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Solar DAO Has Enough Power To Redesign The Grid With New Partner

31.08.2018 — 0

Solar DAO, the world’s first digital, autonomous, closed-end, utility-scale PV project investment fund, has declared the partnership with the Powerchain project – a decentralized platform for energy storage that allows everyone to store electricity, transfer it within the network, or trade it. The companies intend to popularize using alternative energy sources and change the conventional and inefficient energy management system by using innovative technologies together.

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The main advantage of the companies’ cooperation will become the adoption of energy storage systems to stabilize power consumption during peak loads. It also allows to regulate alternative sources generation, that is a great avail for the Solar DAO members. Now the bad weather will not affect consumers. The Solar DAO team sees the great potential in energy storage systems and the crucial importance of their development. These systems must greatly change the electricity market in the next 4-8 years.

Powerchain offers for installation an innovative kinetic energy storage, developed by its partner company, Kinetic. The accumulator allows to balance up to 90% of the capacity of platforms participants. The system is also able to:

  1. Remember the indicators of actually produced energy,
  2. Compare them with calculated data in kW/h,
  3. Draw a conclusion about the level of energy storage and its optimal distribution between storage devices and consumers to minimize transport losses and costs for generation.

Solar DAO plans to closely integrate with the platform. Perhaps its projects will work on the Powerchain platform or the company will make its own platform, that will interact with the Powerchain.

According to GOTOSOLAR, a Solar DAO project operator and owner, the strong partnership among the Solar DAO and the Powerchain should increase demand for SDAO tokens and give them significant functionality. It will probably be possible to distribute part of the Powerchain tokens (POWECs) to the SDAO tokenholders.

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IRENA renewable economy report 2017. Key findings

15.01.2018 — 0

A fresh report on the economy of renewable energy was presented at the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Briefly about it.

IRENA presented a graph that shows the averaged world data on the cost of electricity:

Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database.

The circles designate the projects in a particular area of renewable energy.

As we can see, most of the projects are still in the cost category of traditional fossil fuel energy, marked by a dark horizontal stripe. Best results are shown by Solar Energy projects.

Solar Energy main points

  • Fall in electricity costs from utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects from 2010 to 2017. The global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of utility- scale solar PV has fallen** 73%, to $0.10/kWh**.
  • Record low auction prices for solar PV in Dubai, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia in 2016 and 2017 confirm that the LCOE can be reduced to USD 0.03/kWh from 2018.
  • By 2020, many Solar PV and Wind generation projects will produce the cheapest electricity on earth.
  • 81% decrease in solar PV module prices since the end of 2009.
  • Total installed cost for utility-scale Solar PV projects is noted in $1388/kW:

  • The global weighted average** capacity factor of utility-scale PV systems** increased by 28% between 2010 and 2017, from an average of 13.7% to 17.6%.

In general, the report is very informative. We advise everyone to get acquainted with it.

Stay with the Solar DAO and become part of the green future!

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Fueling Development: what Solar Energy can do to fight energy poverty

02.11.2017 — 0

Learn how solar companies and governments are helping developing countries to fight fuel poverty.

According to Nick Butler, an FT columnist, for one person in six, worldwide energy is not a tradeable commodity but a matter of survival. More importantly, it takes the form not of electricity from the grid or petrol from the pump but wood or dung collected by hand.

Today 17% of global population lack access to electricity, and 38% lack clean cooking facilities. Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development; and yet globally 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity and more than 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia, and around 80% are in rural areas.

**Picture credit: **http://www.theenergycollective.com/roman-kilisek/363886/tackling-energy-poverty-renewables

**Energy access **is about providing modern energy services to everyone around the world. The IEA defines these services as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses). Although already in 2014 global electrification reached 85.3% in 2014, over 1 billion people still do not have electricity. Some countries made rapid progress, including Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, and Rwanda. Others, such as Afghanistan and Cambodia, are progressing rapidly by making greater use of off-grid solar energy, underscoring how new technologies can drive progress.

