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Here’s the secret sauce: E+C-Co+Be+Ext.
Adam James: May 16, 2013
The process of valuing energy resources can be very complex. As a result, the current model for assessing value is a reflection of the assets that have traditionally populated the grid, such as large centralized power plants, sprawling transmission and distribution lines, and the inherent costs for operating and managing this system. The valuation model has been to compensate these big investments over long periods of time through consumer’s electricity bills.
However, there is a transformation underway that is uprooting this model. Since distributed energy -- including energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, and storage -- reduces consumer’s bills, the value it offers must be fairly accounted for and compensated.
A new paper from Travis Bradford of Columbia University and Anne Hoskins of Princeton University has tackled this issue head on, laying the groundwork for an expert energy policy roundtable that will aim to come up with a new model for valuing distributed energy. The full report has two important points:Share This Post
They’ve all survived the “green proving ground.”
Stephen Lacey: May 16, 2013
As a manager of nearly 10,000 federal buildings across the country, the General Services Administration (GSA) is in a unique position to move the needle on energy use within the government.
In order to fulfill an executive order setting energy performance goals in government buildings, the GSA recently started a "green proving ground" to test out energy efficiency and renewable energy products for wider adoption across its portfolio of buildings. The proving ground is like American Gladiators for energy-efficient products, where technologies are put to the test in a variety of conditions.
Well, actually, it's not nearly as exciting. But it's certainly far more important.
In partnership with government labs, the GSA is installing all kinds of systems in its buildings -- variable speed chillers, wireless sensor networks, on-site water treatment and solar PV, among many others -- to determine which ones are suitable for widespread adoption. The testing has validated a wide set of technologies that, if implemented on a broader scale, could offer deep energy savings across thousands of buildings.
Here are five of the most recent technologies the GSA has tested and validated.Share This Post
By Kimberly Beltran
Monday, May 20, 2013
Three months ago the typically reserved nonpartisan Legislative Analyst used especially robust language in calling into question a plan from Gov. Jerry Brown to use new corporate tax revenue to improve energy efficiency at K-12 schools and community colleges.
Last week, the governor released his revised May budget and the only change Brown made to his vision for how the state should distribute Proposition 39 proceeds was to propose giving small districts a minimum grant award rather than allocating money based on each district’s average daily attendance.
As a result, Brown faces something of a confrontation with the influential LAO as well as a gaggle of legislative leaders who have bills pending that would enact different regulations for how the $1 billion-a-year new revenues should be used.
“The governor sees a statewide need that Prop. 39 can provide to K-12 schools – as well as to the jobs market because people are going to have to install these things,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Department of Finance. “And, in the long term, it’s going to benefit schools even more because the energy savings will allow them to put that money back into the classrooms.”
Prop. 39, passed by voters last November, is expected to generate nearly $1 billion a year by closing a tax loophole that allowed multistate businesses a choice in determining their California taxable income.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=3817Share This Post
Published: Monday, May. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1A
The idea of an oil severance tax has been bubbling for years, but proponents have been unable to surmount intense lobbying from the energy industry.
That hasn't deterred a state senator from coming up with a bill and a University of California, Berkeley, undergraduate from circulating a ballot initiative, both of which would impose a tax on the resources that energy companies draw out of the earth and direct the windfall to California colleges.
A key difference this time around is the legislative supermajority that will allow Democrats to pass new taxes without a single Republican vote, assuming Democrats vote as a unified caucus.
"Now there's an opportunity for us to be able to pass the kind of tax revenue that we've wanted to," said Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, whose Senate Bill 241 would impose a tax on harvesting oil and gas.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/20/5432778/california-oil-tax-push-would.htmlShare This Post
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on May 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM, updated May 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM
SALEM -- An initiative that would allow utilities to count all hydroelectric power toward renewable energy requirements was approved this week for signature gathering.
Organizers need to gather 87,213 valid signatures by July 3, 2014, to place the initiative on the Nov. 2014 ballot.
The initiative seeks to alter renewable portfolio standards approved in 2007 that require large utilities obtain 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015, and 25 percent by 2025. The law prohibits large utilities from counting hydroelectric power generated by dams built before 1995 towards the standard.
Portland lobbyist Paul Cosgrove and Salem resident Tom Hammer, the initiative sponsors, want to count all hydroelectric power toward the green energy mandate. "Most people agree that hydro power is renewable because in the every day meaning of that term, it is renewable," Cosgrove said.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/renewable_energy_initiative_ap.htmlShare This Post
By Steven Mufson, Published: May 16
The Obama administration drew sharp criticism from environmental and oil industry groups Thursday when it issued a new draft of regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.
