In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):
- Shell’s ubitricity will install 50,000 on-street EV chargers in the UK.
- Two New York State villages have launched an opt-out community choice solar program.
- UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.
Shell EV chargers on British streets
Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday that it will install 50,000 on-street electric vehicle charging points in the UK by 2025. Ubitricity, which Shell bought in February, is the UK’s largest public EV charging network, and it will install the new charging points.
Shell will support local authorities with a financing offer to install new ubitricity on-street chargers in towns and cities across the UK at potentially zero cost.
More than 60% of UK households in cities and urban areas don’t have their own parking spaces, so rapidly increasing on-street charging is a priority in Britain.
Ubitricity currently operates around 3,600 chargers in the UK. It holds 13.1% of the UK’s car charging points market. BP Pulse comes in second at 12%. (Tesla Supercharger is 2.9%.)
According to a report published by the British government in July, between 280,000 and 480,000 charging points will be needed in Britain by 2030, more than 10 times the existing number of around 25,000 chargers.
The UK will ban all new gas and diesel cars by 2030.
Read more: Shell buys Ubitricity, UK’s largest EV charging network
Opt-out community choice solar
The villages of Brockport and Lima have activated what is claimed by Joule Community Power to be the first opt-out community choice solar program in the US. In other words, the energy supply defaults to clean energy.
It’s part of Joule Community Power’s Finger Lakes Community Choice aggregation program in western New York State.
Brockport and Lima have partnered with six local community solar farms that are expected to generate a combined 28 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. As each solar farm begins to generate power, subscribers will benefit from savings. The solar farms are expected to go live in October 2021, and all residents will be covered by spring 2022.
Opt-out community choice solar means that all eligible residents are automatically enrolled in the program without having to sign a contract, undergo a credit screen, or have solar panels installed on their homes. Should a resident wish to disenroll from the program, they are free to do so at any time with no penalty.
Leaders can also choose to roll out opt-out community choice solar to low- and medium-income (LMI) residents first. The Lima and Brockport opt-out community choice solar program will benefit about 500 LMI households.
Jessica Stromback, CEO of Joule Assets, explained to Electrek why the model is successful via email:
There is a concerted 60-day initial education effort using community communication channels – such as local news outlets, social media accounts, public events, press, open Q&A sessions, etc. – to reach and inform the local community.
The community solar program offers a guaranteed 10% savings off the solar credits on electricity bills.
The difference between traditional opt-in programs and this new opt-out solar program is stark: For opt-in community solar programs, the average enrollment rate is only 2-3% of the pool of eligible program participants. In comparison, we expect the average enrollment rate of an opt-out community choice solar program to be around 90%.
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