Two proposals unanimously passed by the legislature and signed into law earlier this month by Washington’s Governor, Christine Gregoire, should put distributed generation and renewable energy on the fast track in the state. The first bill (SB 5101) establishes a renewable energy production incentive that is larger if the equipment comes from in-state manufacturers. The second bill (SB 5111) provides corporate tax breaks for solar energy businesses in the state based on their sales.
In March 2005, the Energy Foundation released a study prepared for them by Navigant Consulting and Clean Energy Research. The study was completed in September 2004 and claims to be the first of its kind to do an assessement and estimate of the rooftop solar photovoltaic market potential on a state-by-state basis.
A new report by the Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council (PV-TRAC) reviews the current status of solar powered electricity and presents a vision of photovoltaic technology for 2030 and beyond. The report nicely summarizes the policies of EU member states that have encouraged solar powered distributed generation.
Internet users have a nice opportunity to tune in via the web on a pair of workshops set up to discuss issues related to combined heat and power (CHP) and distributed generation (DG) development in California.
UPDATE MAY 12, 2005: The webcasts of these two meetings don’t appear to be archived on the CEC web site. So we’ve added links below to the various presentations that the CEC has put online that came out of these meetings.
Under a law enacted in 2002, communities in California were alllowed to aggregate electric utility customers and take control over their electric system. Three years later, implementation plans are being developed or under consideration by about two dozen California cities.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission [OPUC] issued a report, "Distributed Generation in Oregon: Overview, Regulatory Barriers and Recommendations. The report describes how customers and utilities are using DG technologies, their benefits, as well as current and projected costs. This report stands out since very few states have devoted resources to investigate policy options to increase distributed generation.
In late February, California Governor Schwarzenegger’s office released the details of the California Million Solar Roofs bills (SB 1 and SB 1017). The two bills together will create a ten-year incentive program to help Californians install one million solar electric rooftops on homes and businesses throughout the state by 2018.
California’s Public Interest Energy (PIER) Program has received a final report that provides an analysis of the impacts, costs and timelines for distributed generation interconnection in California.
The new report, “Improving Interconnections in California”, covers four areas.