In Q1 2016, installation of solar PV (photovoltaic) rose 24% over Q1 2015; for the same period, solar accounted for 64% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S (Source: SEIA). Rapid expansion in the solar energy industry highlights the need to streamline the collection, management and exchange of solar datasets to reduce market inefficiencies and lower costs for consumers.
The U.S. Department of Energy, as part of its SunShot Initiative, launched the Orange Button program that aims to set data standards for the solar industry. The DOE SunShot initiative seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by funding cooperative research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects by private companies, universities, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour.
Orange Button has four prime awardees:
- Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (Phase I): define data requirements
- SunSpec Alliance (Phase II): build data taxonomies and interoperability standards
- KwH Analytics and NREL (Phase III): develop a data exchange marketplace
The XBRL data standard is uniquely suited to transport financial datasets that are needed to communicate distributed solar financial disclosures. As part of the SunSpec Alliance project team in Phase II, XBRL US will lead a working group to build out financial terms for the solar energy taxonomy, leveraging elements from the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy and from existing data standards in the solar industry.
Interested in getting involved and potentially joining the XBRL US working group? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.