Energy secretary talks U.S. plan to boost solar production – The Biden administration announced a series of actions to reignite the country’s solar energy industry. The president waived tariffs for two years on solar imports from four Asian countries. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to boost American solar panel manufacturing and other clean energy technologies. The administration says it can triple solar energy manufacturing in the U.S. by 2024.

Guidehouse: VPP-enabled distributed energy storage deployment to reach 3GW by 2030 – Annual deployments of distributed energy storage connected to virtual power plants (VPP) are expected to reach 3GW by 2030, according to research firm Guidehouse Insights. The VPP Applications for Distributed Energy Storage report expects annual installations of VPP-enabled distributed energy storage (DES) to grow by an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% over the decade, from 288.1MW installed last year to 3GW by 2030.“As distributed energy markets increasingly become more connected and designed with intelligent management technology, more DER (distributed energy resource) deployments are anticipated to have VPP capabilities at the ready,” said Maria Chavez, research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. The company expects the proportion of DES deployments that are VPP-enabled to be over one-fifth by the end of the decade. It defines VPPs as systems that rely on software and a smart grid to remotely and automatically dispatch DER flexibility services to distribution or wholesale markets, via an aggregation and optimization platform. Guidehouse anticipates that the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe markets will completely dominate the VPP-enabled DES market by 2030. Asia Pacific will account for around 40% of the 3GW deployment figure, North America around 35% and Europe 25%, the report said.

FERC has a new plan to connect clean energy to the grid more quickly – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unveiled a new plan to speed up and streamline what’s become a slow and expensive process of connecting new solar, wind and battery projects to U.S. transmission grids. Years-long waiting times and potentially project-killing grid-upgrade costs are preventing hundreds of gigawatts’ worth of clean energy projects from being connected to U.S. power grids. These snarled-up interconnection processes are threatening to drive up energy prices and reduce grid reliability and have become major barriers to building the carbon-free resources needed to forestall the most catastrophic harms of climate change. FERC proposed a host of major regulatory changes meant to unclog these bottlenecks. The proposed rules would require transmission grid operators, transmission-owning utilities and energy project developers alike to take on new responsibilities, with the potential for financial penalties if they fail to do so.