Community-solar industry shoots for 30 GW by 2030 – On Wednesday, a national coalition of companies and nonprofit groups announced a big vision for community solar in the U.S.: 30 gigawatts by 2030. That’s nearly six times the 5.3 gigawatts installed now. Community solar puts renewable power within reach of those who can’t install solar panels on their roofs. Users can instead subscribe to a part of an offsite array, and in return for the energy their portion of the array produces, earn credits that save them money on their electric bills. Community solar can especially benefit low-income households, Cramer said. These families spend a high proportion of their paychecks on electric bills: on average, almost three times (8.6 percent) what other households spend (3 percent), according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
US’ tax credit incentives for standalone energy storage begin new era – The Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives for energy storage projects in the US came into effect on 1 January 2023. Standout among those measures is the availability of an investment tax credit (ITC) for investment in renewable energy projects being extended to include standalone energy storage facilities. Alongside the rest of the act’s US$369 billion package of climate spending, the change has been forecast to transform the US clean energy industry, bringing certainty for investment into deployment as well as manufacturing. Previously, storage projects were only eligible for an ITC if paired directly with solar PV and the storage system charged directly from the solar. The standalone option now decouples developers from this need, opening the possibility of charging directly from the grid, and reducing the development timeline of storage projects, which require far less land than solar-plus-storage. Energy storage projects of 5kWh or more will be eligible.
U.S. Solar Manufacturing to Get $2.5 Billion Investment From South Korean Conglomerate – South Korea’s Hanwha Group plans to spend $2.5 billion to build an entire solar-manufacturing supply chain in Georgia, the biggest solar investment spurred so far by the massive tax incentives the U.S. introduced last year. The investment would allow the conglomerate’s Qcells unit to build new facilities in the Atlanta region that would manufacture 3.3 gigawatts of solar panels a year, the company said Wednesday, enough to supply around 18% of the estimated U.S. demand in 2022. Qcells would also produce on-site nearly all the main components that go into the panels, including solar cells, ingots and wafers—items not currently manufactured in the U.S. The investment would also be used to add 2 gigawatts of panel-making capacity to the 3.1 gigawatts Qcells already has at a different location in Georgia, the company said. It is starting construction at both sites in the next few months and hopes to have everything online within the next two years, said Scott Moskowitz, the company’s head of marketing strategy.