Fascinating Infographic: What Solar Investors Really Want

by Zachary Shahan.

Sara Rafalson of Sol Systems recently sent along an infographic on What Solar Investors Want that her company put together. This isn’t just another flimsy infographic, though. The data came from “a year of our Project Finance Journals, which we distribute on the 15th of every month to approximately 2700 industry professionals” Sara noted. She also commented on why there was even a need for such an infographic:

The shortage of project finance is a limitation to the non-residential, commercial and industrial (C&I) sector of the solar market. Especially compared with other sectors of the market, C&I distributed generation solar is plagued with high transaction costs and a lack of standardization. Though there is no shortage of solar investors trying to break into the promising solar asset class, there is a true shortage of financeable, quality project pipeline. This lack of financeable deal flow is stifling the market and limiting the growth potential of the U.S. solar industry.

So, with that background out of the way, let’s start offering investors more financeable solar projects! Here’s how:

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This article, What Solar Investors Want (Infographic), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Renewable Energy. Zachary Shahan.Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

DOE Calls For Lowering The Soft Costs Of Solar

by Zachary Shahan.

SunShot Infographic
DOE SunShot Infographic. Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and many others have identified the “soft costs” of solar as the biggest cost barriers that need to be knocked down in order to unleash a true solar revolution in the US. As I’ve noted previously, the soft costs of solar are enormously larger in the US than in the much more mature German solar market, making the overall cost of going solar in Germany about half what it is in the US. The DOE’s response? The SunShot Initiative, which many CleanTechnica writers have covered at one point or another, but none as much as Tina. There’s a lot going on there to bring down the cost of solar in the US, and there are clear successes already, but the DOE is looking for even more applications.

The DOE just sent along an article by the DOE’s solar program manager, Minh Le, as well as a related infographic (below). The article intro, titled “Breaking Down Barriers,” is as follows: “New research shows that the non-hardware “soft costs” of a solar energy system – such as permitting, customer acquisition, and operations – now account for up to 64% of the total price of installing residential solar energy systems in the United States. As the cost of solar panels and other hardware have dropped tremendously, soft costs are soaring. These costs also stand as the greatest barrier to deploying more residential solar energy systems throughout the country. That’s why the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is working to lower soft costs in order to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by 2020.”

Le goes on to note the progress of SunShot winner EnergySage (which we’ve covered in depth and love) as well as recent winners kWh Analytics and Folsom Labs.

Additionally, Le notes what the SunShot folks are looking for and how easy it is to apply:

In the most recent round of the Solar Incubator program, SunShot announced $10 million to fund outside-of-the-box ideas to lessen solar’s hardware and soft costs. Some of the solutions to tackle this challenge will be driven by software innovations. SunShot is looking for big thinkers, zany creatives, data geeks, app developers, software engineers, and others to devise new approaches to attack soft costs.

Winning applicants could receive up to $500,000 in funding to bring their innovative product or service to the marketplace. Just draft a concept paper that includes a description of your project, summary of qualifications, a short business plan, and other required items and the payoff could be solar’s next  big technology breakthrough.

Since 2007, the SunShot Incubator program has supported 71 projects, with Incubator protégés in the private sector attracting more than $1.8 billion in venture capital and private equity investment. That’s a $16  return for every $1 invested. Your company or idea could be next!

I can’t say how much I’d love it if (another) CleanTechnica reader won a SunShot grant. So, if you think you have a good idea, go for it! And feel free to reach out to me for feedback — a handful of people interested in applying to this program have done so in the past.

This article, DOE Calls For More Support Bringing Down The Soft Costs Of Solar, Could Be You! (+ Infographic), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Why Residential Demand Response Is So Important (Infographic)

by Zachary Shahan.

Here’s an interesting infographic on residential electricity demand and automated demand response technology. Enjoy!

Residential Demand Response Infographic - Final

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This article, Why Residential Demand Response Is So Important (Infographic), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Home Automation Benefits (Infographic)

by Zachary Shahan

The folks at My Alarm Center recently put together a pretty spiffy infographic on some of the awesome benefits of home automation, and what home automation technologies can do.

.home automation infographics facts

Some of the facts that surprised me:

  1. A light bulb can last 2.28 years (or 20 times) longer when dimmed 50%.
  2. 56% of the average home energy bill comes from heating and cooling.

Of course, beyond the potential energy benefits, the other noted uses and benefits are also very cool. As far as other cool stats, I was also struck by the fact that:

  1. People with home automation see home insurance savings of 20% (on average) or $1,154 a year.
  2. 1.8 million home automation systems were installed in the US last year (far more than I would have guessed).
  3. 12 million home automation systems are expected to be installed in the US by 2016.

It all makes sense. With the growth of smartphones and tablets, people are feeling more comfortable with such remote and sophisticated technologies. They are even coming to expect them. I can definitely see the home automation growth trend increasing fast in the coming years.

Any of you have experience with home automation technology, or any further thoughts on this side of cleantech?

Also see:

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This article, Home Automation Benefits (Infographic), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Massive Growth Of Electric Cars In U.S. + Who Drives Electric Cars [Infographic]

by Zachary Shahan

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We’ve already covered much of this, but I think there are some new stats here, and it’s always interesting to see these stats about the massive growth of electric cars in the US. So, enjoy this EV Obsession repost!

The Wall Street Journal (which I just railed on the other day for a horrible post about solar energy) has actually published a pretty interesting infographic on who drives electric cars. Granted, I saved myself the probable pain of reading the related article — but maybe it was actually a decent piece as well. If you read it, let me know.

The infographic highlights several interesting facts, which I note here in text form for those of you who prefer straight text:

  • 100% electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars grew tremendously in the US in 2011, and then again in 2012. And they are going to far eclipse 2012 sales in 2013. 2010 sales = 345; 2011 sales = 17,735; 2012 sales = 52,835; 2013 = an even much higher number.
  • Over 30% of 2013 US electric car and plug-in hybrid sales have occurred in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
  • About 77% of new Leaf and Volt owners have household incomes over $100,000 per year. That compares to about 33% of all new-car buyers in 2012.
  • Plug-in car owners drive these cars less than average Americans drive — about 9,000 miles vs. 13,500 miles. (Notably, this research didn’t include Tesla Model S owners.)
  • Volt owners drive their Volts an average of 41 miles a day, while Leaf owners drive their Leafs an average of 30 miles a day.
  • The most popular time for charging EVs is in the hours just after midnight, thanks to surplus electricity supply and thus lower electricity rates (or no charge at all) in those hours.

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This article, Massive Growth Of Electric Cars In U.S. + Who Drives Electric Cars [Infographic] is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.