Apr
25
2018

Community Solar for All

PACE supports “all of the above” energy policies, even though the phrase itself has fallen out of fashion in some circles. All of the above, in case we haven’t always been clear, includes renewable energy.

One of the most important renewable sources is community solar. The price is right, compared to many other forms of renewable energy. And there’s something intangible too, that may not appear on a spreadsheet. Somehow, people respond to seeing panels in a small, approachable array while on their way to the grocery store or the local school.

Owing to our interest in community solar, we

Mar
23
2018

Kentucky Net Metering Horserace Helps Consumers

Most states have considered net metering and established some policies that compensate private solar owners for electrons generated from owned or leased panels on rooftops or ground-mounted systems. PACE took a close look at the state of the states’ approaches last year in our report, “Net Metering: Costs, Customers and a Smarter Way Forward.”

Our central point in that report still rings true today – there is no policy justification for paying private solar generators more than the fair market value for electrons they send into the grid. Just as for any service or business dependent on commodity inputs, wholesale

Jan
02
2018

The Best Resolutions are Made at Home

With champagne flutes and noisemakers safely stored away, many of us turn to making New Year’s resolutions. These vary widely, but usually have one thing in common – we select them and measure success or failure ourselves. Wise partners and friends know to give advice only if asked. In short, one size doesn’t fit all, and mandates backfire.

Over the holiday break, I was reminded that local officials should adopt this same approach when it comes to one of the most important transactions that a family encounters – buying or selling a home. Lots of ink has already been devoted

Oct
23
2017

Sunshine on Recent Solar Policy News

Throughout the fall, two states have quietly made adjustments to laws and regulations affecting solar net metering customers and facilities. Meanwhile, both sides in the “Suniva solar trade war” have retained competing loud voices. How will these developments support consumers’ need for a smarter way forward when it comes to solar policy?

PACE reported this summer on North Carolina’s H.B. 589, although we primarily focused on its unwarranted 18-month moratorium on wind generation. The new law also updated the state’s solar legal framework, including allowing residential solar customers to lease panels rather than assume the often expensive, lengthy

Oct
18
2017

Oktoberfest and the Energiewende

Continuing the October theme established in our blog earlier this week and taking a small vacation from covering the U.S. energy policy landscape, today PACE brings you an update on Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transition. PACE has covered this before, noting how artificial timelines, weather, and economics can prove troublesome for even the best-laid plans, and noting the costs to consumers.

Energiewende has been winding its way through German politics and energy policy for the past two decades. The plan currently aims to cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2020 and 95 percent by 2050.

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Oct
17
2017

October 2017:

Although October hasn’t been officially named “Reliability Month,” it might as well have been, owing to all the recent news bearing on how our country will generate power in the future.

In Texas, a merchant power company announced the closure of two large coal-fired plants, totaling over 2300 MW of capacity across 4 units, along with a mine that supports one of the plants. The company said that the plants fell victim to “an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices.”

Beltway coverage focused on Texas’ lost capacity and laudatory comments from the

Sep
26
2017

Solar Trade Wars: Can Consumers Win?

Last Friday saw the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) vote unanimously (4-0) that imports of markedly less expensive Chinese solar panels have harmed domestic solar panel manufacturers. The case, always controversial, now enters a new phase, in which the ITC will assess and recommend potential remedies, including tariffs on imported panels.

How did we get here? Suniva, headquartered in Georgia, filed for bankruptcy and filed its claim of “serious injury” at the ITC in April 2017. SolarWorld Americas, also bankrupt, joined the petition soon thereafter. The two companies used an obscure provision of U.S. trade law (Section

Aug
16
2017

Net Metering: Will Utah Choose a Smarter Way Forward?

Last month, PACE released our new report, “Net Metering: Costs, Customers, and a Smarter Way Forward.” The report provides policymakers and other stakeholders with current snapshots of net metering approaches in several states, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, and Nevada.

Net metering and related solar discourse is live in dozens of states, in addition to those covered by our report. In Utah this summer, a long-simmering debate seems poised either to boil over or come to a conclusion that works better for consumers.

Utah currently has full retail net metering for rooftop solar customers, a policy PACE