Posts Tagged ‘GreenTechMedia’

3 September

Duke Energy Is Shifting From Nuclear To Solar!


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Below is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun.

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Solar Panels (photo by Neville Mecallef, presented at

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

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What fantastic news for solar enthusiasts, climate scientists, and environmentalists! On Tuesday of this week, Duke Energy of Florida announced a settlement with Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC), equivalent to other states’ Public Utility Commission (PUC), to stop plans to build a nuclear power plant in western Florida. The utility, with the blessing from PSC, will instead invest $6 billion in solar panels, grid-tied batteries, grid modernization projects, and electric vehicle charging stations. This new investment plan will involve the installation of 700 MW of solar capacity over four year period in the western Florida region.

Duke Energy Florida may not have started building the Levy nuclear power plant, but it did have plans to order two AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. But now, with the dramatic decrease in cost of solar and increase in battery storage technology, Florida utility concluded that it is much more cost effective to invest in solar rather than nuclear. Last week, Duke told its PSC that it would have to increase rates by more than 8% due to increased fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) costs. But with the new investment plan directing the utility toward solar and storage, that rate hike will be  4.6% instead of 8%.


Even though the preparatory expenditure on Levy are now sunk costs, this new plan will save residential customers future nuclear related rate increases. Customers will see a cost reduction of $2.50 per MWh (megawatt-hour) through the removal of unrecovered Levy Nuclear Project costs, according to the utility. The 700 MW of solar may not cover the 2.2 GW (gigawatt) capacity of the Levy plant, but it does indicate the dramatic shift from nuclear power to more solar power.

Duke Energy of Florida serves 1.8 million Floridians and had been relying heavily on natural gas. This week Duke said it wants to raise its solar power capacity to 8% generating power in the next four years.

The parent company of Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy, also pulled the plug on another planned nuclear power plant in North Carolina last week, according to GreenTechMedia. With continuing drop in solar cost and  improved battery storage technology, it is conceivable that Duke would choose the best option of increasing solar for its customers.

It is a turning point in the history of energy use, when utility and PSC are able to be weaned from  nuclear and move onto solar. Thanks to those who have worked tirelessly in researching, developing, and improving battery storage technology. For this is necessary in order for solar to be promoted from intermittent to reliable source of power.

Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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5 March

U.S. Solar Market Had Record Growth of 41% In 2013!


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Hubbert Peak Oil Plot (credit: Hankwang at en.wikipedia & sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Great News from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Press Release, below:

New Report: U.S. Solar Market Grows 41%, Has Record Year in 2013 

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON, MA – Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013, photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts (MW). In addition, 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came online. Solar was the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., exceeded only by natural gas. Additionally, the cost to install solar fell throughout the year, ending the year 15 percent below the mark set at the end of 2012.

At the end of 2013 there were more than 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the U.S. totaling over 12,000 MW of PV and 918 MW of CSP.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generation Capacity, 2012 vs. 2013

Source: GTM Research, FERC

The U.S. installed 2,106 megawatts in the fourth quarter alone, 44 percent of the annual total. This makes Q4 2013 by far the largest quarter in the history of the U.S. market, exceeding the next largest quarter by 60 percent.

“Perhaps more important than the numbers,” writes Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, “2013 offered the U.S. solar market the first real glimpse of its path toward mainstream status. The combination of rapid customer adoption, grassroots support for solar, improved financing terms, and public market successes displayed clear gains for solar in the eyes of both the general population and the investment community.”

FIGURE: U.S. PV Installations and Average System Price, 2000-2013

Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year-in-Review

“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes – and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “Last year alone, solar created tens of thousands of new American jobs and pumped tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  In fact, more solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.  That’s a remarkable record of achievement.”

California continues to lead the U.S. market and installed more than half of all U.S. solar in 2013. In fact, the state installed more solar last year than the entire United States did in 2011. Despite installing the second-most PV in 2013 with 421 megawatts, Arizona didn’t live up to its 2012 total of 710 megawatts. On the other side of the spectrum, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia had major growth years, installing a combined 663 megawatts, more than doubling their combined total from the year before. On the whole, the top five states (California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) accounted for 81 percent of all U.S. PV installations in 2013.


Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year in Review

GTM Research and SEIA forecast another strong year in 2014 with 26% growth in the U.S. solar market. This will bring annual installations up to nearly 6 gigawatts and the cumulative total will be just shy of the twenty gigawatt milestone.

Report Key Findings:

  • The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41 percent over 2012 and nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008.
  • There is now a total of 12.1 GW of PV and 918 MW of CSP operating in the U.S
  • There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013, and a total of over 440,000 systems operating in total today.
  • Q4 2013 was by far the largest quarter ever for PV installations in the U.S. with 2,106 MW energized, up 60 percent over the next largest quarter (Q4 2012).
  • More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.
  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion.
  • Solar accounted for 29 percent of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012. This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • Weighted average PV system prices fell 15% in 2013, reaching a new low of $2.59/W in the fourth quarter.
  • We forecast 26 percent PV installation growth in 2014, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. Growth will occur in all segments but will be most rapid in the residential market.
  • The U.S. installed 410 MW of concentrating solar (CSP) in 2013, increasing total CSP capacity in the U.S. more than 80%.
  • The wave of concentrating solar power installations slated for completion at the end of 2013 into 2014 kicked off with the 280 MWac Solana project and the Genesis Solar project’s initial 125 MWac phase. In early 2014, Brightsource’s iconic Ivanpah project also began operating and SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes project began commissioning.

