Minimal impact: BNEF’s Nathan Serota on the Clean Power Plan and solar


pv magazine: If the Clean Power Plan survives this legal challenge, what is the overall impact that you expect for the U.S. solar industry?

Nathan Serota: Even if the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is ultimately upheld and implemented as written, the tangible impact for the U.S. solar industry is potentially minimal. In other words, if all states were to band together and comply with the plan under a hypothetical cap and trade type scheme, our analysis shows there would not need to be any incremental new renewable energy build, including solar, to meet the targets

That would assume that all states comply in a hyper-logical fashion. In reality, states are unlikely to be entirely logical about compliance, and depending on how they choose to implement CPP, it could ultimately have some tangible effect on the solar industry.

For example, the primary ways in which CPP could spur additional solar build in the U.S. are if it were to increase RPS standards, if it were to motivate utilities to incorporate new renewable build or signing new solar power purchase agreements into their integrated resource plans. And then more generally, what the CPP would do if it survives the challenges and gets implemented, is send a long-term signal across the power industry that the ultimate trend is towards decarbonization and clearly solar has a big role to play in such a transition…

The rest of this interview is available on the pv magazine USA website.