Some of these countries also experience rapid population growth, especially in Sub-Saharian Africa, which makes the modest progress in terms of the living conditions negligible. The IEA predicts that even in 2030 almost a billion people will still be lacking electricity, and this figure could be even higher if the population growth in India and Africa continues at the same pace.

In general, energy and fuel poverty follow poverty as such, so energy access is related to socio-economic modernization of the countries. In general, modernization, or development, means a transition to better living and governance standards, from an agrarian to an industrial economy, in parallel with urbanization and a demographic shift — from high birth rates and high mortality to modest population growth and low mortality. Moreover, historically the countries who modernized successfully have been equipped with country-wide electric grids. Remember Vladimir Lenin’s famous words that socialism is the power of Soviets and electrification of the whole country. Whatever the historical record of the Leninist-style socialism, it has undoubtedly been an effective development project that pushed many countries of the global periphery from poverty to industrial economies with modern living standards.

For those countries who modernized after the Second World War, electrification is no longer an issue. However, for the poor countries of the bottom billion that currently lack any infrastructure, industrial electrification might not be an option. This is not only because it is unsustainable, but also because it requires massive investments and consolidated political effort, both of which are often lacking in Sub Saharian Africa and other similar countries of the Global South.

This is not to say that governments cannot use the proven industrial modernization scenario. Thus, China has succeeded in lifting hundreds of millions out poverty and subsistence in the recent decades. However, China is currently a leading player on the global solar market, because the resources of the 20th-century-style industrial modernization — including energy modernization — are limited.

But what to do in the countries with weak governments, poor population and lacking infrastructure? Where millions of people are living in energy poverty, relying on an excessive use of kerosene which is dangerous to both their lives and their environment, and also quite expensive? In such conditions, energy modernization might take another route, skipping the industrial stage — large scale fossil fuels power generation — in an attempt to start with a greener, renewable technology provided by private companies.

How to do this? Butler writes that

“Of course money matters, but this is not particularly about aid. The challenge is much more about organisation to give people the opportunity to use the technology that is already available. A crucial element is finding a viable financial mechanism that can help families and villages to get the equipment and to pay back the cost out of the revenue it can generate. This is a matter of spreading risk, creating revenue flows and of developing a system to collect payments in communities completely unaccustomed to financial transactions”.

**Picture credit: **https://www.odi.org/coal-and-poverty-faq-energy-access

Fueling Development: Solar Companies Off Grid

In East Asia, 27 million people live without electricity. Every year they are compelled to literally burn $3 billion in kerosene equivalent, living in complete absence of electrical grid. To heat their homes and cook food, they have no other choice but to buy large quantities of kerosene, unsafe batteries, and other unsustainable and dangerous devices. That is the problem Solar Home, a solar energy startup, intends to solve.

SolarHome installs integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes, and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. For people living in developing countries and suffering not only from “conventional” poverty, but also from fuel poverty, contemporary renewable energy generation systems are not an option, because of their unbearable costs. Even the cheapest ones require at least $100, which way too much for a one-time payment for many people living in poverty.

https://solar-home.asia

Solar Home offers a more flexible payment model, similar to conventional loans, but integrated into the technical system itself. Basically, a user pays only when he or she needs energy, be it every day, every week or every month. In about 2 years since the beginning the payments will be covered, and the users acquire the ownership of the system. Since the majority of the population earn $85 a month (on average), they can afford payments ranging from $3 to $15. Solar Home expects 10’000 of such systems to be installed next year.

The company aims to address 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar.

In Africa, similar issues are getting solved by a similar startup company called Off-Grid Electric. The company plans to equip 1 million of rural African homes with cheap solar panels, costing $6 for the installation. The monthly payment will be not much higher than the initial installation price, so that 600 million of people living without electricity in Africa will be able to afford it. In 2016, the company won the prestigious Zayeed Future Energy Award in small and medium-sized business (SME) category.