Environmental groups said the new draft provided weaker water protections than a version the Interior Department proposed a year ago, while oil industry groups said they wanted regulation left in the hands of states and were opposed to any federal rules.
In its first update of hydraulic fracturing regulations in three decades, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management would require wider disclosure of chemicals used in drilling. It would also require that companies have a water-management plan for fluids that flow back to the surface and take steps to assure wellbore integrity and prevent toxic fluids from leaking into groundwater.
But environmental groups expressed disappointment that the regulations do not include a ban on the storage of waste fluids in open, lined pits. They also want complete disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, which the regulations would not require.Share This Post
by Chris Clarke
on May 16, 2013 1:38 PM
To read the entire article go to: http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/government/draft-fracking-rules-for-public-indian-lands-bend-to-industry.html?utm_source=feedly
The Interior Department has released a new set of proposed rules that would mandate use of an industry-funded website for disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian lands. In announcing the rules at a Thursday press conference, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell dismissed environmentalist concerns over the process, commonly called "fracking."
"Fracking has been done safely for decades," Jewell told reporters in a conference call. "There is no doubt that this essential tool will be used for decades to come."
The new proposed rules are a redrafting of rules first offerd for public comment in 2011, when they were roundly criticized. If adopted in their new form, they would mandate that companies disclose chemicals they use to fracture geological formations for increased extraction of gas and oil using the website fracfocus.org, managed by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) in close cooperation with energy extraction companies. Several states already mandate the use of FracFocus for fracking companies.
The site has taken serious criticism in recent weeks, most devastatingly in the form of a report by the Harvard Law School's Environmental Law Program that concluded:Share This Post
Remember the scene in the movie Gasland where the guy lights his tapwater on fire? No? Here it is:
That footage helped ignite the grassroots movement against fracking, a controversial technology that shoots a slurry of water mixed with sand and laced with toxic chemicals into underground shale formations to shatter the rock and release natural gas.
The only problem with this by-now-iconic image is that the faucet pyrotechnics may actually have been made possible by a natural phenomenon: The guy’s house is perched thousands of feet above a double seam of coal, according to the Colorado Department of Environmental Protection, and methane from underground coal and gas formations occasionally bubbles up through cracks in the earth and into people’s water wells — no fracking required. (Kids in Pennsylvania have apparently been torching their water for generations.)
Then again, the flaming tapwater may indeed result from fracking in the Colorado man’s neighborhood. The point is, nobody knows.Share This Post
By Steven Mufson, Published: May 17
The Energy Department gave a terminal near Freeport, Tex., permission Friday to ship liquefied natural gas to Japan, providing a new outlet for rising U.S. production of shale gas despite qualms of environmentalists and many domestic manufacturers.
The permit marks another step in the sudden reversal of fortune in the natural gas business. Less than five years ago, anticipating a worsening shortfall in domestic supplies of natural gas, the Freeport terminal on Quintana Island began operations as an import facility.
But advances in hydraulic fracturing techniques have unlocked new supplies of natural gas from shale rock. Freeport, like other import terminals, now wants to spend $10 billion to retool the terminal so it can send gas abroad in liquefied form.
Japan, with virtually all of its nuclear power plants shut down, is paying extremely high prices for energy imports and is looking for new supplies. Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric agreed to buy all of the liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the first of three phases of the Freeport export project for 20 years. The facility was conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.Share This Post
Ernest Moniz earned bipartisan approval Thursday as the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm the nuclear physicist as the next secretary of the Department of Energy. The support for Ernest Moniz is in contrast to divided opinions over Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to head the EPA.
By David J. Unger, Correspondent / May 16, 2013
The US Senate unanimously confirmed Ernest Moniz as Energy secretary Thursday.
Why It Matters
Energy: The next secretary of Energy will have to carry out President Obama's 'all-of-the-above' approach to energy policy in an era of tight budgets.
Environment: Funding priorities for the Department of Energy help chart the course towards a low-emission economy.
