by Nicolas Rinaldi
April 21, 2017

We kick off this week with news on decarbonization and an update on the Trump administration's latest effort to rationalize coal's rescue.

Corporates seeing green

Decarbonization is gaining momentum among the world's biggest brands. Apple and Toyota are already building the largest behind-the-meter solar projects in California and Texas, respectively. And just last week, Salesforce announced it had achieved net zero carbon emissions globally, beating its goal to do so by 33 years. Julia Pyper explores these companies' procurement strategies and how their investments are rubbing off on other corporations. (story)

In Washington state, local utility Puget Sound Energy launched its "Green Direct" program this week, which will allow large energy customers to subscribe to local utility-scale renewable energy projects via long-term service agreements. The program's first subscribers include REI, Starbucks and Target. (story)

Meanwhile, in Southern California, NRG Energy is recruiting commercial and industrial customers to participate in a 60-megawatt energy efficiency, demand response and thermal storage program for local utility SCE. NRG will power the program with its stealthy new data analytics platform, SpaceTag. (story)

Not surprisingly, other prominent energy service providers in the U.S. are jumping headlong into the market to meet corporate appetites for energy management.

Value chain courtesy of GTM Research. They have you covered when it comes to all things corporate energy.

Rick Perry wants a "diverse" electric generation mix in the name of baseload power

Coal, natural gas, nuclear and conventional hydro (i.e., baseload power) accounted for over 90 percent of electric generation in the U.S. in 2016, according to the EIA. Wind and utility-scale solar generation accounted for just over 6 percent. But that's not enough diversity on the grid for new Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

Late last week, Perry sent a memo to his chief of staff requesting a 60-day review of whether renewables are damaging the market for baseload power plants across the country and thereby "diminishing diversity of our nation's electric generation mix." The order doesn't explicitly call out renewables, but it expresses a preference for "reliability" and "fuel assurance," and is critical of policies it says are "designed to decrease coal-fired power generation." Julian Spector tries to untangle Perry's message. (story)

One state that isn't waiting for Perry's recommendations to bring its energy market into the 21st century is Colorado. State representatives there introduced a bill last week that would create bonds to retire aging and expensive coal plants and finance retraining for their workforces. (story)

GTM Statcast

For your consideration: the best energy stats from the week of April 17, 2017.

521,449 Solar Homes
The number of solar homes in the U.S. that a new analysis from GTM Research and PowerScout matched to personal income data to uncover trends between residential solar adoption and household income. (story)

40 Cents on the Dollar
The amount that Sungevity is offering on its existing and outstanding liabilities to suppliers, allegedly. The company pivoted on its bankruptcy this week and will now be known as Solar Spectrum. Eric Wesoff reports. (story)

Chapter 11
More bankruptcy news from the world of solar -- Suniva, the Georgia-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells and modules, filed Chapter 11 this week, citing low-cost Chinese product as a contributor to its demise. (story)

$2 Billion
The amount that residential solar, water conservation and energy efficiency financier Spruce has raised to date. Last week, Eric Wesoff heard on the rumor mill that Spruce has been trying to sell itself for the past three quarters. (story)

33 Megawatts
The community solar capacity purchased by a group of municipalities in Minnesota, in the country's first collective purchase of community solar by cities. This week, we review the model's results. (story)

Beyond Li-Ion
Katie Fehrenbacher examines how startups with alternative battery chemistries are trying to compete with the industry's top dog: lithium-ion. (story)

$32 Million
The latest venture round for flow battery provider Primus Power. The company is positioning its long-duration Energy Pod 2 system to compete in California's SGIP and spearhead the company's international expansion. (story)

A Freebie
Storage software company Geli released a new online program to streamline and optimize the design process for commercial storage. The best part is that it's free. (story)

100 Megawatts
The capacity of GE's new hybrid electric gas turbines for Southern California Edison. The turbines are combined with 8 megawatt-hours of storage and will help manage capacity shortfalls from the closure of Aliso Canyon. (story)

$19 Billion
The estimated size of the global circuit-breaker market. Jeff St. John looks at how circuit breakers are transforming from basement dwellers to smart virtual meters and load controllers. (story)

$50 Million
The size of Congruent Ventures, a new VC fund that will invest in early-stage entrepreneurs and startups that are building companies around energy technologies, materials, advanced manufacturing and agriculture. (story)

Algae Biofuel
Eric Wesoff turns back the clock to analyze the algae biofuel bubble that gripped entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from 2005 to 2012. (story)