Wow, there sure has been a lot of buzz going on in the world of sustainability the past few weeks! Looking back, when I created my major around Sustainable Development at the BDIC department at UMass Amherst in 2005 people thought I was nuts. Now, with the Paris talks wrapped up, the renewable ITC extension likely getting extended along with a likely lift to the cap for MA net-metering, I am very excited to implement my decade plus experience in renewable energy to the coming year.
Now, like every environmental step forward in the past – we cannot rest on our laurels. It is great to see so much collaboration, from the business world to the governments. From the talks, I like the focus on: investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future.
While we aren’t counting our eggs before they hatch, it is looking good to see some type of ITC extension. For those not familiar with the ITC, it rewards people/organizations that invest in renewable technology for their home/business/school/etc by giving a 30% tax credit to help significantly reduce the cost of the technology.
The proposed ITC extension will create a steady draw down that will allow the renewable industry a little more time to get established while helping a lot of clients along the way!
Similar to the ITC, lifting the cap on net metering isn’t official yet but it is looking very good! I just called my representative again today to let him know about my position on net metering, and was glad to hear there is a lot of positive buzz about the prospects of a bill getting passed soon.
Net metering is the process of allowing customers to get credit for the extra electricity put into the grid when it isn’t being used. What is great about solar and net metering, is that the most amount of energy from solar is produced in the middle of the day when demand is the highest. The extra kWh from solar actually helps stabilize the grid. Challenges arise when solar reaches more than 15% of production, where the night time electricity demand can be difficult to manage – which is the reason I am very excited about distributed battery technology, capturing the energy in the middle of the day from the sun and allowing customers to draw from it when needed – lot’s to talk about with this so I will leave this to a future post.
End of year!!!
Let’s plan and get focused for the coming year. Ideas and laws alone won’t help us realize the sustainable world we are seeking. It will take diligent effort from all of us to apply the benefits for renewables. If you haven’t had a solar audit for your home or business yet, contact Seth @: firstname.lastname@example.org; 508-436-4081