“There was a big solar boom in the 80s, and then it fell apart, and then a boom in the 90s, and then it fell apart. This latest solar boom really has not fallen apart despite oil really coming down in cost, and I think the market finally evolved.”

– Matt James, managing partner at investment firm Roundrock Capital Partners, on the market maturation of the solar industry and the financial community’s increasing comfort level in large-scale, securitized investments.

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“[Clean coal] is a spin that just isn’t going to work.”

– Jon Davies, president of coal-industry PR firm Davies Public Affairs, speaking at a coal marketing conference in Pittsburgh

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“[Rural electric] cooperatives that project a negative view of renewables are really taking a risk of being out of sync with their members.”

– Tom Laing, a vice president with Touchstone Energy’s market research organization, on the results of a nationwide survey of customers showing strong support for renewable energy

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“[The grid is] moving away from a passive to an active grid … solar, wind and electrical storage devices, power that not only flows from the utility to the customer, but now from the customer back to the utility.”

– Steve Griffith, of the National Electrical Manufacturing Association on the expected rapid growth of microgrids

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“In the five stages of grief, we’re past denial. Now we’re into anger, depression and bargaining — and the bargaining is trying to figure out what the new normal is and how to make this work.”

– University of Wyoming energy economics professor Robert Godby, quoted in a Bloomberg story on the impacts of the coal industry’s decline on his state.

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“[A]ny investors basing their investment decisions on coal and gas continuing to be the cheapest source of electricity could be deeply misguided.”

– From an analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative showing that the global average levelized cost of energy for renewables is now below fossil fuels, even without subsidies.

Source: Carbon Tracker Initiative

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Brits OK world’s biggest offshore wind farm

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The British government has approved construction of what will likely be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm 55 miles off the English coast. The Hornsea Project Two farm will have up to 300 turbines and a total capacity of 1.8 gigawatts, enough energy to power...
“If all the benefits are accounted for, distributed solar will be recorded as the least-cost technology. But we have utilities trying to deny the benefits of solar.”

– Kris Mayes, former Arizona Corporation Commission member, on an ACC docket looking at the value of solar

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“Stuff is getting cheaper. You can’t hold back the tide of renewable energy. The dam is about to break.”

– Chris Riley, president of Guzman Energy, whose company is challenging the utility status quo by offering customers flexible, market-based contracts that it says avoid the inefficiencies of owning generating assets.

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“Having more wind and solar in the grid, they’re going to act to keep energy market prices down.
It’s a market transformation, and it’s not a temporary phenomenon.”

– David Schlissel of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis on the trends making Texas coal-fired power plants uneconomic to run.

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“Utility-scale solar is now spreading to the Southeast, to Texas, and we are even seeing reasonably priced projects in the Upper Midwest, in states like Minnesota and Michigan.”

– Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researcher Mark Bolinger commenting in Utility Dive on a report he authored on the trend of solar gaining a foothold across all parts of the United States.


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