**Picture credit: **http://offgrid-electric.com

Similarly to Solar Home, Off-Grid Electric utilizes the pay-as-you-go business model. The solar panels costing $6 are affordable and can provide enough electricity to power simple home appliances like lighting, TV, and radio. After the installation is completed, the users rely on the mobile platform called M-Power to pay the monthly rate of $6-$15, depending on the amount of electricity consumed. With the solar panels comes an individual meter, a pack of LED lighters, and a mobile phone charger.

Off-Grid Electric is already operating in Tanzania and plans to expand in Rwanda and elsewhere. Currently it operates 50’000 homes monthly.

From Firms to Policies: The Indian Case

Some of the energy issues faced by developing countries might be solved by more conventional means. For example, the Manchester-based company Inventid started the production of lamps based on solar batteries to be sold by $5 each. The idea is to sell them in African countries that face electricity problems. The project is co-sponsored by the Chinese company Yingli and the charity organization Solar Aid. The product has been tested by 9’000 of African families, successfully. The solar bulb is quite flexible and can be used in many everyday life contexts: it could be installed onto different surfaces, tied to a bicycle, used at home or as a torch. A fully charged battery is capable of working for 8 hours.

Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, started 16 billion rupees (1.8 billion of Euros) electrification programme called Saubhagya Yojna that is expected to have provided all households in the country with electricity by the end of 2018. The policy initiative will involve more than 40 millions families in both rural and urban India, which is roughly equivalent to one fourth of the country’s population. BBC and PV Tech have reported on this programme recently.

About 300 million of Indians are still living without electricity and access to the grid. The programme is intended to help them, and is financed through the federal budget. The primary beneficiaries are poor families and household spread all over the country, but mostly clustering in the rural areas where the electrification coefficient is the lowest.

The Indian government have been active on this policy arena in the recent years, having started a similar programme called DDUGJY that connected thousands of villages to the electric grid. Although similar in terms of intentions, Saubhagya Yojna targets separate households as opposed to villages, and has an explicit emphasis on green energy. Since many Indians still rely on kerosene to provide heat and power to their homes, the programme will make their power supply significantly safer, promote usage of more sustainable appliances based on solar batteries, and reduce carbon emissions.

This will both help India achieve its green targets and increase the quality of life in the distant villages that are difficult to connect to the power grid. More specifically, the programme will supply the unelectrified homes with solar batteries of 200–300 W capacity with an accumulator and other necessary tools. The beneficiary families will be guaranteed a right to maintenance services for the next 5 years, free of charge.

Power transforms lives in many ways. Households can have access to clean water, and communications systems can link the most remote villages to web-based health systems. Most important of all, accessible power can help create productive enterprises and the potential for exchange and trade, as Butler concludes in his article.

Since most of the future growth of energy business will be clustered in the emerging markets, including the poor countries, solar companies might be a viable option to fight energy poverty there. One of the challenges to make solar energy a means for development is creating viable financial mechanisms — and this is whatSolar DAO is doing. We will write more about energy poverty and how solar energy can beat it; meanwhile, support us and stay tuned.

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Energy Density: The Advantage of Solar Photovoltaics

02.11.2017 — 0

In 2015, Oxford University Press published a book by Michael E. Mackay called *Solar Energy: An Introduction. *The title is full of valuable insights, one of them being the idea of energy density comparisons.

As Mackay writes, quite rightly, besides governmental subsidies and support policies, energy technology have been aided as they develop their inherent technology and become increasingly more efficient, as well as to develop the infrastructure required for widespread use.

If any given technology is to succeed in a market that has robust technologies already in place, with an infrastructure which is already developed, then some help will be required.”

**Picture credit: **https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Energy-Introduction-Michael-Mackay/dp/0199652112

In particular, research and development effort will be needed to optimize the production and use of solar energy. While in the U.S. such research was curtailed in the 1980s as a result of a policy decision, terrestrial solar energy has become the main topic after 2000 and has continued to grow. We have written about it before as well. Mackay certainly has a point when he writes that while scientific discoveries are needed, good engineering as well as manufacturing expertise must be pursued to ensure the success and integration of solar into energy industry. When it comes to engineering, however, some specific measurements need to be taken into account. One of them is energy density.

