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 scientist), along with Dick Swanson, founder of SunPower, christened the DOE's SunShot initiative. Swanson cited … Continue reading SunShot $1 per Watt Solar Cost Goal: Mission Accomplished, Years Ahead of Schedule

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 will contribute 16 percent of the world’s electricity, and 20 percent of that capacity will … Continue reading Will Rooftop Solar Really Add to Utility Costs?

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 policy, and the President’s choice of its leader can have a significant effect on how … Continue reading Trump’s Reported FERC Chair Pick Could Signal a More Utility-Friendly Stance

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 Menlo Energy Economics and publisher of the newsletter EEnergy Informer.  The headline news – long … Continue reading Turning Point: Solar Cheaper Than Wind

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 basis, electric power sector CO2 emissions are now regularly below transportation sector CO2 emissions for … Continue reading Power Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Below Transportation Sector Emissions

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 the plants look very profitable – but only if they get enough capacity utilization.In the very … Continue reading Thinking global: China’s coal-fired energy conundrum

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 customers who do not employ solar PV. As the national battle over net metering rages … Continue reading Brookings Institute: net-metered solar a net benefit to all utility customers

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 effects only began in mid-2015, when the price of fossil fuels began to drop on … Continue reading Energy costs for German industry fall sharply since 2010

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 outlets. One way to better connect: Use more consumer-friendly language. According to a report in … Continue reading The Utility Industry Is Rebranding Itself: PR Ploy or Serious Attempt to Connect With Customers?

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 Winter Fuels Outlook, average household expenditures for homes heating primarily with natural gas will total … Continue reading Household heating costs are expected to be lower than previous two winters