CleanTech OC Daily - 10/31/12

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Significant State Policies for Distributed Solar Energy
California is the poster child for the state policies that have helped them retain the top spot for US solar energy installations. To illustrate this fact, CleanTechLaw outlines the 10 most important state policy developments this year for California are:

·       The rate at which California continues to devise and implement renewable energy policies is impressive. Just last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed 19 laws that promote renewable energy, several of which apply directly to solar.

·       Even though community solar legislation has failed for now, its net-metering policy and California Solar Initiative (CSI) are encouraging more systems under 1 megawatt (MW), and its feed-in tariff (FiT) and Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) are helping streamline the procurement process for installations between 1 MW and 20 MW.

·       In May, California clarified its policy for how utilities calculate their limits on net-metering – effectively doubling the number of systems that can qualify. The FiT and RAM were also revised in the past year in response to market conditions and to provide more flexibility for developers.

·       And California continues to increase funding: $200 million was added to the CSI budget after the original money was spent, which will help grow on-site commercial projects, says IREC.

·       Why it matters: By continuing to scrutinize and modify various programs and policies as different sectors of the solar market evolve, and by implementing innovative changes to keep the state’s overall PV market healthy, California policymakers continue to lead by example, even amidst a strong but turbulent solar market.

The Great Transition, Part I: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy
The Earth Policy Institute has released Part I of The Great Transition, their account of the changes ahead with regard to the movement from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. In sum, each alternative energy source (solar, geothermal, or wind) will play a major role, but wind energy is likely to become the foundation for the future renewable-driven economy.

Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, said in a report released earlier this week that VC funding in wind energy increased from $17 million in three deals between April and June to $57 million in six deals in the next three months. Global venture capital funding in wind energy companies tripled in the 2012 third quarter since the preceding three months.

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