NewEnergyNews More

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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Your intrepid reporter

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    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    BUFFETT BUCKS BACK NEW ENERGY

    Warren Buffett Is Betting Big on Wind Energy in Nebraska, and Other Planet-Saving News

    Juan Cole, May 6, 2015 (TruthDig)

    “Wind power is on a roll in the US despite a fickle Congress and the machinations of Big Coal and Big Gas to keep all the subsidies for themselves. And one of the world’s most successful investors, Warren Buffett, has noticed [and is investing in Nebraska wind]…BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., …founded in 2011, has invested $10 billion to generate 3.4 gigawatts from hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind plants. Utilities make long-term agreements to buy the energy. Since the fuel for these plants is free, there’s money to be made in generating electricity this way…Another Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, MidAmerican Energy Company…is putting nearly another $1 billion into wind in Iowa…” click here for more

    THE FUTURE OF SOLAR

    Mit Energy Initiative Releases Major Report On The Future Of Solar Energy Focused On Solar’s Key Role In A Low Carbon Future

    May 5, 2015 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    “…Solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions – but to realize this potential will require increased emphasis on developing lower-cost technologies and more effective deployment policy, [according to MIT’s The Future of Solar Energy]…” click here for more

    MICROGRIDS TRIPLING

    Microgrid Deployment Tracker 2Q15; Commercial/Industrial, Community, Utility Distribution, Institutional/Campus, Military, Remote, and DC Microgrids: Operating, Planned, and Proposed Projects by World Region

    2Q 2015 (Navigant Research)

    “…As of 2Q 2015, Navigant Research has identified a total of 12,031 MW of total microgrid capacity throughout the world, up from 4,393 MW in 2Q 2014—a near tripling of the known scope of the microgrid market…Asia Pacific may emerge as the market leader over the long term….[D]ata collected from projects and project portfolios [shows 47% of [planned] global capacity [is there], compared to North America’s 44%. If one looks at the microgrids that are currently online, however, North America still leads; the region holds a nearly identical market share (66%) compared with data presented in 2Q 2014 (65%). In terms of segments, the remote segment is the clear leader in terms of both numbers of projects and overall capacity, representing 46% of the total microgrid market. This represents a doubling of its market share compared to data collected in 2Q 2014…” click here for more

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    CLIMATE CHANGE IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH

    Doctors are already seeing links between climate change and their patients’ health

    Jonathan Patz and Howard Frumkin, 4 May 2015 (Grist)

    “…Now, the nation’s leading medical practitioners — with the White House behind them — are stepping forward with a diagnosis that all of us should heed, because the symptoms are becoming undeniable and the risks tremendous: Climate change is a health threat…” click here for more

    SOLAR CATCHING UP TO OIL

    Is Solar Energy Ready To Compete With Oil And Other Fossil Fuels? Gaurav Agnihotri, May 4, 2015 (NASDAQ)

    “…even the gulf region has now recognized the changing nature of global energy dynamics and the growing demand for sustainable energy…According to a report for the national bank of Abu Dhabi by the University of Cambridge and PWC…solar energy presents a significant opportunity to make savings, reduce fuel cost risks, achieve climate ambitions and, at the same time, keep more oil and gas available for export…The study says that more than half of global investment in new electricity generation is in renewables…[and] around $150 billion was invested globally in solar energy generation in 2014 and solar energy is all set to be at grid parity in 80% of the countries in the next two years…” click here for more

    TESLA RECYCLING ITS CARS

    Tesla is now selling used electric cars for lower prices

    Rich McCormick, May 4, 2015 (The Verge)

    “…Tesla Motors [quietly launched] a pre-owned vehicle program at the end of April — a new scheme that offers older versions of its Model S sedan for lower prices than new models. The used cars still come with Tesla maintenance and reliability checks, and like other high-end car makers, Musk's company gives a 4-year or 50,000-mile warranty on pre-owned vehicles…” click here for more

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    WHAT TESLA BATTERIES NEED TO SUCCEED

    Tesla's New Home Energy Storage Solution Still Needs Help to Be a Breakthrough; For Tesla’s cheap Gigafactory-produced battery cells to truly disrupt stationary energy storage, it needs more partnerships and acquisitions in power electronics, software, and with utilities

    May 1, 2015 (Lux Research)

