What Changed in the Solar & Energy Storage Industry in 2018?



Published on January 19, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan

January 19, 2019 by Zachary Shahan

I began to cover the solar energy industry seriously in 2009. It felt like a fun and tiring time in the industry – explosive growth. I remember an initial story in which the reader slightly rebuked me because I put "Solar Power Exploding" in the headline, and they thought I was referring to the original explosion. In 2019, 2009 and 2010, progress seemed like anthills.

Scrolling back through our What Changed archive, below is a long overview of important changes in solar energy and the energy storage industry in 2018. I'm sure I missed a few of them – put notes in comments if you have a favorite that I miss. I'm also sure this post is too long for ordinary readers – do your best. Apart from that, keep abreast of the record-breaking developments in 2019.


Nevada raises renewable electricity standards (requirements) from 15% in 2025 to 50% in 2030.

California approved a new standard requiring solar panels to be installed on the roofs of almost all new homes, condominiums and apartment buildings by 2020.

California approves "Million Roofs of Solar Energy Storage" bill.

California passed a law requiring 100% clean energy by 2045.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) initiated a $ 1 billion – $ 100 million Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program per year for solar power in multi-family residential buildings.

Illinois Governor Rauner signed two bills to support conditions for developing solar power for farmers and rural Illinois, a projected bill generating $ 250–350 million in tax revenue.

New York is starting to become far more than solar power players in the United States, with 26 large-scale solar power plants approved for development, community solar power boosts, and broader efforts to stimulate the industry.

Washington, DC, approved the 100% renewable energy bill.

It was revealed that the US Department of Energy (DOE) "might spend around $ 600 million in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funding for clean energy research and development (R & D), despite clear and strong congressional guidelines for investing public dollars in new technologies and innovations that will open the way for America to become a leader in the future of clean energy. "

DOE provides research grants to several universities to develop new solar integration technologies.

DOE also issued $ 72 million for the next generation of solar power plants (CSP).

The Trump administration conferred $ 46 million on solar power & progress on network resilience.

Trump tariffs on Chinese solar panel tariffs are applied in the first quarter of 2018, based on counterproductive, unreasonable, irrational, irrational laws, no one is treated seriously. Small attacks outside the world of Cleantech and in mainstream media almost completely missed story – where more US work will be lost than saved or made. Is poor reporting and lack of attention empowering Trump to apply steel tariffs too?

100% clean energy

10 US cities model how to get 100% clean energy from the US.

Australia's Renewable Energy Agency invests in 5 gigawatts of wind & solar energy boost.

Moreland, Australia, launched a solar power program for tenants and landlords.

Engie announced it had "signed a 50-year strategic alliance with the city of Greater Springfield in Queensland, Australia, to help the transition become a zero-energy clean city by 2038."

Victoria, an Australian state, announced that it would increase its renewable energy target to 50% by 2030. Yes, that is the same as Nevada's new target.

France announced that it would "close the remaining four coal-fired power plants in the country by 2022 and 14 of the country's first 900 MW nuclear reactors by 2035." Naturally, they will be replaced by wind and solar power plants.

Ireland approved the long awaited Renewable Support Scheme (RESS) and announced that it intends to provide the first RESS auction around 2019.

Austrian Federal Railroad (ÖBB) launched a pilot project that turns on trains with solar power.

The European Union removes trade barriers to Chinese solar panels.

The European Union passed a new legally binding target in the European Union for renewable energy by 32% by 2030, which is expected to produce strong small-scale solar power growth in the EU, as well as larger solar power projects.

The World Bank Group announced "a series of new climate targets for 2021-2025 and that they are doubling current five-year investments to around $ 200 billion in supporting countries that take ambitious climate actions."

The Green Climate Fund approves $ 1 billion for climate action in developing countries.

India announced $ 1 billion in assistance for solar power projects in several African countries.

TEPCO Japan announced it would develop 6-7 GW renewable power to move away from nuclear.

South Africa replaces nuclear energy with more renewable energy in the new national energy plan.

IRENA works with Southeast Asian countries to increase renewable energy in the region.

A coalition of 26 Caribbean countries, more than 40 private sector giants, 8 times Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, and global music star Sean Paul joined to launch the $ 1 billion Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, which aims to make the region a zone first climate savvy in the world.

CleanTechnica launched a new Clean Revolution political campaign to help get cleantech leaders elected to political office.

Roof Solar Company

Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya began carrying a paid solar home system when you go to homes outside the network in Kenya.

Kazang Solar was awarded $ 1.6 million from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to provide solar home lighting for 7,000 homes outside the network in Zambia.

Kingo, which is supported in part by Leonardo DiCaprio, aims to bring small-scale solar + storage to 500 million people in Latin America.

