The Investment Tax Credit, a huge incentive to invest in solar power will shrink or vanish

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Will Solar Energy Plummet if the Investment Tax Credit Fades Away? Many solar supporters say the […]


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Will Solar Energy Plummet if the Investment Tax Credit Fades Away?

Many solar supporters say the loss or reduction of the credit will be a ‘cliff’ for the industry. But others say the credit’s impact is overstated and solar will continue to grow.

At the end of next year, the 30% investment tax credit for solar and other renewable power is set to expire for residential systems and plunge to 10% for commercial installations. Boosters are calling for Congress to extend the credit in its current form.

The tax-credit crunch is looming at a time when solar is on the rise. Solar installations increased 30% last year, thanks partly to cheaper photovoltaic panels. Solar proponents note that the solar industry employs more than twice as many U.S. workers as coal mining and has added jobs 20 times faster than the rest of the economy.

Many supporters say the abrupt end date of the 30% credit represents a “cliff” for the industry. Without the current incentive, they argue, installation of solar-power systems will plummet, and thousands of jobs in the industry will be lost as a result.

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FORBES: Sunverge Is On A Mission To Marry Solar Power And Energy Storage

At the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego last month, the floor was packed with vendors. One of them was Sunverge, and they were interesting because they were focused not only on the issue of on-premise storage, but specifically how to combine solar power and storage together.

Sunverge currently manages 5.3 megawatt-hours (MWh) of distributed storage, combined with 1.9 MW of solar.

This solar/storage hybrid is a theme that is getting a lot more play around the world these days, as regulatory environments change for solar while the costs of both solar and storage continue to decline (having entered later in the game, storage costs have a lot further to go, but they are following a similar trajectory to that of solar).

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BLOOMBERG BUSINESS: Solar Short of Modi’s Target Seen Cutting Coal’s Market in India

The steadily declining cost of solar panels will cut in on coal’s dominance in the electricity industry in India as photovoltaic installations surge to reach Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target, KPMG said.

The consulting firm estimated the cost of solar generation may fall to 3.59 rupees (5 cents) a megawatt-hour by 2025, which is 22 percent below the lowest bid ever received for photovoltaics in India. The coal industry will have to cut its own costs to keep up with alternatives to fossil fuels, according to a report by KPMG.
“Coal has to transform,” Michiel Soeting, global chair for energy and natural resources at KPMG, said in an interview on Monday. “May be you’ll scale back production or scale back opening of new mines. Those are calls that you won’t take in next five years but 10.”

Modi is seeking 100 gigawatts of solar in India by 2022, up from about 4 gigawatts now. KPMG estimates 54 gigawatts of capacity by the end of this decade and 160 gigawatts by 2025.

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THE NATIONAL AE: Investors move to capitalise on India’s solar energy push

Indian and foreign companies and investors are moving to capitalise on the push to boost solar energy production.

The government has set a target of generating 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022.

On Monday it was revealed that Coal India, which is state-run, would invest 60 billion rupees (Dh3.33bn) to set up 1,000 megawatts of solar power units over the next five to six years, according to the Economic Times, an Indian business newspaper.

ReNew Power, an Indian renewable energy company with a pipeline of 700MW solar projects across India, last month announced that a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had invested US$200 million to take a minority stake in the company. At the same time, ReNew said that Goldman Sachs had also injected $50m into the company to take its total investment to $370m.

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