Solar industry continues to surge in 2015
According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. solar industry will continue to grow and break records in 2015 as solar photovoltaic installations now exceed 20 gigawatts in capacity. Growth could surpass an unprecedented 7 gigawatts this year alone, across all segments, according to the report.
The new report covers the second quarter of 2015, which set a new record for residential rooftop solar installations (a category that saw 70 percent year-over-year growth).
On top of that, the residential market is diversifying, with 10 states each installing more than 10 MW in the quarter. This shows significant growth from the same quarter of 2013 when only 4 states installed that much residential solar.
The non-residential market finished the quarter down 33 percent from the same period last year. However, the ongoing growth of community solar across the U.S., along with improving market dynamics in several states and continued financial innovation, suggest stronger growth in this segment in the second half of 2015 and beyond.
According to the report, 729 MW of utility-scale solar PV came on-line in the second quarter of the year, representing more than half - 52 percent - of the nation’s quarterly total. With the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) scheduled to drop at the end of 2016, utility-scale development is at an all-time high with more than 5 GW of capacity currently under construction.
“The utility PV market continues to be the bedrock driver of new installation growth. And in the second half of this year through 2016, growth will reach new heights as a higher share of what comes online stems from projects procured purely based on centralized solar’s cost competitiveness,” said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, in the report.
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Overall, the growth boom is being fueled by a combination of declining costs, low interest rates, and a federal solar investment tax credit, the report suggests.
“For comparison, according to the Department of Energy, the wind industry in the U.S. recently reached 66 gigawatts of installed capacity, with 13 more gigawatts expected to come online by the end of 2016. Overall, the U.S. had over 1000 gigawatts of electricity capacity installed as of the year 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” wrote The Washington Post. “So, while still a minority of all electricity generation, wind and solar are, nonetheless, growing more and more significant on a national scale.”
[SOURCE: The Washington Post]
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.