A primary theme at a recent Clean Energy and Technologies Conference in California is thatcorporations are stepping up to provide expansion capital, compensating for the pull back of traditional venture investors, writes TriplePundit. This is good news for the market as government incentives are declining and the 1603 Cash Grant is expirin
USA Today reports on the possibility of a "Solar-Coaster" because of the expiring 30% Treasury Cash Grant for solar. But they get the reporting right, by quoting some real, lasting, positive trends in the industry.
Kyle Theirmann is a young pro surfer from Santa Cruz who went to Chile and saw a giant coal-fired power plant being put into a beach community agains their will. Because he knew that banks fund these projects, he did some research and found out that Bank of America was the primary funder of the project. He was struck with the knowledge that "our money was being used to fund this project. And I knew if it was our money that was funding it, then we had the power to change it."
Clean Edge senior editor Clint Wilder projects "that installed solar PV costs in the U.S. – without subsidies – will be competitive with residential electricity prices in more than half the states by 2020." Another solar expert writing in Renewable Energy World has found that as many as 60 million Americans live in areas where solar prices are already competitive with higher tier electricity rates.
For the first time this year the REFF-West conference included a panel on financing smaller deals – but only down to the $9 million dollar level, leaving the majority of residential installers out of the conversation.
The latest solar reports from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, GTM Research, and various solar industry groups show remarkable progress with fast growth and dropping costs in recent years. This article from Climate Progress does a good job summarizing the recent reports:
On Tuesday, the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) -- composed of industry titans like Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Bank of America Chairman Chad Holliday and leading venture capitalist John Doerr -- issued a new report arguing that government investment in energy is vital to our future, and not making those investments is unacceptable.
With all the buzz about Solyndra's bankruptcy this week, many in politics and the media are confused about the state of the industry. The irony is that it's exactly because prices are dropping that Solyndra was unable to compete. And what is driving down prices? Massive subsidies by the Chinese government. The $30 Billion dollars the Chinese have invested in solar in recent years dwarfs Solyndra's $500 million loan guarantee.
While US solar manufacturers like bankrupt Solyndra face stiff competition, the overall US market continues to shine. In fact, the latest report from UK-based market research firm ABI projects that the US will become the world's largest PV market in just 2 years!