Solar power has become increasingly popular throughout the country in recent years. Solar energy has created major competition for fossil fuels, and it is a key element in improving air quality and sustainability in the energy industry. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that by 2020 the price of energy production in large solar power plants could fall to around three US cents per kWh. On a local level, states like California, Massachusetts and New Jersey are just a few of the states that are moving towards 100% clean energy. Let’s take a further look at the steps these states are taking.
Solar in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a community solar pilot program is expected to bring great economic benefit to the state. This program will bring $797.9 million in local economic benefits. This is a three-year pilot program that will be permanently implemented after 36 months.
Solar in California
California is quickly moving towards a clean electric grid, after governor Brown signed a bill in September to speed up the transition. The bill requires the state to source 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 with the goal of implementing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
Solar in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is launching a new solar program called the SMART program. This will add 1,600 MW of solar capacity to the state’s energy portfolio. Although the Massachusetts solar market was stalled for the past two years, the hope is that this program will help them get back on track.
Solar Across the U.S.
The Global Strategy Group has released a poll that found more than three-quarters of voters want to see their electric utilities providers invest in more solar energy. Solar was the most favored form of electricity among the individuals who were polled. “Democrats, Republicans and Independents all said, everything being equal, they would vote against a politician who opposed solar power,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper.
What We are Doing to Help
At Intersect Energy we are committed to developing solar, CHP, fuel cell and wind projects to provide clean energy. We focus on commercial and industrial solar energy development projects in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Intersect Energy can offer innovative solutions to facility upgrades when paired with a new solar project, at little to no capital cost to our clients.
Intersect Energy is your guide when it comes to information about renewable energy and offers our services with energy reduction technologies, aggregate energy, and more. To keep up with all the latest news in the renewable energy field, follow us on LinkedIn!
Northeastern Solar Power This Summer
The summer has come to an end, but the heat wave in New England and the Northeast last month has created some ground-breaking records for solar power. The heat wave in New England and the Northeast lasted a week, allowing solar power to save $30 million in wholesale electricity costs because of lowered demand during it’s typical midday peak. With savings this large, regions across the country have began the shift toward solar.
During the heatwave, solar power provided 15% of total electricity in New England. New England ISO explained, “Solar generation peaked each day at around 2 p.m. during the heat wave, providing approximately 2,000 MW. Solar contributes to the reduction in the peak load and also contributes to moving the peak that we see here at ISO New England to that 5 to 6 p.m. time frame.” Homes and businesses were getting their electricity through solar power which lowered the demand from the regional power systems by about 2,000 MW.
In recent months, solar power now makes up more than 10% of electricity in five states! Massachusetts is one of the states that has joined California, Hawaii, Nevada and Vermont in this group. Solar power in Massachusetts has grown 34% each year and is expected to grow continuously each year. In the U.S., the west coast is leading the country when it comes to the application and pursuit of solar energy. California has the highest generation growth in the first half of 2018 at 20%.
Overall, solar in the United States in the first half of 2018 has grown 28%, which is 2.4% of all electricity generation. In turn, coal generation has fallen 6% each year. Although solar has become more affordable, accessible and is the cleanest domestic energy source available, it still has a long way to go before it meets its full potential in the U.S..
The move from fossil fuels to clean energy is growing every day. At Intersect Energy, we are committed to providing analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact and maximize savings for companies. We proudly share renewable energy news and information to all our customers and those interested in seeing renewable energy expand. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!
We are in a new world when it comes to financing for solar projects! Last year, more money was invested in solar projects than coal, gas or nuclear. That is great news, but there is even more on the way! Recently, kWh Analytics and Swiss Re have structured a deal with GCL New Energy, a top five global solar developer and PNC Bank, an industry-leading investor in U.S. solar projects since 2007, for 50 MW of solar projects financed using the Solar Revenue Put to guarantee 95% of solar generation. Dick Rai, the manager of PNC, “We have long-standing relationships with both GCL New Energy and kWh Analytics, dating back to their respective entries into the U.S. solar market.”
Solar Revenue Put
kWh Analytics has developed the Solar Revenue Put , which is an enhancement for financial investors to lower the investment risk, and encourage the development of clean, low-cost solar energy. This credit enhancement will guarantee up to 95% of a solar project’s expected energy output. Essentially, investors will purchase solar energy from sunlight farmers, and there will be a guaranteed net profit for the farmers and a lower risk for the investors. This is a win for both lenders and farmers.
