Do Utilities Know the Real Value of Solar?

CSP Alliance Executive Director Tex Wilkins believes that if utilities and other load-serving entities (LSEs) saw the value in owning CSP plants with storage, it would grow competition and economies of scale in CSP and its supply chain and drive prices down, just as such competition did in photovoltaic (PV) solar and wind. For CSP … Continue reading Do Utilities Know the Real Value of Solar?

Making Wind and Solar Work With the Grid

The two traditional excuses for not adding more wind and solar into grid operations have been that they could not be called on (“dispatched”) when energy was needed and they were too expensive (“uneconomic”). But grid operators around the U.S. have begun to discover that neither is necessarily true. “The New York ISO was the … Continue reading Making Wind and Solar Work With the Grid

California Approves Program Eliminating Upfront Cost Of Energy Upgrades

On November 8, California regulators approved (PDF) plans by the state’s largest utilities to make an innovative financing proposal called on-bill repayment (OBR) available to their commercial customers. The programs, which will enable property owners to avoid the upfront cost of energy improvements, are scheduled to launch in March 2013. Regular readers of this blog … Continue reading California Approves Program Eliminating Upfront Cost Of Energy Upgrades

Germany’s Grid and the Market: 100 Percent Renewable by 2050?

Most of Germany’s pro-Energiewende voices think that Germany will far exceed its 2020 target of 35% clean energy. The Heinrich Böll Foundation, a Green think tank, is definitely among them. It argues that Germany could — with the right policies — go 100% renewable by 2050. But for Germany to do it, argues the report "A European … Continue reading Germany’s Grid and the Market: 100 Percent Renewable by 2050?

Carbon Tax Getting Serious Consideration As CBO Seeks To Address Regressiveness

CBO estimates that a carbon tax that yielded $103 per ton of carbon released would cost the average low-income family (lowest 20%) about $425 per year.  Top 20% families would end up paying $1,380 per year.  This is on the regressive side since it would represent 2.5% of the after-tax income of lower income families and … Continue reading Carbon Tax Getting Serious Consideration As CBO Seeks To Address Regressiveness

Why Are Permits Needed for LNG Export Terminals?

Last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) granted Cheniere Energy a permit to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a terminal at Sabine Pass in Louisiana. The terminal is currently used as an LNG import terminal, but the company has plans to convert it into an export terminal, with exports beginning by 2015. The permit … Continue reading Why Are Permits Needed for LNG Export Terminals?

Report: Solar Power Delivers High Value In New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Solar power in New Jersey and Pennsylvania delivers value to the electric grid that exceeds its cost by a large margin, according to a new study conducted by consulting firm Clean Power Research. According to the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) and the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association (PASEIA), which released the study, solar … Continue reading Report: Solar Power Delivers High Value In New Jersey, Pennsylvania

The Proper Role of Government in Energy

Since tomorrow’s election is heavily focused on the appropriate scope of government, I have spent a little time lately reflecting upon the proper role of government in the energy sector. In regards to the U.S. Presidential race, I will refrain from analyzing the respective policies and stances concerning energy of the two candidates.  This recent … Continue reading The Proper Role of Government in Energy

What Happens When the ITC Expires? Part 2

With the 30 percent Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) set to expire at the end of 2016, GTM Research has begun to assess the state of the U.S. solar market in a world with fewer incentives. In determining the potential for solar deployment, we are looking for a scenario where solar becomes cost-effective … Continue reading What Happens When the ITC Expires? Part 2

The fiscal cliff deal helped wind power. But our wind policy is still insane.

It took a lobbying blitz and a little bit of luck, but the wind industry eventually got its hoped-for reprieve in Tuesday’s fiscal cliff deal. As part of the bargain, Congress extended a key tax credit for wind energy for another year — at a cost of some $12 billion over 10  years. Not only that, … Continue reading The fiscal cliff deal helped wind power. But our wind policy is still insane.