The bipartisan approval of the nuclear physicist comes in contrast to divided opinions over the fate of another key member of President Obama's second-term energy and environment team. Citing transparency concerns, Republican lawmakers have sought to stall the nomination of Gina McCarthy, Mr. Obama's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
With a background in both government and science, Mr. Moniz is seen as a departure from his predecessor, Steven Chu. Moniz served as under secretary of the Department of Energy between 1997 and 2001. Prior to his nomination, he was the director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Moniz also served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.Share This Post
Ken Silverstein | May 16, 2013
Public hearings will be held to determine if Southern California Edision can restart one of the two nuclear reactors it has on its San Onofre site. Regulators determined that the utility is unable to account for at this time what caused the problems that have kept its plant off line for more than a year.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energybiz.com/article/13/05/regulators-rule-socaled-has-yet-account-what-has-caused-its-troubles&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=EB_DAILY&utm_term=Original-MemberShare This Post
by Chris Clarke
on May 16, 2013 4:55 PM
And that number keeps climbing. According to the California Solar Statistics website, the number of California roofs generating power from the sun reached 150,428 as of Wednesday, with a total generating capacity of 1,560 megawatts -- about equivalent to three typical coal-fired power plants.
Los Angeles County now leads the state in the amount of rooftop generating capacity, with 171.4 megawatts of rooftop solar installed. San Diego and Santa Clara counties come in second and third, at 141 and 110 megawatts respectively.
San Jose leads California cities in total rooftop solar capacity, at 59.4 megawatts, a 21-megawatt jump since summer 2012.
The stats are compiled from data on rooftop solar arrays hooked up to the electrical grid through Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and arrays outside those utilities' service areas financed by the California Center for Sustainable Energy and GRID Alternatives. That means that rooftop solar in areas served by other utilities such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power or the Imperial Irrigation District may not even be included in these totals.
Nonetheless, it's a hopeful benchmark, and its passing didn't go unnoticed by solar advocates. "150,000 rooftop solar installations is clear evidence that Californians want clean renewable energy generation to keep expanding," said Evan Gillespie of the Sierra Club's My Generation campaign. "As California enters its summer season of high electricity demand, the energy generated from rooftop solar is providing more and more of the peak power that we need to avoid potential blackouts. With San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down, these new solar installations will play a crucial role in the months ahead."
Gillespie did warn that the state's growth in rooftop solar isn't without obstacles, citing utility opposition to expanded net metering and feed-in tariff programs. "Unfortunately, all indications are that utilities would like to limit or even reverse the growth of rooftop solar in order to protect their business model based on bloated dirty fuel projects," he said. "From helping to keep the lights on to putting Californians back to work, rooftop solar provides so many benefits to the state. This is the time to move forward, not backwards."Share This Post
Silicon Valley Business Journal
Date: Friday, May 17, 2013, 3:06pm PDT
Things keep getting brighter for SolarCity
The solar installer posted a rosy outlook earlier this week, and it's stock has been climbing ever since. Today, it finished up another 26 percent, at $45. All told the company's stock price has climbed by 95 percent in the past three months.
Monday's Q1 earnings release was mixed, with a 21 percent increase in sales to $30 million. But a corresponding increase in the amount spent installing solar panels drove the company's loss to $31 million.
To read the entire article go to: http://m.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/05/17/solarcity-continues-to-climb.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sanjose+%28Silicon+Valley+%2F+San+Jose+Business+Journal%29&r=fullShare This Post
This savvy energy player has decided that now is the time to move into solar.
Eric Wesoff: May 16, 2013
NextEra Energy Resources has acquired Smart Energy Capital, a commercial solar project developer with more than 75 megawatts of PV deployed across a number of states, according to sources close to the deal. Smart Energy Capital and NextEra have confirmed the transaction. Financial details were not disclosed.
Parent company NextEra (NYSE: NEE) is a profitable independent power producer (IPP) with an immense 42-gigawatt portfolio covering twenty states and provinces, focused mostly on wind, natural gas, and nuclear. The firm was the number-one wind installer in the U.S. last year. Its solar projects include the SEGS concentrating solar power plant, New Jersey's Paradise project, and the 5-megawatt Hatch, NM CPV project.
This acquisition looks to be NextEra's deeper entry into solar, driven in some measure by Andrew Beebe, who was recently named VP of Distributed Generation at NextEra Energy Resources after leaving his role as Suntech's Chief Commercial Officer in September.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/NextEra-Wind-and-Gas-Giant-Goes-Solar-Buys-Smart-Energy-Capital?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDailyShare This Post
Solar energy sounds like a dream, but buying and installing the equipment necessary to harness the power of the Sun can be expensive. But what if you could print your own solar panels?
The researchers at Australia's Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) — a collaboration between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne, Monash University and industry partners — have managed to print photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper.
"There are so many things we can do with cells this size. We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside," said CSIRO materials scientist, Dr. Scott Watkins.Share This Post