What is the power density, in terms of energy produced per unit area, of various energy technologies?

Consider biofuels first. Here one can measure energy density in terms of how much energy can be derived from each acre of crop that can be fermented into bioethanol. Corn is a very efficient crop to produce ethanol. Corn can be produced to yield 150 bushels per acre and 2.5 gallons of ethanol can be obtained from a bushel of corn. So, one can obtain 375 gallons of ethanol per acre. The energy content of ethanol is 89 MJ/gallon and if we assume there is one crop per year then the energy density is only 0.25 W/m2, quite low.

**Corn-based ethanol production. Picture credit: **https://www.e-education.psu.edu/egee439/node/673

Compare this to the areal power density supplied by the Sun. Here power density can be defined as the number of watts generated per unit area. The Sun can produce much more power per unit area, even at a conservative estimate of 500 W/m2, and dividing by two to account for day–night cycles, one has 250 W/m2. Assuming the solar device is only 10% efficient then there is 25 W/m2 available and this power is 100 times more dense than for bioethanol.

Similar measures can be artificially constructed to compare biofuel, solar, and other power generation technologies such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Mackay supplies the reader with the following table, where the contemporary energy consumption in a year for the USA was used to find a power and was then divided the area of the continental USA (8.08×1012 m2) to determine the power density.

**Areal power density of various energy technologies. Adopted from Mackay M.E. Solar Energy: An Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2015. P. 10.

Looking at this table, Mackay arrives at the following conclusion:

“This is an interesting comparison of power densities as none approach that of the Sun. If you are an engineer, and you were to start an energy infrastructure, which technology would you choose? Clearly the answer is solar energy since it is of order one-hundred times more dense (at today’s usage level) than the others. Even if we increased the use of petroleum, natural gas and coal by a factor of ten (a chilling thought in terms of CO2 emissions) their density is still a fraction of solar energy’s. This calculation shows that even at 10% efficiency the Sun can produce a lot of energy.”

The other obvious and well-known advantage of solar photovoltaics is that it is capable of producing the direct current (DC). Since digital devices ultimately use low voltage DC (LVDC) power, in a contemporary house full of smartphones, laptops, cameras and other appliances, AC is passed through a transformer-rectifier that converts it into DC. In that sense, photovoltaics-generated energy can be used directly at home to power digital devices at a reduced cost.

On the contrary, coal, nuclear energy and natural gas produce heat that boils water to generate high pressure steam that turns a turbine. The latter is connected to a generator that has a shaft with permanent magnets on it that rotates within wound wires, so that the rotating magnetic field produces AC within the wires. That’s electrical power is generated today for the most part. Even solar photovoltaic plants have to use inverters in order to be able to sell electricity to the grid.

However, this is clearly much less sustainable way of generating power, which means that even the World Wide Web is not a green technology after all! Solar PV could make it greener by powering not only digital devices, but also the data centers and servers to which the Internet infrastructure is tied.

In other words, it is not only because sustainability has become a buzzword in the recent years, that solar energy growth worldwide. In addition to be cost-competitive with traditional power sources, it is also a fitting engineering option in many contexts. Stay tuned to learn more and contribute to solar energy development — with Solar DAO.

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Envisioning the Future: Four Mind Blowing Infographics about Renewable Energy

30.09.2017 — 0

Our choice from the excellent collection by Futurist.com

Even if we talk about certain events that are likely to occur within our lifetime, we need special tools to envision the unknown. Infographics can be of great help here. Look at the four great examples chosen by Solar DAO from the huge collection powered by Futurist.com