The Future of Solar After Solar Revenue Put
A recent survey, conducted by kWh Analytics, found that 40% of lenders are now valuing the Solar Revenue Put as a credit enhancement. From residential rooftops to utility scale plants, financing structures have been supported by the Solar Revenue Put. This reduces the risk for investors and will improve the bottom line. Less risk means less cost, which means more solar.
“We have a global mandate to rapidly expand our investment portfolio of solar projects,” says Frank Zhu, Executive President of GCL New Energy. “To support us in this growth, we were pleased to have found efficient and reliable execution with our partners, PNC Bank and kWh Analytics.” Renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of the new power added to the world’s grids in 2016. With this latest advancement, The Solar Revenue Put will help to increase the amount of renewable energy every year.
At Intersect Energy, we provide turnkey service to our customers, from assessment, design, financing, installation and management. We offer innovative solutions to facility upgrades when paired with a new solar project, at little to no capital cost to our clients. To learn more about our services, contact us today! Don’t forget to stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!
Large Corporations Have Been Shifting Toward Renewable Energy in Recent Years
This is a major step forward for the renewable energy industry, but there is still work to be done. For commercial and industrial developers, it is important to retain tenants, not just acquire sites. Intersect Energy is here to help commercial developers lower energy costs, meet social demands and improve client retention. Let’s take a deeper look at the shift toward renewable energy and what we can do to help you succeed as a developer.
Solar Energy and Lower Costs
When discussing the benefits of renewable energy, lower costs is usually one of the first things mentioned. The reason why is because renewable facilities not only operate at a very low cost, but the prices are stable because green energy comes from the sun or wind, which is free fuel. For developers, it is key to emphasize the stability of pricing to tenants, as they will find comfort in the fact that prices will not drastically increase over time.
Increased Solar Social Awareness
Another reason that there has been such a strong shift toward renewable energy is because of increased social awareness. The public is putting a stronger emphasis on clean energy due to the positive effects it has on the environment. From a decrease in global warming to improved public health, it’s hard to ignore the benefits. Corporations, both large and small, want to maintain a strong social presence. As developers, we at Intersect Energy believe it is important to stress these benefits to both new and existing tenants as they will want consumers to see them as environmentally conscious.
The Industry Leaders are Switching to Solar
With companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and General Motors shifting toward renewable energy in recent years, it’s exciting to see large companies looking toward the future. For many years, consumers thought renewable energy was just a trend, but these companies are proving that green energy is the future. Each year new companies are added to the corporate energy renewable contracts list. So far in 2018, as stated by The Business Renewables Center, companies such as Adobe, Etsy and Nestle have invested in renewable energy. To put things in perspective of just how much growth we’ve seen so far this year, there were 31 corporate renewable energy deals in 2017. So far in 2018, there have been 46 public transactions. These numbers suggest that renewable energy is more than just a trend!
All of Intersect Energy’s projects are completed with the highest quality materials and experienced team of partners to provide the best workmanship and maximize the economic benefits to our clients. Contact the team at Intersect Energy so we can help your firm save money while acquiring and retaining tenants!
State-level renewable solar energy storage is on the rise
It is projected that about 73 GW of solar Photovoltaic Systems will be installed in the United States from 2018 to 2022. One gigawatt (aka GW) can provide enough energy for about 700,000 homes. California leads the states in most solar energy, and on May 9th the CEC (California Energy Commission) approved measures that all residential homes must adopt or incorporate solar power in the state starting in January 2020.
California is also pushing for battery storage during new home construction
Increased battery storage optimizes renewable energy consumption. Additionally, it will expand the industry by tying suppliers and home builders. However, there are bound to be questions related to the new standards. For example, the increase in construction costs will be a common question that users have. It will be important that the states educate users of the benefits that the energy savings will bring, which will greatly outweigh the costs.
Recently, New Jersey became the fifth state to adopt an energy storage target
New Jersey is now alongside states such as Hawaii, New York and California, the leading clean energy states. PV Magazine USA reports that the goal is to increase New Jersey’s renewable standard (amount of power from Utilities coming from renewable energy sources) to 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. If New Jersey is able to meet their goals, this will be a huge advancement for the renewable energy industry!
Hopeful for the future
This will hopefully give the energy storage industry more momentum to spread to the East coast. The industry is already setting plans for future renewable energy storage targets across the country. With California and New Jersey continuing to increase their renewable power, other states will more than likely begin to do the same. The question then becomes if other states will take a more proactive approach or a reactive one. Some states may be more skeptical, thus they may wait to see the results of the new standard in California and New Jersey before they fully commit.
