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From increased solar growth to sweeping legislation in California, there were some major energy stories this week. 

Here are some of the articles we're currently reading.

SEIA/GTM Research: Solar Market Insight Report 2016 Q3

The quarterly SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight report shows the major trends in the U.S. solar industry.The U.S. installed 2,051 MW of solar PV in Q2 2016, increasing 43 percent over Q2 2015. In the first half of 2016, solar accounted for 26 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S.

GTM Research forecasts that 13.9 GW of new PV installations will come on-line in 2016, up 85 percent over 2015. Utility PV is expected to drive the majority of demand, accounting for over 70 percent of new capacity.

Electric Light & Power: The Evolution of Demand Response Programs

Since its inception, demand response has been a great tool for Independent System Operators (ISOs) to help balance supply and demand at times of system peak or unexpected emergencies on the grid.

In addition to the ISOs, some utilities have also been finding new and innovative ways of using demand response to help address strain on their distribution networks. While many utility-run demand response programs focus on getting at residential loads through smart thermostats, there are also increasing opportunities for commercial and industrial loads to help relieve the system on the distribution level. With more customers adopting distributed energy products such as demand response, utilities are increasingly encouraged to explore non-wires alternatives.

Utility Dive: Record Summer Heat Fails to Boost Peak Demand in PJM

While sweltering temperatures typically mean rising air conditioning load for utilities, in the PJM Interconnection service territory the grid operator has not seen a corresponding rise in demand, Platts reported.

Platts reports system-wide peak load hit 151,298 MW one day last month—the highest so far this year—but that demand was still about 4% below previous peaks from the past three years. Possible explanations for the the flattening demand could include the proliferation of distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar and energy efficiency, Platts noted.

Los Angeles Times: Gov. Brown Signs Sweeping Legislation to Combat Climate Change 

California will become a petri dish for international efforts to slow global warming under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, forcing one of the world’s largest economies to squeeze into a dramatically smaller carbon footprint.

The legislation, SB 32, requires the state to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, a much more ambitious target than the previous goal of hitting 1990 levels by 2020.

Bloomberg: Goldman’s Currie Sees Oil Staying Below $50 as Surplus Lingers

Don’t count on a big rally in crude oil, said Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Or any rally, for that matter.

Two years into an oil rout that saw West Texas Intermediate oil fall to about $26 a barrel in February, the risk is “to the downside” because there aren’t any clear catalysts to push up prices, Currie said in an interview in Lake Louise, Alberta. For the next 12 months, he said, oil is likely to trade in the $45-$50 range.

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Posted: September 16, 2016