Shale is exciting and transformative for the U.S. economy and for our international relationships. Thankfully, we do not have to address issues in Ukraine as we import Russian natural gas and we do not have to consider issues in Iraq as we import Iraqi oil! It can be easy to forget, though, that not long ago the country was vying for renewable energy options to mitigate the risks involved with purchasing much of our energy from international sources. That renewable effort is still strong and is transformative in its own way.
Renewable Energy World recently reported on Verizon’s $40 million investment in solar power, tripling the company’s current use of solar. The company will install 10.2 megawatts of solar power at eight different Verizon locations throughout the country. Some of these locations are in areas that maintain legitimate shale reserves. So, why pursue solar during the shale revolution? Verizon has indicated its desire to help reduce carbon emissions as the driving reason for the planned investment.
In Colorado, some of the public utilities attempted to limit net metering in order to reduce the use of solar energy. PV Solar Report indicates in New Poll Shows Coloradans Support Solar Net Metering that an overwhelming number of Colorado citizens support solar and oppose the utility effort.
The U.S. is also partnering internationally to encourage more Solar energy development. The Hill recently detailed a solar-energy deal with Myanmar in the country’s Mandalay region that "is expected to increase power generation by upward of 12 percent.” The project will cost $480 million to develop two 150-megawatt solar energy plants.
The shale revolution is something the energy sector should be excited about. But, for those of us who believe in an “Everything” energy policy, this solar news is good stuff. Here at McDonald Hopkins, we are concluding 2014 with a significant number of solar projects in our pipeline ranging in size from 500KW to 10MW. We have cautious expectations that 2015 will see great growth in Everything energy.