Intersect Energy proudly shares renewable energy news and information to all our customers and those interested in seeing renewable energy expand. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!
RE100 on the Rise
Did you know Europe and North Africa could run on 100% renewable energy by 2050? As foreign nations continue to invest in renewable energy, the U.S. should also make it a top priority. Today, there are over 130 corporations that have made the commitment to go 100% renewable through the RE100 initiative. Tetra Pak has jumped on board with the RE100 initiative to reach 100 percent renewable energy. As a multinational packing giant, Tetra Pak has a massive impact on the environment.
Tetra Pak explained that their renewable energy has grown from 20 percent in 2016 to 50 percent today. Tetra Pak, which specializes in providing high-quality processing and packaging solutions for food, has factories in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and South Africa that all use 100% renewable energy. They have committed to going 100% renewable by 2030 and have progressed towards this goal by installing solar power infrastructure at their facilities and purchasing International Renewable Energy Certificates. This approach is in line with their mission to maintain a commitment to being socially responsible.
Tetra Pak’s vice president for sustainability, Mario Abreu, stated, “Through the purchase of renewable energy certificates, we are investing in the development of infrastructure to increase the availability of renewable electricity. Meanwhile, we are also exploring opportunities to scale up our own on-site solar power installations.”
What is an International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC)?
An International Renewable Energy Certificate keeps track of the energy that companies consume outside of North America and Europe to ensure that it comes from renewable energy sources. This is a global standard that is being introduced around the world, and in countries where nothing like this previously existed. This is a way for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability ratings across the board.
Embracing Renewable Energy
Several global companies are investing time and money into reducing their carbon footprint. RE100 is a collaborative global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity that unites more than 130 corporations working to increase corporate demand for – and the delivery of- renewable energy. Ikea, Apple, Coca-Cola, eBay and Facebook are among many of the companies that are a part of this initiative. Since the initiative has been launched, it is now being recognized in India, China, the United States and Europe.
The move towards 100% renewable energy is now a global effort. Intersect Energy, offers innovative and efficient solutions to help move your company towards a renewable energy future. We are committed to providing analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact and maximize savings for companies. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!
Renewable Energy Jobs
As Renewable Energy continues to grow in popularity, there are more and more people pursuing careers in the field. According to an article by the Columbian, an increasing number of students are enrolling in the Northwest Renewable Energy Institute, a program offered by the International Air and Hospitality Academy. Students are drawn to the program because of the potential of strong starting wages and the expected growth of renewable energy jobs across the United States.
With more companies pushing towards using clean energy and going green, more employees who specialize in renewable energy are needed. The fastest growing jobs within the renewable energy sector include clean car engineers, sustainable builders, and sustainability professionals. As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are the two fastest growing renewable energy jobs in the United States. Let’s take a deeper look at the increasing need for wind turbine technicians and solar installers as the renewable energy industry continues its rapid growth.
Wind Turbine Technicians
A Wind Turbine Technician is the single fastest-growing occupation in America according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For this profession, you must know how to maintain wind turbines (inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair, etc.). Most wind turbine technicians have attended a technical or community college for 2 years on average. However, obtaining a job in this field does not require a college degree, and has an expected 108% growth rate for its projected 10-year growth.
Another fast-growing occupation within the renewable energy industry is solar installation. With solar energy expanding at an exponential rate, there is an increased need for installers. This trend seems likely to continue with recent reports stating that wind and solar will be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. For young people looking to get started in a rapidly growing industry, solar energy shows great potential.
This is the best time to enter into the solar energy field and become a part of the renewable energy movement. “For the most part, energy efficiency is invisible. But it’s made a huge difference both economically, in jobs, and for the energy sector as a whole,” said Sean O’Leary, a spokesman for the industry. Intersect Energy is your source for the latest news and alerts regarding the Renewable Energy industry. For more information, contact us here!
Over the last year, renewable energy usage has become a pressing issue for corporations nationwide. On June 1, 2017 the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. would be backing out of the Paris climate agreement. This agreement was intended to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and increase their ability to deal with the effects of climate change.
In spite of the decision by the Trump Administration, many U.S. corporations have continued to follow the Paris Agreement by investing billions of dollars in wind and solar sources to power the operations of their companies. Malcolm Wolf, the senior vice president for policy at Advanced Energy Economy, explained: “Corporations have not slowed down their appetite for renewables under Trump – if anything, it has continued to grow.”
