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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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Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    NEW ENERGY DEAL GETS BETTER

    IEA, NEA study shows renewables LCOE keeps falling

    Tsvetomira Tsanova, August 31, 2015 (SeeNews)

    “…[T]he low-end levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for some renewable energy technologies is the same or even below that for baseload power plants [according to Projected Costs of Generating Electricity from the IEA (International Energy Agency) and the NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency)]…[T]he high-end renewables LCOE remains far above the cost of nuclear, coal or natural gas power generation, but the progress green energy has made towards becoming more competitive is notable. The LCOE for nuclear, coal and gas has increased a bit since 2010, while for renewables such as wind and solar, it keeps falling…[O]nshore wind remains the cheapest renewable energy option…[T]he cost of utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) and onshore wind is comparable and often lower in countries featuring plentiful resources and appropriate market and regulatory frameworks...” click here for more

    PLUG-IN CARS GAIN MARKET TRACTION

    Electric Vehicles Continue Gaining Consumer Acceptance

    Andrew Balazer, August 31, 2015 (National Law Review)

    “…[The August 2015 Uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles… shows] electric vehicles gaining a loyal finding, with the vast majority of electric vehicle owners saying that they were satisfied with their car and would recommend electric vehicles to others. While range anxiety remains an issue…private owners appear to have happily adopted their use for shorter trips, like commuting or running nearby errands…[W]here an electric car is part of a multi-car household, the electric car is used for the majority of trips…[indicating] the electric car is the primary car…Electric cars have so far been more expensive than comparable fossil fuel-powered cars; however, subsidies and tax breaks appear to be doing their job of getting people to at least consider electric cars. And once they are driving these cars regularly, consumers appear to be very satisfied…As prices for these cars fall with production costs, we can expect to see these cars taking a greater and greater share of the market…” click here for more

    BIGGEST NAMES IN HOME ENERGY MGMT

    Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Home Energy Management; Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 16 HEM Vendors

    3Q 2015 (Navigant Research)

    “Home energy management (HEM) is a broad market segment covering technologies and services that consumers use to help them better manage and control their home energy consumption…In the 2 years since the last iteration of this report, the HEM market has seen tremendous change…Navigant Research expects steady growth for HEM products and services through 2023. The HEM market has struggled to gain traction in the past, particularly from a utility standpoint. However, it began picking up momentum in 2014, when non-utility stakeholders started making bolder moves. The initial jolt came from Google’s early 2014 purchase of Nest Labs…According to Navigant Research, the global HEM revenue is expected to peak at a little over $3 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    NEW FINANCE PLAN FOR GEOTHERMAL

    Geothermal Community Could Be a Game Changer

    August 27, 2015 (RenewablesBiz)

    “…[T]hermal service providers…[may be like solar leasing and] sell thousands of new homeowners on geothermal heating and cooling…[The key] is taking the highest cost of geothermal loop off the table: excavating and drilling to install the ground loop…In Orca Energy’s plan,] Orca owns (and maintains) the ground loop, while the other equipment, heat pumps and so on, are amortized over the 20-year home mortgage…[There] is little impact on their monthly mortgage, but ongoing savings on energy use for the life of the home…Orca meters the thermal BTU of the ground loop and charges [the homeowner] a rate that's lower than the local electrical rate, [creating as much as 30 percent lower heating or cooling bills…” click here for more

    SUN IN MAINE

    Solar advocates see bright opportunity in northern Maine

    Anthony Brino, August 30, 2015 (BDN News)

    “…[Counterintuitively,] northern Maine may be one of the best places on the East Coast to turn sunlight into electricity, and it can be affordable for the middle class…On average, across winter, spring, summer and fall, northern Maine gets 4.2 hours of daily usable solar radiation that can be converted into electricity. Mid-Atlantic states such as Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania might be warmer, but they have more smog and less usable sunlight — about 3.5 hours on average…The cold also is an advantage…[because] silicon wafers and electrical conductors in solar panels thrive in the cold and run more efficiently in the winter, even though there are fewer hours of sunlight…According to Efficiency Maine, a 4.5-kilowatt (or 4,500-watt) photovoltaic system costs about $17,000 in total to purchase and install…[but] it’s a good investment for a long-term homeowner that almost certainly will pay off within 10 years…[and] is expected to [provide power for] 25 years…” click here for more

    CAN CA CLIMATE BILLS GET BY FOSSIL INTERESTS?

    Historic climate-change bills in California Legislature go down to the wire

    Jessica Calefati, August 29, 2015 (San Jose Mercury News)

    “With the deadline for lawmakers to finish their work less than two weeks away, Gov. Jerry Brown and state Senate leader Kevin de León are working feverishly to pass what they call the year's most important legislation…The bills, which would dramatically reduce the state's reliance on oil and help to combat climate change, have been praised by everyone from Pope Francis to President Barack Obama to the world's leading scientists…If enacted, the legislation would set international precedent and cement California's reputation as a leader in the fight against global warming…But standing in the way is one of Sacramento's most powerful lobbies, the oil and gas industry, which has spent millions of dollars on advertising that paints a dystopian vision of the future: an out-of-control bureaucracy that would have the power to ration gasoline, punish SUV owners and limit the number of miles Californians drive…After passing the Senate by a wide margin in June, the bills face a much tougher test in the Assembly, which is expected to take them up as early as this week…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    NEW ENERGY READY TO TAKE CONTROL