    “…[The] new offerings for stationary energy storage [from Tesla], including the Powerwall battery for residential energy storage…[and] massive capacity for lithium-ion batteries from its Gigafactory coming online soon…[mean] Tesla and its supplier Panasonic need new markets…[T]he burgeoning stationary energy storage market is a ripe target – but it will need more help to succeed, according to Lux Research…The distributed energy storage space already has many players offering standalone and solar-connected battery systems, so Tesla is certainly not the first to market. However, the EV maker does have key product scaling benefits afforded to few of its competitors, through its relationships with Panasonic for lithium-ion cells and SolarCity, the largest residential solar installer…[but it] must tackle three key areas…Cost reduction beyond [$350/kWh]…Offering financing and new residential business models…[and working] with utilities, not against them…” click here for more

    WIND RUSH GOES INTO 2015, NON-UTILITY PPAS STILL TRENDING

    Dow Chemical, Walmart, Kaiser Permanente, and Google Energy took over half of Q1 PPAs; Wind power industry touts strong growth

    Devin Henry, April 30, 2015 The Hill

    The U.S. wind energy industry is in the middle of a near record expansion, with over 13,600 MW of capacity in construction at 100 sites in 23 states, according to the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2015 Market Report from the American Wind Energy Association. Several factors are driving the “wind rush” but the most important is probably the extensions of the 2013 and 2014 production tax credit which allowed projects to qualify by beginning construction or investment in the year and be completed in 2015 and 2016. Texas, the leading state for installed wind capacity, also leads the $23 billion expansion with 7,800 MW in construction and 110 MW of Q1’s 131 MW of completed installed capacity. The other top 5 states in the rush are Oklahoma with over 890 MW under construction, Kansas with more than 870 MW, New Mexico with 680 MW, and North Dakota with over 530 MW. There were 1,200 MW of U.S. wind energy capacity construction begun in Q1 including the U.S. wind industry’s first offshore wind project, Rhode Island’s 5 turbine, 30 MW Block Island installation. Building on a trend begun in 2014 when almost a quarter of all new PPAs came from the private sector, over half the Q1 750 MW of new power purchase agreements were from four companies: Dow Chemical (200 MW), Walmart (50 MW), Kaiser Permanente (43 MW), and Google Energy (43 MW). click here for more

    FERC DENIES STUDY FOR SOUTHEAST POWER SHARING

    Federal Regulators Deny Complaint over Glut in Southeastern Electric Supply – Without Denying the Excess Supply Exists; “Regulatory Contortion” allows Duke Energy, others to keep gouging customers by building power plants instead of sharing regional resources as the regulators have urged

    Jim Warren, May 1, 2015 (NC WARN)

    Despite huge amounts of excess power generation capacity on hand now and for decades to come – and dozens of large power plants sitting idle most of the year – protected monopoly utilities across the southeast keep building more plants instead of buying power from each other as federal regulators have urged…[but] those regulators denied a complaint by watchdog group NC WARN without contesting the federal data we used to show gross oversupply across the Southeast…In a classic Catch-22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied our request for an independent study into how many billions could be saved annually if southeastern utilities begin sharing power supply through regional cooperation, as FERC has pressed for. FERC says we didn’t supply enough data…[but that] study is the only path to get all of the data on the table…NC WARN cited utility and federal data showing that southeastern utilities maintain power plant capacities ranging from 24 to 37 percent above the highest usage of the year. Those reserves are over twice as high as the industry standard of 14-15 percent, and for all but the very hottest and coldest months, excess capacity goes far higher in the Southeast…The regulators admit that they urge utilities to share resources and that they have jurisdiction to require them to do so…” click here for more

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOLAR

    A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable

    David Roberts, April 28, 2015 (Vox)

    “…[S]olar photovoltaic (PV) power is eventually going to dominate global energy. The question is not if, but when…The main reason is pretty simple: solar PV is different from every other source of electricity, in ways that make it uniquely well-suited to 21st-century needs…[including] abundance, resilience, and sustainability…Coal plants, gas plants, nuclear plants, and concentrated solar power plants are all just different ways of boiling water to produce steam that spins a turbine. Wind power harnesses the wind to spin a turbine. Hydropower dams use flowing water to crank a turbine. These spinning turbines, in turn, provide mechanical force to an electric generator, which translates it into electrical current…[Solar PV] converts sunlight directly into electricity…[A] solar cell has no moving parts, so operation and maintenance costs tend to be very low. It has to be kept clean, but that's about it…[A] solar cell requires no fuel — so fuel costs are zero…[And] a solar cell generates power without any pollution…” click here for more

    MICHIGAN TURNS TO WIND

    What's next for Michigan's energy transformation?

