Category Archives: Electricity

SunShot $1 per Watt Solar Cost Goal: Mission Accomplished, Years Ahead of Schedule

With the advent of $1.00-per-watt (DC) pricing for utility fixed-tilt PV systems, the solar industry has crushed the SunShot Program’s $1.00-per-watt goal for 2020 three years early.In early 2011, Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (and a … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Will Rooftop Solar Really Add to Utility Costs?

  Regulations in most states obligate utilities to derive some of their electricity generating capacity from renewable sources. Unsurprisingly, the most widely available options—wind and solar—dominate. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that by 2050, solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Trump’s Reported FERC Chair Pick Could Signal a More Utility-Friendly Stance

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) isn’t a big target of the Trump administration, in terms of major budget cuts or wholesale policy shifts away from climate change and clean energy. But it’s still an important player in federal energy … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Turning Point: Solar Cheaper Than Wind

Photo: Gerry Machen It was bound to happen, and apparently it has: utility-scale solar-generated power, certainly in sunny parts of the world, appears to be cheaper than wind and both are cheaper than fossil-fuel generated power, writes Fereidoon Sionshansi, president of … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Power Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Below Transportation Sector Emissions

U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the transportation sector reached 1,893 million metric tons (MMmt) from October 2015 through September 2016, exceeding electric power sector CO2 emissions of 1,803 MMmt over the same time period. On a 12-month rolling total … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Thinking global: China’s coal-fired energy conundrum

In China about 150GW of new coal plants will likely be completed over the 2016- 2018 time frame. The plants are being built because lower coal prices (half what they were) and relatively fixed tariffs, low capital costs and outstanding thermal efficiency make … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Brookings Institute: net-metered solar a net benefit to all utility customers

PV Magazine The prestigious Washington D.C. think tank’s analysis of existing literature shows a broad consensus that net metering – where solar households receive the same rate as the general electricity tariff for their solar exports – is benefiting utility … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

Energy costs for German industry fall sharply since 2010

Öko-Institut and DWI have produced a new cost indicator for industry. The researchers find that German industry bills are down by 10 percent relative to 2010, the year before Chancellor Merkel’s nuclear phaseout. To be fair, one of the main … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy

The Utility Industry Is Rebranding Itself: PR Ploy or Serious Attempt to Connect With Customers?

Utilities are often criticized for not connecting deeply enough with their customers. In a world where choice is becoming more important — turning ratepayers into dynamic consumers — power companies need to offer a wider range of services and communications … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Recently Read, Saved for Later

Household heating costs are expected to be lower than previous two winters 

Most U.S. households can expect lower heating expenditures this winter (October through March) compared with the past two winters. In most regions, the decline in expenditures is attributed to the combination of warmer weather and lower fuel prices.According to EIA’s … Continue reading

Posted in Electricity, Energy