Puerto Rico shines a bright light on the shortcomings of the world’s electricity infrastructure

On August 7, 2018, an untrimmed tree fell on an electrical transmission line in Puerto Rico, leaving 130,000 people in San Juan without power for an hour and a half. Big deal, right? When compared to the immense and long-lasting damage done to the island’s grid by Hurricane Maria the year before, a brief power… Read More

California just required solar on all new houses – will the world follow?

California just made a huge commitment to Local Energy. On May 9,  California’s Energy Commission (CEC) unanimously passed a groundbreaking new building standard. Starting in 2020, all new homes in the state must be built with solar panels. Yes, that’s right. In California, residential solar is now required by law. How does the new building standard work?… Read More

Three months into Trump’s solar tariffs – are the promised new jobs in sight?

On February 7, 2018, the U.S. tariffs on imported silicon solar technology went into effect. As we approach the three month anniversary, what, if anything, has happened as a result? A quick history lesson on the US solar tariffs Let’s step back for a brief history lesson. In the spring of 2017, the two largest… Read More

Russia has infiltrated the US electric grid – is this our doomsday nightmare?

  “There is no backup system to the grid.” – Gretchen Bakke from her book, The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future On March 15, 2018, the US government made a chilling announcement. Russian hackers have been successfully infiltrating the US electric grid over the last year, maybe longer. While rumors have been… Read More

How did CEO Chandu Visweswariah take Utopus Insights from clean energy startup to $100M acquisition in 12 months?

On February 2, 2018, US$12 billion wind turbine giant, Vestas, acquired New York startup, Utopus Insights, for $100M in cash. Utopus provides several products including predictive analytic software tools that help utilities manage intermittent energy sources like wind. This is a behind the scenes story of the Utopus CEO… Chandu Visweswariah is one of the… Read More

The market has spoken – clean energy just became the cheapest source of electricity

Spreadsheets, analysis, and predictions are all great. But nothing compares to the free market if you want to really understand the trajectory of clean energy pricing. A recent bidding process for utility giant, Xcel Energy, just rocked the industry. Bids for clean energy projects including solar, wind, and batteries, came in lower than anything ever… Read More

The Trump administration slaps a 30% tariff on all imported solar

After months of paralyzing uncertainty, President Trump’s staff announced their decision on solar tariffs today. Here is a high-level overview: Quick Facts Imported solar is subject to a 30% tariff The tariff amount will reduce 5% per year over 4 years to 15% The first 2.5 GW of solar cells imported each year will not… Read More