    Keith Matheny, April 25, 2015 Detroit Free Press

    “…Michigan this year met a goal, set in state law in 2008, to generate 10% of its power from renewable sources...Gov. Rick Snyder in March laid out a renewable energy plan calling for the state to meet up to 40% of its power needs through energy waste reduction, increased use of natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and biomass…Wind surpassed biomass as the state's primary renewable energy resource last year, with the state in the top five nationally for adding capacity…Michigan's 20 utility-scale wind farms and total capacity of more than 1,500 megawatts place it 18th among U.S. states for wind energy generation. Michigan's wind resource has the potential to produce…nearly five times Michigan's entire 2012 electricity demand…[The state is] in the midst of a significant shift away from coal, spurred largely by federal mandates…Michigan is required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 31% over 2012 levels…Snyder projected a reduction in coal-produced energy in Michigan from 54% now to 34% in 10 years. The power plants are largely transitioning to natural gas…But natural gas also comes with concerns. It's moved around the state in a pipeline system that is old and crumbling…” click here for more

    DEMAND RESPONSE MRKT – $0.2BIL TO $1.3BIL IN 10 YRS

    Demand Response Enabling Technologies; Metering, Communications, and Controls Equipment: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    2Q 2015 (Navigant Research)

    “Demand response (DR) is becoming a growing part of the resource base that electric system operators rely on to maintain reliability on the grid…Advanced technologies [like automated demand response (ADR) systems] can help speed this transition…A number of drivers point toward increased DR adoption in North America and other regions of the world. The changing resource mix in electric grids globally is creating more potential for DR to play a pivotal role. New market types, like ancillary services such as reserves and regulation, are opening up to DR. The concepts of resiliency and microgrids have taken strong root along the Atlantic Coast following Hurricane in 2012, and DR will be an integral part of those developments. The advent of grid modernization is also tied to this new view on how the grid should be designed. According to Navigant Research, global DR spending is expected to grow from $183.8 million in 2015 to more than $1.3 billion in 2024…” click here for more

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    THE NEED FOR COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR

    NREL Report Estimates Market Potential of Shared Solar and Discusses Relevant Securities Regulations

    April 27, 2015 (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    “Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020…Shared solar models allocate the electricity of a jointly owned or leased system to offset individual consumers' electricity bills, allowing energy consumers to share the benefits of a single solar array…[explains] Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation…At least 49 percent of U.S. households and 48 percent of businesses are currently unable to host a PV system when excluding residential renters, those without access to roof space (e.g., multi-unit housing, malls), and/or those living or working in buildings with insufficient roof space. There are several factors, including easier and less restrictive participation and economies of scale, that may cause shared solar deployment to be significantly higher than these estimates…[S]hared solar could lead to cumulative U.S. PV deployment growth of 5.5-11.0 gigawatts between 2015 and 2020 and represent $8.2 to $16.3 billion of cumulative investment…” click here for more

    FIRST U.S. OFFSHORE WIND PROJECT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION

    Deepwater Breaks Ground on America’s First Offshore Wind Project; Block Island Wind Farm to Cut Electricity Rates for Residents by 40 percent

    April 27, 2015 Sierra Club

    Deepwater Wind broke ground on the first U.S. offshore wind project on Monday, the five turbine, 30 MW installation off Rhode Island’s Block Island. Construction, which will create an estimated 300 jobs, is expected to be finished by the end of 2016. The Block Island project, proposed in 2009, has a power purchase agreement with National Grid. The turbines will provide electricity to all the island’s homes and businesses in place of diesel generators. Excess generation will go into the mainland grid via a new undersea cable. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has designated an area off the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coasts for wind development that has a 9,000 MW potential and could create 43,000 New England jobs. There were about 7 GW of offshore wind installed globally at the end of 2014, most in Europe, where 6.6 GW were in construction and development…DOE funding for offshore wind has been substantial but hasn’t broken the U.S. logjam. None of the other 14 projects in development, representing 4.9 GW of capacity, have started construction. click here for more