About U.S. Solar Market Insight:
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2013 report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market’s current and forecasted trajectory.

For more information, visit

Downloadable charts are available at:

About GTM Research:
GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research’s analysis also underpins Greentech Media’s webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, smart grid, energy storage, energy efficiency and wind power sectors.

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President, Communications:  202.556.2885,
Mike Munsell, GTM Research, Marketing Manager: 617.500.7764,
Shayle Kann, GTM Research, Senior Vice President: 617.500.4216,


~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at

Similar Topic in one of our previous posts: Are We Moving Fast Enough Toward Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass?

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20 August

Thank You, Jon Wellinghoff, For Clearing The Fog


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!


Thanks to our friends of the Nebraskans For Solar in sharing a very important link explaining why one of the country’s (USA’s) top regulators is so bullish on solar: FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff: Solar ‘Is Going to Overtake Everything

Sun Will Overtake Everything ( Generous Florida Sunshine, credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)


Chairman of the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), Jon Wellinghoff, is quite aware of the rapidly changing energy landscape. During a sideline conversation at the National Clean Energy Summit last week in Las Vegas, Jon Wellinghoff commented, “Solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything….if a single drop of water on the pitcher’s mound at Dodger Stadium is doubled every minute, a person chained to the highest seat would be in danger of drowning in an hour.” That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years. This phenomenon is also recently concluded by MJ Shiao of GTM (GreenTechMedia) Research. In the graph below, this phenomenon of doubling in the next 2 1/2 years, the U.S. will double its entire cumulative capacity of distributed solar–repeating in the span of a few short years what it took four decades to deploy…description of the behavior of an exponential curve:

Cumulative U.S. DG PV Installations at Year End, 2000-2015 (Chart: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight)

Wellinghoff continues, “…geothermal, wind, and other resources will supplement solar. But at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player. Every body’s roof is out there.” And other resources have not seen declining prices like solar has. He added, “Solar PV is $0.70 or $0.80 per watt to manufacture. Residential rooftop is $4 to $5 per watt. But they are going to drive that down to $2 and then to $1 per watt.” Wellinghoff also mentions that advanced storage technology also promises lower costs in the future. He said, “Once it is more cost-effective to build solar with storage than to build a combustion turbine or wind for power at night, that is ‘game over’. At that point, it will be all about consumer-driven markets.”

Wellinghoff emphasized, “Even though the FERC oversees wholesale markets, utilities, and other jurisdictional entities at the wholesale level, the consumers needs to be our major concern….if FERC does not ensure the grid is ready to integrate the growing marketplace demand for distributed solar and other distributed resources, we are going to have problems with grid reliability and overall grid costs.” Transmission infrastructure will be able to keep up with solar growth. The big changes will be at the distributed level where FERC has less influence, he explained. But the commission has been examining the costs and benefits of distributed generation (DG) in wholesale markets. “Rate structures need to be formulated in ways that fully recognize the costs and benefits of distributed resources. In many utility retail rates, a disproportionate amount of the fixed costs are recovered through a variable rate. That is problematic, when a lot of people go to distributed generation….the net metering controversy can only be solved by fully allocated, fully analyzed cost and benefit study of distributed resources….distributed solar can be captured and realized by the distribution utility that is not currently being paid to PV system owners because they have not been analyzed, quantified, and monetized.”

Below, a video of The Hill’s ‘Energy Efficiency, Reliability, and the Smart Grid’ Briefing, with Jon Wellinghoff:

Wellinghoff noted, The Crossborder Energy study in California concluded the benefits of DG are near retail rates, “If utilities say that study is wrong, let’s get their studies and the studies from the solar side, and let’s have a hearing, let’s have a full discovery, and let’s have a full litigated process. That’s what regulatory commissions at the federal and state levels are for, to put all that data on the table and see what the accurate answers are.”

Wellinghoff explained that FERC isn’t involved in that process because it is a retail rate issue. “But DG and distributed solar can be wholesale grid resources if a wholesale grid operator can access those resources and have some control over them. What FERC has to do is ensure these distributed systems get recognized and compensated and integrated into the wholesale grid.”

Introduction of more competition is definitely the goal Mr. Wellinghoff has in mind, “I would do a full analysis of anything not now competitive, like the distributed system, and then try to ensure I could recover costs in a way that adequately reflected all costs and benefits for all users….the sales of retail energy, capacity, and ancillary services should all be competitive and coupled with the wholesale grid….Consumers should have access to and be able to respond to five-minute wholesale prices. They should have the opportunity–not the requirement, but the opportunity –to respond to those prices and modify their loads and usage to lower their energy costs. The result would be an optimized use of the grid.”

To learn more about Jon Wellinghoff, please feel free to refer to links below:

  1. FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Stepping Down
  2. Departing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff: A Day in the Life of the Grid

I want to clarify: FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff submitted his resignation letter to President Barack Obama in May of 2013. A former Nevada utility regulator, Wellinghoff served as chairman of the energy panel since 2009 and has been a commission member since 2006. Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon says that Wellinghoff launched important investigations to protect consumers from manipulation of energy markets and pushed to increase renewable energy supplies.

Thank you, Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, for your clarity and effort! It is truly appreciated by us consumers and earthling.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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