Nissan brings all-in-one solar storage "to the UK market for EV drivers who want to go further – or non-EV drivers, in this case. Building its EV leadership, it also starts offering energy storage from the second battery .

Panasonic & SolarEdge announce new solar panels that are optimized for power that speed up installation time.

Panasonic Eco Solutions began "aggressively building its residential solar network nationwide [in the US], trying to compete more evenly with people like Tesla, Sunrun, SunPower, Vivint, and others. "

Pika Energy Storage launched an expandable housing energy storage solution.

Real Goods Solar received $ 127 million in pre-orders for solar herpes zoster, which is based on technology purchased from Dow Chemical. (We reported on Dow solar herpes zoster throughout 2009, 2011 and 2012.)

Simpliphi Power, another California-based energy storage company, cut prices after seeing three times its sales.

SolarEdge announced that it will acquire the Kokam solar energy storage company.

sonnen & tiko Energy Solutions received a pre-qualification from the transmission system operator for the grid in Germany, TenneT, to utilize the existing distributed energy storage network system incorporated into a virtual power plant to provide ultimate balance power.

sonnen launched the second sonnen community in the US, this time in Manatee County, Florida (which is actually the area where I live)

sonnen launched EcoLinx for residential energy management.

Sonnen withdrew € 60 million ($ 70 million) in a new round of investment, with financial flows led by Royal Dutch Shell. "This investment will help him develop the solar + storage market share in the US and Australia."

SunExchange & Powerhive partnered to bring solar power to 175,000 Kenyans.

Sunflare brings new sun shingles to the market.

Sunnova introduced a solar + storage offer, SunSafe, in the US. SunSafe uses Tesla Powerwall 2 for storage.

Sunnova also carries solar leasing & loans to Illinois.

Sunnova brings new solar + storage offerings to her home state, Texas.

Sunnova also launched national housing solar insurance.

SunPower offers members of the $ 500 National Park Conservation Association discounted price + donations to organizations when they use solar power before July 2019.

SunPower issues a new solar + storage offer.

Sunrun is ranked as the leading residential storage-plus-housing vendor.

Sunrun is expanding solar power as a service and energy storage offering in Florida.

Tesla cut its diesel fuel prices by 10-20% thanks to the benefits of moving sales to Tesla stores.

Tesla also announced that the Powerwall energy storage system is getting new features … at a higher cost.

Tesla dismissed 9% of its staff, many of them on the side of solar energy storage & energy businesses, including a dozen SolarCity facilities in 9 countries.

Tesla & Taipei City, Taiwan joined "to build a new 1.5 hectare hub to help local startups find a platform and get training for new energy businesses in the city."

Western Australia, another Australian state, began to introduce a storage system for the Tesla, Synergy, + Western Power community "PowerBank" to residents in Meadow Springs who could participate in the trial.

Vivint Solar began offering solar leasing in Sunshine State, Florida and Illinois.

Vivint Solar reaches 1 gigawatt of rooftop solar power capacity in the US.


In Connecticut, solar power shows its strength by winning 9 out of 12 auction contracts. Solar has become the most competitive choice for new electricity even in Connecticut!

The California utility is speeding up the replacement of a natural gas stripping plant with a large battery storage unit.

California Utilities, PG & E proposes a massive battery storage project of 730 MWh, 567.5 MW.

SDG & E, another California utility, approved an energy storage project that doubled its utility scale energy storage capacity.

California gets its first floating solar power system.

ACWA Power won a contract for a 250 megawatt solar power plant in India with a very low bid of 2.4 ¢ / kWh, the lowest record in the country.

ACWA Power also won a solar power plant contract in Saudi Arabia for 2.4 ¢ / kWh, the world record that was seen at that time.

The lowest US solar power prices are also set, 2.155 ¢ per kWh (with escalators) for projects in Nevada. That's right after the offer of record low US diesel prices in Arizona.

Enel Green Power reaches 1 gigawatt of solar power in Mexico.

Enel announced its intention to invest € 10.6 billion to 11.6 gigawatts of renewable energy in the next 3 years.

Portugal indicated that it would get 31 new solar power plants with a capacity of 1 GW by 2021.

The Indian coal mining company announced a $ 1.6 billion solar investment plan.

Global Infrastructure Partners acquired 4.7 gigawatts of SunPower solar power projects.

The World Bank has committed $ 1 billion for battery storage in developing countries.

Capital Dynamics closes $ 1.2 billion in new investment in clean energy infrastructure funds.

The Macquarie Capital Green Investment Group, formerly called the UK Government's Green Investment Bank, acquired a portfolio of solar power development (including staff) from Conergy Asia & ME.