1. Fusion Energy

Fusion is the source of energy of the Sun and the stars. Theoretically, if reproduced here on Earth, it could provide us with a clean, cheap and potentially inexhaustible source of power. At the moment, there are a few research and development projects aiming to make it happen. For example, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is a collaborative research project that strives to create a 500 MW fusion power facility in France. Find out what is fusion, how to reproduce it on a small scale, and who is working hard to do that as you read this, in the beautiful infographic here:

https://futurism.com/images/fusion-energy-a-practical-guide-infographic/

2. Technological Fixes for Climate Change

We know climate change is ongoing and dangerous. Perhaps not in our lifetime, but it will certainly make life on Earth less pleasant for our children. Renewable energy projects, including Solar DAO, are not just making profits, but also intend to slow down the climate change by suggesting sustainable energy solutions. There are some more radical ways to do so, however. One of them is geoengineering — the act of making compensatory changes to the Earth’s climate to reverse the damage that has already been done. Find out what the climate change issues are, and how to reengineer the Earth’s climate by geoengineering here: https://futurism.com/images/technological-fixes-for-climate-change/

3. The Rise of Vertical Farms

In the early 20th century, utopian writers and artists predicted that in the future humans will live in vertical towns. That means, the human habitat will no longer be spread thinly across territories but, instead, as the Earth’s population will increase, we will live and work in huge skyscrapers far above the surface of the planet. Today, this vision is gradually becoming a reality. One of the signs of this process is the rise of the vertical farms, powered by solar panels located on the very top of them. Vertical farms are now working in Singapore, Japan, and the U.S. Vertical farms make agriculture renewable, allow for efficient use of the urban space, are weatherproof and increase water conservation, as well as increase yield and make it not dependent on seasons. Look how vertical farms look like: https://futurism.com/images/the-rise-of-vertical-farms-infographic/

4. The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm

Picture from https://www.hexapolis.com/

Solar plants don’t need to be installed on ground only. Sometimes it is reasonable to use the huge open spaces of water — that is, to build floating solar plants. This is a rather expensive choice compared to traditional on-ground designs, but it pays off in many cases by greatly increasing useful area of solar panels exposed to the sun. In Netherlands, the Rotterdam port authority is working on such a project. However, the largest scale of floating solar plant construction projects is based in Japan, where, following the Fukushima disaster, Japan has turned attention to the most innovative options for renewable energy. The Yamakura Dam is the embodiment of Japan’s green ambition, scheduled to completion in 2018. Once commissioned, it will be the world’s largest floating solar farm. A joint venture of Kyocera TCL Solar Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, the construction of the Dam started in late 2015. Find out how it will look like and how huge the scale is here: https://futurism.com/images/the-worlds-largest-floating-solar-farm-infographic/

Let’s hope Solar DAO****will have its deserved place in such infographic collections someday. Meanwhile, stay tuned and help us make it truly legendary!

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Renewable Energy Support Policies

05.08.2017 — 0

Renewable energy support policies and how Solar DAO use them to achieve Project goals. World’s renewable energy support policies overview.

Solar DAO is a closed-end, blockchain-based investment fund created to finance construction of PV solar plants around the world.

Solar DAO offers a new financial tool that allows everyone to participate in financing the construction and management of solar parks worldwide, constantly expanding their capacity. Solar DAO will be financed through the ICO for tokens that will grant access to the project’s 100% profit through dividends distribution. The preliminary ICO closes on August 31st.

A significant part of the Solar DAO opportunity is renewable energy support policies that are currently implemented in the most countries of the world. These policies include governmental regulations and fiscal incentives that make investing into PV solar plants construction so attractive.

This brief overview will guide you through the world’s renewable energy support policy landscape, stressing the most relevant policy measures.

Support policy measures

Most nation-states in the world support renewable energy through different policy measures. These may include, for example, public funding of R&D to encourage the development of enabling technologies, like smart grids or energy efficient homes. On the demand side, governments attempt to regulate energy behavior of businesses and individual consumers, by introducing energy consumption quotas and net metering.

The most important and widespread measure, however, is to support renewable energy generation through regulations and direct financial incentives (e.g. subsidies, tax credits etc). According to the recent report by REN21, in 2016, like in past years, most of the global policy efforts in support of renewable energy were targeted at power generation. This aspect is also the most relevant in the case of PV solar plants.

