HVAC Breaking News

July 2, 2009: Electric Utilities Increase Adoption of Solar Power

July 2, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

WASHINGTON - The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released its 2008 Top Ten Utility Solar Integration Rankings report, which shows that utilities are making a major investment to increase the amount of solar energy in their power portfolios, with a number of utilities doubling the amount of solar power in their portfolio in just one year. The overall installed solar capacity of the top 10 ranked utilities rose from 711 megawatts to 882 megawatts, reflecting 25 percent growth. Ninety-two utilities participated in this year’s survey, an increase of more than 80 percent over last year, showing that the utility industry’s interest in solar power is substantially stronger.

“This year’s report demonstrates that solar electricity is finally on the radar screen of utilities across the country,” said Julia Hamm, executive director of the Solar Electric Power Association. “Solar plants large and small are ready for significant build-out, and the utility industry is moving quickly toward mass adoption to meet a variety of business needs.” Renewable portfolio standards, impending carbon policy, and fluctuating costs of power generation and fuel resources top the list of drivers towards improved utility perception of solar electric options, said SEPA.

The report documents a wave of utility-driven installations, pointing to the growing importance of utilities in the solar power market, and the growing importance of solar power to the business of utilities, said SEPA. Historically, the solar power market has been dominated by customer-driven installations.

“Residential and commercial photovoltaic projects will continue to be important stimulants for job creation and small business growth, but they will be complemented by large-scale photovoltaic and concentrating solar power projects,” said Mike Taylor, director of research and education at SEPA. “The variety of ways solar power is being implemented signals an increased maturity in the market.”

This year’s report shows that 2008 solar power growth came almost entirely from thousands of distributed generation projects, which grow more steadily and consistently than centralized plants. However, SEPA anticipates that in future years centralized solar electric plants will play an equal or larger role.

“Traditional fossil-fuel power plants come in two sizes, large and larger,” said Taylor. “The solar market is more vigorous, complex, and democratic because of the combination of distributed generation and large-scale projects.” Large-scale centralized solar plants are currently at an earlier stage of development with most large-scale projects in the contract or construction phase. SEPA said the solar industry is developing a robust foundation for the future by using a diversified approach of distributed and centralized projects owned by a variety of market players.

For more information, visit www.solarelectricpower.org.

Publication date: 06/29/2009

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson,an experienced trade school and community college instructor, discusses the HVAC industry and his column in The NEWS, ‘The Service Ticket.’ Listen now for a hint to the Not Enough Heat question from the Dec. 15 issue. Posted Jan. 30.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 01-26-15 cover

2015 January 26

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Regional Standards

With regional standards for a/c equipment going into effect in 2015, how do you think it will impact the industry?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

2015.jpg
2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con