Market Analysis Insights

Bethany K Speer's picture

Connecticut’s Solar Lease Program Demonstrates High Borrower Fidelity

Third-party financing has become the mechanism for funding solar at the residential level in many markets. For example, third-party financed systems—which can include solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and solar leases—are reported to have made up two-thirds of installations in the California market during the first half of 2012 [1].

Bethany K Speer's picture

Municipal Bond - Power Purchase Agreement Model Continues to Provide Low-Cost Solar Energy

The municipal bond–power purchase agreement (PPA) model might not have just rolled off the lot, but it still has that new car smell. A former NREL colleague first looked into this unique third-party ownership–public debt hybrid financing model last year.

Bethany K Speer's picture

Community Development Financial Institutions – Providing Clean Energy Capital

Oftentimes, larger institutions do not finance small renewable energy and energy efficiency projects due to their lack of scale and higher risk profile. But, this is exactly the niche community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are filling by making it possible for small developers, businesses, and underserved homeowners to finance clean energy projects.

Bethany K Speer's picture

Worth the Trouble: New Market Tax Credits

The investment tax credit (ITC), production tax credit (PTC), and 1603 Treasury cash grant get a lot of attention for their importance in spurring renewable energy project development. But they have a less-prominent sister incentive: new markets tax credit (NMTC).

Bethany K Speer's picture

How the U.S. Geothermal Market Is and Is Not Growing

Apparently little happened in the way of new, operational geothermal plants in 2011, if you look at the Geothermal Energy Association's 2012 annual Power Production and Development report [1]. Although the United States remains in the lead globally in terms of installed capacity with 3,187 MW, only 91 MW of additional capacity came on line last year (not subtracting

Bethany K Speer's picture

Falling Short: Federal Contract Limits Impact on Solar Deployment

Federal agencies have access to a contracting mechanism that can potentially make the cost of solar energy the same amount or less than buying regular electricity from their utility in areas with attractive incentives, high electricity costs and/or an excellent solar resource: the on-site renewable power purchase agreement (PPA).

Bethany K Speer's picture

The Heat Is On with Great Britain's New Feed-in Tariff Policy

Feed-in tariffs are traditionally associated with investments in renewable electricity systems, but a recently implemented FIT program in the U.K. specifically targets renewable energy heat, such as solar thermal or geothermal heat pumps.

Bethany K Speer's picture

Solar PV Quality Assurance from the Developer’s Perspective

This past July in San Francisco, some 150 manufacturers, solar PV technical experts, developers, and insurers met at the International Solar PV Module Quality Assurance Forum to discuss quality assurance (QA) for solar PV modules and systems.  This blog provides an introduction to the topic and the developers' perspective on it.

Bethany K Speer's picture

An Insurance Alternative: Captive Insurance Companies (CICs) for Renewables

Mid- to large-size renewable energy developers and manufacturers concerned about the cost of insurance and warranty premiums may have another option: captive insurance companies (CICs). 
 

Bethany K Speer's picture

The New(er) Kids on the Block: Community Choice Aggregators

Many rightly assume they can only buy electricity from their local utility, or in deregulated markets through competitive service providers.  However, there’s a relatively new kid on the (energy) block: community choice aggregators (CCAs).