By |May 24th, 2012|

Are the decision-makers entrusted with determining the future of energy infrastructure operating under an outdated understanding of the cost-competitiveness of solar power? In many cases, the answer is yes, according to a paper released last week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,” BNEF CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,” they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”

Those facts so quickly upended what had been conventional wisdom (i.e., solar power is prohibitively expensive) that the new economics of solar power apparently caught decision-makers flat-footed. Here are the authors’ conclusions:
• The shift in prices of solar technology carries major implications for policy and investment decision-makers, especially when […]

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US to put tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels

By |May 17th, 2012|

U.S. trade officials ordered tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels of as much as 250%, according to SolarWorld AG’s U.S. unit.

The decision is likely to help U.S. solar-equipment manufacturers, although it could stir trade tensions with China.

The Department of Commerce has ordered tariffs of 249.96% for some amount of imports of Chinese solar cells and panels, while products made by Suntech Power Holdings Co. will have tariffs of 31.22%, products made by Trina Solar Ltd. will have tariffs of 31.14%, while other unnamed companies will see tariffs of 31.18%, SolarWorld said.

The department was scheduled to release a decision on the tariffs Thursday as part of an investigation into accusations that Chinese solar-panel makers receive unfair government subsidies and sell their products in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production.

In a related decision in March, the department imposed tariffs of between 3% and 5% on imports of Chinese solar […]

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Solar Week in review

By |April 16th, 2012|

As with many recent weeks, news from the solar industry and market shows that solar is blooming despite facing pricing uncertainty and other challenges. While some places are enacting new programs to incentivize solar, some companies and projects are being threatened by a variety of factors, from a slow-moving turtle to falling module prices.

One of the places where falling prices most affected the solar market is Pennsylvania where the state’s solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market slumped because people adopted solar more quickly than expected. The SREC market was limited by how much solar power utilities were required to buy and when there was enough solar, the price of SRECs dropped. Now, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 and others are supporting HB 1580, which would increase the amount of SRECs that utilities must buy, thereby, increasing the price of the credits, making solar more valuable.

Meanwhile Los […]

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Feed-in-Tariffs: Europe’s Way of Encouraging Solar Power Arrives in the U.S.

By |April 10th, 2012|

With the news that the LA City Council has granted LADWP the power to enter into feed-in-tariff agreements, here is some news on how FIT’s are working in Europe and other parts of the U.S.
 

Solar cells adorn the roofs of many homes and warehouses across Germany, while the bright white blades of wind turbines are a frequent sight against the sky in Spain.
If one day these machines become as common on the plains and rooftops of the United States as they are abroad, it may be because the financing technique that gave Europe an early lead in renewable energy is starting to cross the Atlantic.

Put simply, the idea is to pay homeowners and businesses top dollar for producing green energy. In Germany, for example, a homeowner with a rooftop solar system may be paid four times more to produce electricity than the rate paid to a coal-fired power plant.

This month […]

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LADWP Approved for Solar Feed-In Tariffs

By |April 5th, 2012|

The LA City Council said yes to LA DWP for 150 megawatts of solar.

After years of contention, the Los Angeles City Council has granted the city’s utility, the biggest municipal utility in the U.S., the power to enter into contracts with solar power producers at above retail rates.

The council delegated to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LA DWP) the right to enter into up to 150 megawatts of feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts with commercial and residential solar power producers.

Like a similar program proposed by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008, the contracts pre-approved by the City Council allow the DWP to purchase, at an above retail rate (tariff), the electricity fed into the utility’s grid by solar system owners over a pre-designated number of years.

A demonstration FIT plan previously approved by the City Council and already budgeted by DWP allots $58 million over twenty-two years to support […]

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LADWP: Feed-In Tariff Update

By |November 8th, 2011|

30 years ago, Mayor Tom Bradley recommended that “The DWP should pay the highest justifiable cost for surplus power generated by its customers who invest in solar electric systems.”  Nothing happened.

14 years ago, Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and DWP General Manager David Freeman committed to “100,000 rooftop photovoltaic systems…by the year 2010.”  

LADWP’s mission is to provide clean, reliable water and power in a safe, environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner with excellent customer service to the communities we serve. Their vision is to be a world-class publicly-owned integrated utility, innovatively transformed to provide sustainable water and power to a green, robust and prosperous city. How they do this is in their plan. See https://www.piersystem.com/external/content/document/1643/280504/1/LADWP%20Strategic%20Planning.pdf

LADWP has had 6 General Managers in the past 4 years (9 in the past 10 years) which clearly shows that the Mayor and City Council do not and can not manage LADWP. Instead, LADWP career bureaucrats manage to keep the lights […]

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