The Growth of Corporate Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is growing rapidly and becoming more cost effective for corporations due to the decrease in wind and solar prices. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of renewable energy is falling so fast that the prices of fossil fuels and renewable energy will be similar by 2020, and it should be cheaper than fossil fuels within the next couple of years.
Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the Paris agreement, said: “The economic case for renewables as the backbone of our global energy system is increasingly clear and proven. Offering ever greater bang-for-buck, renewables are quite simply the cheapest way to generate energy in an ever-growing number of countries.” It makes financial sense for corporations to switch over to renewable energy.
Google and Apple are two of the top companies leading the way in renewable energy. In recent months, both companies have announced that they have purchased an amount of renewable electricity that could power all of their data centers and facilities around the globe. Although Google and Apple are not 100% powered by renewable energy, the advancements that they have made in recent years are definitely a huge step forward.
Future of Corporate Renewable Energy
Although the U.S. is no longer involved in the Paris Agreement, U.S. corporations are striving to increase renewable energy, and they play an extremely important role in the future of renewable energy.
These companies are transforming America’s grid by introducing a new era of low-carbon power. Intersect Energy is committed to providing analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact and maximize savings for companies. In turn, this helps move the country towards an alternative energy future. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn.
Solar Energy Making Progress in California
In the United States we are seeing solar energy rise not only in popularity, but in efficiency over the past decade. Other countries, such as China, have created national policies which have made them a world leader in developing innovative strategies to harness solar power for their strategic power needs. In the U.S., the west coast is leading the country when it comes to the application and pursuit of solar energy.
California Solar Energy in Residential Homes
This leads us to the recent energy efficiency building standards that require newly constructed residential buildings in California to use solar energy as their primary source of power. Morten Lund, chair of the Stoel Rives Energy Storage Initiative and former chair of the Solar Energy Initiative, was quoted saying, “This is massive…a big ‘I told you so’ on how state and local action can overwhelm federal obstruction.”
Customized Solar Energy Systems
The Californian Energy Commission (CEC) evaluated rulemaking provided by the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards on May 9, 2018. These standards state that new homes must be equipped with solar PV systems that are customized for each structure. The solar PV systems need to be designed to appropriately accommodate the specific homes they inhabit. According to data provided by the CEC, the future use of the solar PV systems is projected to provide approximately 200 MW of evenly distributed energy per year in California. The U.S. Energy Information Association claims that California generated 5.7 GW of small scale power provided by solar PV as of May 2017.
The new building standards are designed to focus on four different areas: smart residential solar PV systems, updated thermal envelope standards, residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements, and nonresidential lighting requirements. All these areas will amplify the performance of the solar PV systems and focus the goal of solar expansion in a domestic direction.
The Future of Residential Solar Energy
With the mandate for the inclusion of solar power generation in all future residential homes in California, we get to witness communities almost entirely run on solar energy in the years to come. Intersect Energy proudly shares renewable energy news and information to all our customers and those interested in seeing renewable energy expand. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!
A Reliable Alternative: Wind Power
With the pursuit of renewable energy on the rise around the world, many countries have put forth an investment. Among the most popular, and reliable, is wind energy. With its growing popularity in the U.S., wind power could eventually be the leading power provider in the country.
A Brief History of Wind Power
Wind power dates back as early as 5000 B.C., as the Egyptians used the power of wind to propel their boats down the Nile River which is 4,258 miles long. Fast forward to present day, where wind energy is harnessed by wind turbines that utilize giant propeller blades and are pushed by the wind. In turn, the movement from the blades powers an electric generator located at the base of the turbine, where the electric current is produced and stored.
Wind Power Statistics
Wind turbines have earned more than $100 billion in private investments in the U.S. since 2008. Wind energy has avoided an estimate of 159 million metric tons of CO2 – which is the equivalent of reducing power sector CO2 emissions by around 9%, which equals 33.7 million cars’ worth of carbon emissions. Intersect Energy offers analysis, financing, and structuring solutions for companies interested in exploring this renewable energy source.
Germany is currently the world leader in wind power capacity, generating 22,247 megawatts, which accounts for 24% of the world total. While Germany is the world’s leader in power generated, the U.S. is leading in the installations for the third year in a row producing, 5,244 megawatts of wind capacity added. In fact, there is a new turbine added to the U.S. every couple of hours. In 2016, 5.6 percent of all electricity produced in the U.S. was a result of wind energy. That number is sure to be on the rise with more turbines added every day.
Intersect Energy’s mission is to inform the public about the reliability of renewable energy and how it can help the country. To learn more about Intersect Energy and access more articles like this, follow us on LinkedIn!