(A) Solar panels. (B) Inverter system. (C) Central grid.

A classification of policies

Depending on the authority that designs and implements policies, the latter could be national or subnational (regional, city-level, etc). Accordingly, all such policies can be roughly divided into two broad categories.

  1. First, there is** regulation,** implying the state’s rule-making activities. These may include designing tariffs, setting energy consumption quotas, net metering, etc.
  2. Second, states or subnational authorities may provide direct financial incentives to change energy behavior of businesses and individuals, as well as subsidize renewable energy producers.
  3. Third, there are energy efficiency targets — official commitments in the form of a plan or a set of goals to be achieved by a government at the local, national, or regional level. Energy efficiency targets imply that certain amount of energy efficiency is to be achieved by a predetermined future date. This can be done by different means and can sometimes be backed by specific compliance mechanisms or policy support measures.

The following list summarizes different kinds of policies currently being implemented across the world.

Regulatory policies, fiscal incentives, and energy efficiency targets

1. Feed-in tariff / Feed-in premium payment

The most important policy instrument in the field of PV solar plants construction. A feed-in tariff, also known as FiT, typically guarantees renewable energy generators specified payments per unit over a fixed period of time. For example, a PV solar plant selling electricity to the grid will be guaranteed a specific amount of USD per kWh generated. Accordingly, feed-in tariffs may also establish regulations which allow energy generators to connect and sell power to the grid. The payment may be structured as a guaranteed minimum price or as a premium paid on top of the wholesale electricity price (feed-in premium).

2. Electric utility quota obligation/ RPS Net metering

A measure that requires designated parties (consumers, suppliers, generators) to meet a certain energy efficiency target (initially set up at a specific minimum and gradually increasing). Similar quota obligations also exist in different other spheres, such as transport and heat generation. Mandates may include certain specific energy efficiency portfolio standards (EEPS) or renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS). These refer to the obligations to use a predetermined minimum targeted renewable share of installed capacity, or electricity or heat generated or sold, and may also include penalties for non-compliance.

3. Tradable REC

The RECs are renewable energy certificates awarded to certify the generation of one unit of renewable energy (typically 1 MWh of electricity or heat). Certificates can be accumulated to meet renewable energy obligations and also provide a tool for trading among consumers and/or producers. They also are a means of enabling purchases of voluntary green energy.

4. Tendering / Reverse auctions

Tenders are procurement mechanisms whereby energy supply or capacity is competitively solicited from sellers. The sellers offer bids at the lowest price acceptable for them. Bids may also be evaluated by other factors (i.e. not related to the price)

Fiscal incentives and public financing

  1. Investment or production tax credits
  2. Reductions in sales, energy, VAT or other taxes
  3. Energy production payment
  4. Public investment, loans, grants, capital subsidies or rebates

Energy efficiency targets

Energy efficiency targets are the primary means for a government to express its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. As of year-end 2016, renewable energy targets were in place in 176 countries. Compared to policies or fiscal incentives, targets are a “softer” means to promote renewable energy. However, they do provide important signals to investors, producers and other market participants, implying the country’s readiness to support renewable energy. In some cases they work so well that become outdated too quickly: for example, in Europe solar photovoltaics has already exceeded its both 2014 and 2020 targets.

From the point of view of energy efficiency targets, the most important international policy document is the Paris Agreement United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with global environmental issues and starting in the year 2020. The Agreement was adopted consensually by 196 countries in December 2015. As of yet, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the document and 158 have ratified it.

Upon the adoption of the Paris Agreement many countries communicated their Nationally Determined Contributions (or NDCs, 117 at the end of 2016), half of which included targets for increasing renewable energy. Prior to the Paris Conference, participants have also submitted draft plans called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Both NDCs and INDCs are important signals about the country’s willingness to support renewable energy, including solar photovoltaics.

Which policies matter for solar photovoltaics?

