Renewable Energy Trends

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Publication April 6, 2017

Minor Memos. Developers are expected to sell more wind and solar projects at the end of construction to utilities in lieu of long-term power contracts: 14% of all such projects in 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, compared to 7% during the period 2009 through 2015. The projects end up being put in utility rate bases. Utilities used to be unable to claim investment tax credits on solar projects in order to prevent utilities from dominating the sector. Congress dropped the restriction in October 2008 . . . . Renewable generating capacity grew 8% worldwide in 2016, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Of that growth, 58% was in Asia. Solar capacity additions were 71,000 megawatts compared to 51,000 megawatts of wind . . . . The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported in March that wholesale prices for wind and solar electricity have fallen to record lows in the US. New power purchase agreements are being signed at $15 to $25 a MWh in the Midwest for wind, and solar PPAs are going for $35 to $50 a MWh in the Southwest . . . . Some US states have imposed or are considering temporary limits on building new large solar projects on farmland. The states with such limits already in place or under consideration include Connecticut, Maryland and parts of North Carolina and Washington. Massachusetts is putting incentives in places to steer solar to rooftops and brownfield sites.


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