‘De 500 miljoen zonnepanelen van Hillary Clinton zijn haalbaar’
29 juli 2015 – ‘Ambitious but possible’. Deskundigen keken kritisch naar het zonne-energieplan van Hillary Clinton.
In haar campagne als Amerikaanse presidentskandidaat zet Hillary Clinton hoog in wat de energietransitie betreft: 500 miljoen zonnepanelen erbij, een groei van 700% voor zonne-energie. Maar is dat überhaupt wel haalbaar?
GreentechSolar onderzocht het. (GreentechSolar is een website die zich richt op het informeren van de zonne-energiesector in de Verenigde Staten.)
Uit de conclusies van GreentechSolar
‘(…) This is a highly aggressive goal. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t take office until 2017, so her ability to impact the solar market would be restricted to a four-year period. Assuming our 2015-2016 forecasts are accurate, the U.S. will be home to around 38 gigawatts by the end of 2016, leaving another 102 gigawatts for the four years of Hillary’s presidential term. In other words, Clinton’s first term would need to see a market that installs more than 2.5 times the cumulative market size at the date she takes office. (…) But that won’t happen under business-as-usual conditions, hence the big difference between our 2020 forecast and Clinton’s goal. In my view, reaching this target requires two big changes and a host of smaller ones.
- ITC Extension
The biggest swing factor in the market is the extension (or lack thereof) of the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016. Although precipitous declines in solar costs will undoubtedly help the market weather the 2017 storm if the credit is not extended, a 30 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2017 amidst ITC expiration is almost impossible to conceive.
- Clean Power Plan
Toward the end of the timeframe (2018-2020), the Clean Power Plan could begin to spark solar development in many parts of the country where the market is currently absent — if it is upheld and implemented expeditiously. Through Q1 2015, fully 70 percent of all solar capacity in the U.S. came from four states — California, Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina. But a 140-gigawatt target requires a much more geographically diverse landscape.
- Municipal- and State-Level Activity
Many of the most important solar market drivers are at the local, utility or state level. This includes permitting, interconnection, incentives, electricity rates, RPS standards, net energy metering rules, and more. Every revision to one of these mechanisms, especially in the 20 core solar states, impacts demand and would be vital to achieving the 140 GW goal.
- Solar Costs
Apart from political and regulatory drivers, solar market growth is contingent on rapid cost reductions. Even in today’s environment of relatively stable module prices, the cost to install solar is continually falling through a mixture of hardware and soft-cost reductions. Faster-than-expected cost reductions could be the biggest factor of all.
For the most part, this is exactly what Clinton’s fact sheet proposes. It mentions tax incentive extensions (read: ITC), solar access programs (read: community solar), and a Solar X-Prize to support communities that cut red tape. It also includes a variety of other proposals, most of which would either marginally support the solar market (e.g., renewable energy expansion on public lands) or have a significant but longer-term impact (investment in clean energy R&D).
Campaign goals are only so valuable, but this one is interesting because it presents perhaps the highest achievable target for solar in the U.S. for the rest of the decade. (…)’
CleantechSolar, 27 juli 2015: Can the US Reach Hillary Clinton’s New Solar Goal?
FluxEnergie, 28 juli 2015: Hillary Clinton wil 500 miljoen zonnepanelen in VS