The U.S. solar industry is beginning meticulous preparations for dealing with the phaseout of the federal Investment Tax Credit. At the same time, voices calling for an extension of the ITC or a softening of its decline are getting louder.

“Climate change is topical thanks to the Green New Deal, among other things,” SunPower CEO Tom Werner said onstage Tuesday at Greentech Media's Solar Summit in Phoenix. “We need to do something about climate change, and the most straightforward thing is to extend the ITC and the [wind Production Tax Credit].”

2019 is the last year that the solar industry can take advantage of the

Solar will soon be able to out-compete gas-fired plants around the world. That doesn’t mean it will be any easier to make a living in the solar business.

“By 2023, we think solar’s going to be cheaper than gas almost everywhere around the world,” Tom Heggarty, senior solar analyst for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said Tuesday at GTM Solar Summit in Phoenix.

New gas plants remain competitive with new utility solar in a number of big markets today, from China to the U.K. to South Korea. But that will no longer be the case by the early 2020s, as equipment costs continue to fall

Solar inverters have been swept up in the Trump administration's latest move to increase tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods, but analysts and industry sources say the move should have a minimal impact on the overall solar market thanks to an increasingly diversified global supply chain.

The tariffs were originally intended to increase to 25 percent in January, but were delayed due to ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, giving the industry time to prepare. Analysts say inverter companies had already taken steps to diversify their supply chains away from China.

“Vendors have been preparing

U.K. startup Moixa, which has megawatts of behind-the-meter batteries in the U.K. and Japan running on its distributed energy management software, has landed an £8.6 million ($11.1 million) venture capital round led by electric vehicle-as-grid asset partner, Honda. 

Monday’s investment also included previous investors Japanese investment firm Itochu Corporation and First Imagine! Ventures, as well as Lithuanian firm Contrarian Ventures. The London-based startup has previously raised £5.5 million ($7.1 million) in January 2018, £1.5 million ($1.9 million) and £2 million ($2.6 million) in 2017, and seed rounds and grants stretching back to its 2006 founding.

Moixa has built a roster of partners using its GridShare platform

Indiana utility Vectren South wanted to replace its baseload coal plants with a massive gas plant. In late April, regulators blocked that plan.

The surprise rejection of the 850-megawatt project, which had been estimated to cost $781 million, comes as regulators in other states have applied greater scrutiny to large capital investments utilities hope to build. The critique holds that massive expenditures for large, centralized assets during a time of rapid change to the electricity industry could become a bad deal for ratepayers.

California has already rejected a few natural gas plant contracts in favor of clean options like energy storage and renewables, but

Solar will soon be able to outcompete gas-fired plants around the world. That doesn’t mean it will be any easier to make a living in the solar business.

“By 2023, we think solar’s going to be cheaper than gas almost everywhere around the world,” Tom Heggarty, senior solar analyst for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said Tuesday at GTM Solar Summit in Phoenix.

Gas plans remain competitive with utility solar in a number of big markets today, from China to the U.K. to South Korea. But that will no longer be the case by the early 2020s, as equipment costs continue to fall and competitive

California is several years into a push to help commercialize microgrids in the state. Now, officials are taking stock of the performance of the first generation of microgrids supported under the effort.

These demonstration microgrids are delivering a reported utility bill savings of 20 percent to 60 percent, primarily in avoided demand charges, and some have successfully islanded during power outages.

State regulators believe microgrids, or localized grids that can operate apart from or in concert with the traditional power grid, offer solutions to some of the challenges facing grid operators, including integrating distributed energy resources.

The California Energy Commission (CEC), which has led the

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