California’s shift to a “NEM 2.0” net metering regime has brought uncertainty to the state’s solar industry.

That’s largely due to two main changes -- non-bypassable charges, which reduce the share of a utility bill that can be reduced by net-metered solar, and time-of-use rates, which reduce solar’s value during its mid-day peak, and increases it in late afternoon and evening. 

Developers and installers are trying to adapt to this new regime in the country’s biggest solar market. One common question is whether solar panels should be oriented in a more westerly direction, to capture more late-afternoon sun at higher rates. Another

When SunPower (SPWR) and First Solar's (FSLR) YieldCo, 8point3 Energy Partners (CAFD), went public two years ago, I used the financial nerd joke in 8point3's ticker symbol as a launching point to explain what "cash available for distribution," or CAFD, means. 
In that article, I cautioned mainly against the risks of using a short-term cash flow measure for long-term investing decisions. That risk is becoming more and more real for investors in 8point3 because the YieldCo is using short-term interest only financing to fund its long-term investments. 

All of 8point3's debt matures in 2020, and

Renewables Sector Embraces the Promise of Virtual Reality

It's been almost a decade since German utility RWE piloted one of the first virtual power plants (VPP) made up of nine small hydro facilities networked to deliver power to the transmission grid. 

The world of VPPs has evolved considerably since then.

To provide VPP services to the transmission grid, aggregators now draw on a diverse mix of distributed energy resources -- storage, demand response, renewables, microgrids -- from various commercial and residential services. And utilities are warming to the idea of monetizing distributed resources by aggregating them into some kind of virtual plant and selling into the wholesale market.

VPPs are even expanding to include

Oil producers and research organizations around the world are revising their electric vehicle forecasts upward as improving battery costs challenge previous assumptions about growth.

A new study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows just how dramatically estimates are changing. The most radical swing comes from OPEC, an organization made up of leading oil producing nations, which boosted its forecast of electric vehicle sales by 500 percent compared to last year. 

OPEC isn't the only industry group revising its assumptions about growth. BNEF researchers cataloged a number of radical changes in projections.

The International Energy Agency has more than doubled its estimate about global

According to the latest Global Solar Demand Monitor, GTM Research is now tracking 17.4 gigawatts of confirmed solar PV tenders in auctions across the globe. The report highlights that 9.6 gigawatts will be awarded in the third quarter of 2017 alone.

With 8.1 gigawatts confirmed, Europe leads as the region with the greatest share of tendered solar PV. South Asia, led by India, ranks second with 5 gigawatts.

FIGURE: Timing and award volume of confirmed solar PV tendersGlobal solar auction results
Source: GTM Research Global Solar Demand Monitor, Q2 2017

As auctions continue to proliferate, the pipeline will only

Leaked Draft of DOE’s Grid Study Says Renewables Are Not a Threat

A lab that opened last month in Fife, Scotland shows how the energy industry is embracing virtual reality systems considered futuristic just two years ago.

The Fife College Immersive Hybrid Reality lab is designed to “enhance the training and development of the next generation of offshore wind turbine technicians,” according to a press release.

It simulates the top of a nacelle on a 7-megawatt offshore wind turbine, allowing students to carry out fault-finding inspections without having to leave shore.

The virtual environment is modelled on a real-life demonstration turbine off the East Fife coast, used by the U.K.’s

Renewables Sector Embraces the Promise of Virtual Reality

Sonnen has signed a contract with an Arizona homebuilder to install its energy storage systems along with rooftop solar on each residence in forthcoming developments.

This has long been a goal for the company, which aims to create a community of homeowners who produce and exchange clean energy, while performing distributed grid services. The sonnenCommunity in Germany has grown to 8,000 members and functions like its own utility. That robust vision would be hard to implement in the U.S., given the regulatory structures in place here.

Loading up a new-build housing development with storage may be the next best thing.

Including storage

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Qatar Green Leaders is a Green Building Certification Management & Training Company, dedicated to helping its clients achieve the most feasible LEED / GSAS certification.

We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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