India announced plans to 5 gigawatts solar garden. Yes, 5 gigawatts! The solar park will be located in Gujarat.

A few months later, India announced plans for 25 years gigawatt solar power park. Yes, 25 gigawatts! The solar park will be located in Jammu & Kashmir.

Vestas began testing wind + wind hybrid projects in Spain.

ACWA Power is the first utility in the world to adopt the SolarCoin blockchain currency.

WePower collected $ 40 million for the blockchain-based Green Energy Trading, the largest ICO ever in the energy sector.

SkyPower "announces $ 1.3 billion in foreign direct investment in Uzbekistan to build 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar power capacity."

Tesla debuted its Grid Controller in Samoa as part of its efforts there to bring the country to 100% renewable energy.

Greenpeace Energy, a German electric utility, has "proposed a takeover offer for the lignite open pit and the current power plant owned by German electric utility company RWE, to close it by 2025." The power plant will be replaced with wind and solar power plants.


Floating solar can supply 14% of US electricity needs, according to a report published by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

BNEF found that "solar and land winds are not subsidized [have] become the cheapest new bulk power source in all major economies except Japan. "

Lazard published the Levelized Cost of Energy 12.0 report, which shows the competitiveness of extreme solar costs without even subsidies. (But wind power is still cheaper, on average.)

US electricity from renewable energy exceeds US electricity from nuclear for the first time.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance released a report showing where "distributed solar" is leading in the US.

IHS predicts that the global solar industry will reach 123 GW of new capacity installed in 2019, a record estimate that solves all progress in the solar energy industry.

BNEF estimates that the world exceeds 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) of renewable energy capacity installed globally around June 2018.

Stanford mapped about every sun roof in the US and found 1.47 million.

The American environment shows that the laws and loans of new homes solar power can triple the country's solar bases by 2045.

Indiana gets more new jobs from renewable energy than any other sector, according to research from the Clean Energy Trust and national nonpartisan business group E2.

One study found that US solar tariffs would cost customers $ 236.5 million.

Another study found that US open market solar funding rose $ 800 million during the first 3 quarters of 2018.

RE100 members increase 41% renewable energy use from 2016 to 2017, with 37 new companies "bringing a total of up to 155 companies creating demand for phenomenal 188 terawatt-hours of renewable power every year."

Research has found that home solar loans have missed third party financing for roof solar systems in 2018. Last year, loans used cash to become the second most popular choice to pay for home solar systems.

A new report found that new renewable energy is cheaper than old coal in Southeast Asia.

Another new report found that "not one country" was on track to limit global warming to 2 ° C.

NIPSCO, an Indiana utility, estimates that the future of renewable energy will save customers $ 4 billion.

Global floating solar power capacity exceeds 1 gigawatt.

Britain's renewable power capacity reached 42 gigawatts in the third quarter and missed fossil fuel power capacity.

Maryland published a report showing that the economic value of solar power in the state over the coming decade would be $ 7 billion.

Other News

HBI and IREC are developing a program to help young people at risk of getting jobs in the solar power industry.

Sony is increasing 100% of its renewable energy target in a decade.

Airbus Zephyr S, a solar-powered aircraft, set a world record while remaining high for 26 days.

Shell rejoined the solar energy market, after a long absence, acquired a 217 million dollar stake in Silicon Ranch Corporation and then put money into the UK solar PPA.

Capital Dynamics acquired First Solar & SunPower Yieldco 8point3.

Hanwha Q CELLS, a manufacturer of solar cells and solar modules, announced that it will build a solar module factory of +1.6 gigawatts in Georgia (US state, not state).

Hanwha Q CELLS also became private for $ 825 million a few months later.

Soltec solar tracker manufacturer collects € 100 million for expansion.

Solar energy appears as the top new microgrid energy source.

Facebook is committed to 100% renewable energy by 2020.

The US Wind Energy Foundation changed its name to Wind Solar Alliance.

The Solar Panel Art Series makes its way to North America, with launch in NYC.

Tag: Strength of ACWA, Australia, California, cities, Department of Energy, DOE, Donald Trump, Enel, Enel Green Power, ENGIE, EU, Europe, Florida, India, IRENA, Panasonic, SolarEdge, sonnen, Sunnova, Sunpower, sunrun, Tesla , Utilities, Vivint Solar

About the Author

Zachary Shahan Zach strives to help people help themselves (and other species). He spends most of his time here CleanTechnica as director and editor in chief. He is also the president Important media and the director / founder of PT EV obsession and Love the Sun.. Zach is globally recognized as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB – after years of covering solar and EV, he only has a lot of trust in certain companies and feels like they are a good cleantech company to invest. he does not offer professional investment advice and prefers not to be responsible for losing your money, so don't conclude immediately.


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