Author Archive for John Neville

Community Solar

Why community shared solar is ready to be the ‘great equalizer’ A new NREL study explains what could open up the other half of the distributed solar market.

About half of all American rooftops are suited to solar installations and about 0.5% now have solar. That means solar could get up to 100 times bigger than it is now. But that’s not the big news in a just-released study.

The really big news is that community shared solar is poised to reproduce the sharp upward growth that the industry has seen over the last five to six years with solar leasing, according to researchers at the Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL). That would give the other half of households and small businesses the opportunity to buy in.

“This business model opens solar up to something like 100% of the market. Everyone. It is really an equalizer,” explained NREL Senior Financial Analyst David Feldman. “Solar has a lot of benefits but not everyone can take advantage of them right now. This business model provides that.”

New data in Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation makes it possible for a more accurate accounting of available roof space than the 23% to 29% estimate made in 2012, co-author Feldman said.

“A surprisingly large number of people and businesses can host a solar system,” Feldman said. “But there is a very large number who cannot.”

An estimated 49% of households and 48% of businesses are currently unable to host a PV system, the study finds. “By opening the market to these customers, shared solar could represent 32% to 49% of the distributed PV market in 2020, thereby leading to cumulative PV deployment growth in 2015 to 2020 of 5.5 GW to 11.0 GW, and representing $8.2–$16.3 billion of cumulative investment.” Read more…

Future of Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification

Independent Reports Reach Same Conclusions on the Future of Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification

Washington, D.C. (December 16, 2015): The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) released new reports today that analyze the current and future impacts of information and communications technologies (ICT) on evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) practices. EM&V demonstrates the value of energy efficiency programs by providing accurate, transparent, and consistent assessments of their performance. Both reports provide similar conclusions regarding the potential of advanced data analytics and the availability of data to provide more timely feedback on program results and efficacy, and reduce costs associated with EM&V. 

The ACEEE report illustrates the potential of ICT to not only sustain the existing efficiency program models, but to transform them,” said Ethan Rogers, senior manager of the Industrial Program at ACEEE. “Programs may look very different in the future as a result of our ability to collect and analyze energy performance in near real-time.”

The NEEP Changing EM&V Paradigm report presents the potential for how advanced data collection and analytic tools can increasingly support EM&V activities, and provides guidance on key opportunities and challenges in advancing the use of automated measurement,” said NEEP Regional EM&V Forum director Julie Michals.

Both reports focus on the ability of ICT to support and improve existing EM&V practices, as well as create new methods that can be built into an efficiency program’s design. One important advance is the use of comparison groups of customers that are not participating in a program but are similar in their energy use to those that are. Automated and advanced analysis of comparison groups with program participants improves the accuracy and timeliness of energy savings reports, allowing programs to scale more easily and at lower costs. Read More→