Experience of the past decade shows that the most important policy measures implemented in support of renewable energy are focused on the supply side, that is, on energy generation.

Feed-in policies — feed-in tariffs (FITs) and feed-in premiums (FIPs) — remained the most prominent form of regulatory policy support for renewable power promotion in 2016. Policy makers continue to adjust FIT rates as the technologies become more cost-competitive in ever more areas.

By 2016, feed-in policies were adopted by 104 countries, including Portugal (1988), Germany (1990), Italy (1992), Slovenia (1999), France (2001), Israel (2004), Ukraine (2009), UK (2009), Kazakhstan (2013).

Across the world, FiTs are increasingly implemented along with tenders. Tenders for renewable energy are the most rapidly expanding form of support for renewable energy project deployment and are becoming the preferred policy tool for supporting deployment of large-scale projects. At least 34 countries issued new tenders in 2016; most renewable energy tenders were for solar PV.

Solar DAO expansion plan: policy aspects

Solar DAO has an ambitious expansion plan, including construction of the new PV solar plants in Portugal, Israel, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. These four countries will be the targets for the first stage of the project’s expansion. Still, it is worth taking a look at their policies to support solar energy generation.

Israel is a home for the entire spectrum of renewable energy generation support policies. Israeli officials have submitted INDCs and NDCs to the Paris Conference, thus aligning themselves with the UN commitment to support renewable energy. At the national level, Israel uses Feed-in tariffs (since 2004), electric utility quotas and net metering, as well as heat obligation mandates. Moreover, the Israeli state is also supporting renewable energy generators through public investing in and loans to renewable energy producers, and also reduces sales, energy and other taxes for them. In addition, tendering is also used on sub-national level. Thus, in 2016 tenders were held to generate at least 1GW, as well as 500 MV in the Negev desert and 40 MW in Ashalim, to be generated from solar photovoltaics.

Portugal is also among the leaders in terms of renewable energy support policies. Portugal’s NDC feature targets for renewable energy generation increases, and the government also implements feed-in tariffs and premiums, electric utility, transport and heating quotas, as well as public financial support of renewable energy generation and tax reductions. Tradable RECs are also in circulation.

Policy landscape is somewhat less diverse in Kazakhstan. The country has also expressed commitment to the UN policy for renewable energy support in its NDC and INDC, and uses feed-in tariffs, as well as tradable RECs. Public investments and subsidies are also in place.

Ukraine stands close to Kazakhstan with respect to regulations, but offers more measures of financial incentivizing renewable energy producers. Theses include public investments, tax reductions, and other similar measures. In 2016, the country has also changed its FiT policies, having reduced the rates from EUR 0.16 per kWh to EUR 0.15 per kWh for commercial solar power installations greater than 10 MW.

Targets for the future

In Israel, the targets are in place to achieve the share of 13% of primary energy generated from renewable sources by 2020, and 17% by 2025. More specifically, in terms of electrical energy, Israel’s goals are to increase its 2015 level of 3% of renewable electricity up to 10% in 2020, and 17% in 2030.

Portugal’s plan is even more ambitious: with its 28% of final energy generated from renewable sources, the government plans to build on this success and expand up to 31% by 2020 and 40% by 2030. In terms of renewable electricity, by 2015 Portugal has already achieved the spectacular 53% of electricity generated from renewable sources. Its plan for the next decade is to climb up to 60% by 2020.

Ukraine starts from a more modest background, with only 2.7% of primary energy generated renewably, but aspires to achieve as much as 18% of primary energy by 2030, and 11% of final energy by 2020, to be generated from renewable sources. Ukraine also plans to have 11% of its electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020, and increase this level up to 20% by 2030.

The situation is similar in terms of the targets for Renewable Power Installed Capacity and/or Generation. Thus, Kazakh government aims to achieve solar power generation level of 713.5 MW at 28 solar electric plants by 2020. In Portugal, the government plans to achieve 670 MW by 2020 in solar photovoltaics.

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