Lazard's latest cost analysis of renewables and storage is a mixed bag.

Financial advisory firm Lazard is out with its eleventh annual levelized cost of energy analysis. It shows renewable energy costs continue to inch ahead of conventional generation.

But the data is also a reality check.

While wind and utility-scale PV can now outcompete almost any conventional generation source, including combined-cycle gas in some cases, the report also revealed that cost improvements for these intermittent renewables are diminishing.

Utility-scale solar LCOE dropped 86 percent in the last eight years. For wind, the figure was 67 percent. But most of these reductions took place in the first four years under study.

Looking at the

The spread of distributed energy resources (DERs) is driving the creation of new analytics and IT ecosystems for utilities. These ecosystems have become critical for utilities looking to enable broad range of functions from data management to DER planning.

The first wave of data and analytics was enabled through the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and utility-owned grid hardware. Today, utility analytics is evolving from internal performance optimization into a new stage. According to GTM Research’s Grid Edge Customer Utility Analytics Ecosystems report, this new stage will leverage both utility- and customer-owned internet-of-things (IOT) technologies to drive competitive advantage and achieve cost savings.


The International Energy Agency has released its latest report on “digitalizing” the world’s key industries, with a focus on the electricity sector. 

The report includes some long-range projections for how much the world will need to invest in “smart” demand response, renewable energy integration and electric vehicle charging over the next two decades or so -- and how many hundreds of billions of dollars that could save us. 

Monday’s report, titled Digitalization & Energy, represents ongoing work from the IEA on how digital technologies like networked devices, cloud computing and data analytics are transforming energy-intensive sectors including industry, buildings and transportation. 

It also lays

Will Congress' attempt at tax reform spell danger for clean energy?

House Republicans unveiled a massive tax reform bill last week. While it wasn’t as damaging to renewables as many feared, the changes still pose a threat.

Wind and electric vehicles stand to lose the most. Lawmakers are looking to slash tax credits for wind by more than a third and eliminate the $7,500 federal credit for electric vehicle purchases. The Senate is crafting its own version of the bill, however, so many of the proposals in the House version may never become law.

“This bill is going to get written in the Senate, because a lot of this stuff is not going to survive,”

Renewables have grown powerful enough to alter the workings of power markets, which will in turn affect the future growth of wind and solar.

This unprecedented collision course creates uncertainty for the markets, but also opportunity, according to the combined insights of GTM Research, Wood Mackenzie and MAKE Consulting. The key will be thinking through the unintended consequences of the wind and solar acceleration, and adjusting behavior accordingly.

Renewables already compete on price with conventional generation

Wind already beats coal and combined cycle gas plants on levelized cost of energy. That number is expected to drop another 12.7 percent over the next five years,

When Charles Patton joined American Electric Power in the year 2000, around 90 percent of the company’s electricity production came from coal. Since then, AEP’s executive vice president of external affairs says things have changed dramatically.

“I will confess, there was a time I wouldn't have publicly stated -- although in the last few years I have publicly stated that I was wrong -- that you would be able to [interconnect] renewables to the extent that we've been able to,” said Patton, speaking Tuesday at Greentech Media’s inaugural Power & Renewables Summit in Austin, Texas. “If you were a utility guy ... that wasn't something you necessarily

Emily Kirsch interviews Andrew Birch at the Powerhouse headquarters.

After a streak of strong growth years, the residential solar market hit a wall this year.

The final tally isn't in yet, but the list of casualties in 2017 speaks volumes: American Solar Direct, OneRoof EnergyNRG Home Solar, Direct Energy Solar's residential business, SolarCity (sunk into Tesla) and Sungevity.

That last one, Sungevity, capped a 10-year run with an acrimonious bankruptcy in March. At the time, the company's leadership refrained from commenting. Until now.

Founder and CEO Andrew Birch is finally speaking publicly for the first time.

Birch opened up

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