January 2018 Issue: Renewable Energy Guidebook


Welcome to the 2018 renewable energy guidebook

IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THIS PUBLICATION, you’ll notice we’ve changed our name from “handbook” to “guidebook.” In an effort to produce the best content possible, we took a moment to step back and consider what information in this “extra” edition would be the most beneficial to our readers.

While in the past we’ve let an outline of narrow categories dictate our content, by combining topics into broader sections, we now have the flexibility to cover the most relevant information that sometimes overarches wind, solar and energy storage topics. We’ve traditionally focused on basic educational content, but this structure allows us to feature topics most relevant to today’s industries. We didn’t feel that this publication was an intro-level handbook but instead an industry guidebook for the year—hence, the new name.

At the beginning of the wind and solar sections, our editors give you a general overview of the state of each industry. Michelle Froese discusses how as tax credits are ramping down, wind development is ramping up with 29,634 MW of wind projects under construction and in advanced development. AWEA reports that wind is on track to deliver 10% of America’s electricity by 2020. New construction will require lots of labor, and wind technician jobs are projected to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the United States.

The solar industry is also seeing a huge demand for solar installers. In her editorial, Kelsey Misbrener talks about her impressions of solar during her first year covering the industry. She saw how the industry “bobbed and weaved with the punches,” including the uncertain results of a trade case and tax bill. But she also saw solar break records in 2017, and the industry continues to push forward.

We also have an exciting new industry to cover in our guidebook: storage. The Energy Storage Association reports that energy storage systems currently make up approximately 2% of U.S. generation capacity—more than the solar industry. Furthermore, U.S. energy storage deployments were up 46% annually in Q3 of 2017. Storage is growing rapidly with the development of more renewable energy. It seemed the right time to include a section dedicated to storage in our guidebook and launch a new publication: Energy Storage Networks (ESN) at energystoragenetworks.com. Michelle Froese and I will develop storage content and attend storage conferences in 2018. If you’re in the storage market, please connect with us and help us learn. It’s very exciting to delve into a new industry!
Don’t forget we have solar inverter, panel and racking, and wind project and turbine databases online. We’ve also launched a new battery tool on ESN. We hope you find this new guidebook useful. We look forward to working with you in 2018! SPW WPE&D ESN

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