    Wind Energy Could Blow U.S. Coal Industry Away

    Henry Hewitt, 23 August 2015 (OilPrice)

    “…Wind leads solar energy in capacity installed as well as output (world solar capacity passed 200 GW this year); and other than a few welcome cases (so far) where PV comes in under 5 cents per kWh, wind is generally cheaper…[S]ome of the world’s industrial giants have not only taken a keen interest in wind energy but have also taken the lead in sticking turbines in the ground…Passing the 400 GW mark this year, world wind capacity already exceeds U.S. coal capacity and will likely pass natural gas power capacity in the U.S. this year. It topped U.S. nuclear capacity many years ago, and has now caught up worldwide…[W]ind not only can but will replace nuclear as a source of carbon free, risk free energy, with no fuel cost and no externalities…[The Old Guard will…[argue] wind is intermittent, so the capacity factor is far below that of coal, gas or nuclear…[but the] National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released data showing that the Capacity Factor (CF) for wind power can reach 65%, which is comparable to that of fossil fuel based generation…” click here for more

    THE PRESIDENT BOOSTS SOLAR

    Obama Flies to the Nevada Desert to Promote Solar Energy

    Gardiner Harris, August 24, 2015 (NY Times)

    “President Obama flew west into the blistering sun of this desert oasis…to speak with great hope about solar and other renewable forms of energy… The speech, at the National Clean Energy Summit, came as his administration announced a series of measures to encourage solar power construction, including making an additional $1 billion in loan guarantee authority available in a federal program for innovative versions of residential rooftop solar systems…With the nation’s electrical needs growing only modestly, executives in the renewable power industry are depending on electric utilities to retire their aging coal-fired power plants and replace them with renewable power sources. The administration’s power plan is expected to accelerate that process…” click here for more

    EV CHARGING ON THE GO

    England will test electric car charging lanes

    Bianca Seidman, August 25, 2015 (CBS News)

    “Some roads in England…could make electric vehicles a more feasible form of transportation if a new trial of wireless charging lanes is successful…The goal is to allow ultra-low emission vehicles to travel longer distances without the need to stop and charge…in a way that governments can afford…Later this year, Highways England will begin off-road tests of charging lanes for electric and hybrid vehicles. They will create mock roads built with charging coils under the pavement, which correspond to special receivers that will be fitted to electric vehicles. If the trials are successful after 18 months, the agency will conduct trials on working roadways. The UK government has committed £500 million ($784 million) over the next five years to advancing this technology…Similar projects are in progress in the United States…Highways England says that, in addition to testing the wireless and in-road charging solutions for electric vehicles, they are committed to installing plug-in electric charging stations every 20 miles on the highway.” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    SOLAR CHEAPER THAN NAT GAS

    SunEdison Solar Farm Beats Gas With Biggest Colorado Project

    Chris Martin, August 20, 2015 (Bloomberg News)

    SunEdison, the world’s biggest renewables developer, began construction in Colorado on the 156 MW Comanche solar installation. Its output will go to Xcel Energy subsidiary Public Service of Colorado (PSC), the state’s dominant electric utility. The project’s 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with PSC was won through a 2013 open solicitation. SunEdison’s undisclosed bid price beat bids for natural gas generation at $5.90 per million British thermal units (MMbtu) for 20 years and at $5.96 per MMbtu for 25 years. Natural gas was $2.71 on August 21 but forecasted by PSC to be over $6 by 2020. Record low prices for solar are coming in across the country. Austin Energy's most recent bid came in at under $40 per MWh (less than $0.04 per kWh). NV Energy signed a PPA for the 100 MW output of First Solar’s Playa Solar 2 installation at $0.0387 per kWh, which is thought to be the lowest rate for solar yet made public. click here for more

    WIND TO THE RESCUE

    A mighty optimistic wind estimate fuels EPA rule

    Peter Behr, August 7, 2015 (E&E Publishing)

    The Clean Power Plan relies on obtaining its 32% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through increasing to 28% the share of total U.S. power generation from wind and other renewables. Wind’s capability for meeting its share of that generation hinges on Congress renewing the $0.023 per kWh federal production tax credit (PTC). A recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysis showed that despite wind’s falling price, the tax incentive is vital to its growth. The EPA’s analysis shows wind can meet the CPP need without it. If the PTC is not renewed and wind’s growth falters, each state’s CPP implementation will have to find a way to replace it with natural gas, solar, energy efficiency and/or conservation. A Senate subcommittee recently passed a two-year extension of the PTC and its companion investment tax credit 23-3 but prospects in the full Senate are not promising for the $10.5 billion (over 10 years) budget item. click here for more

    NUKE PLANT COSTS STILL RISING

    Fitch: 'Failure' of new nuke construction means fewer plants

    Matthew Bandyk, August 20, 2015 (SNL)

    The under-construction Vogtle nuclear facility in Georgia and V.C. Summer nuclear facility in South Carolina are both about three years behind schedule and each is expected come in billions of dollars over their original budgets. These poor performances are expected to discourage further U.S. investment in nuclear power in the near term. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast of nuclear generation falling by 10,800 MW through 2020 could be understated because political pressure and the higher-than-expected cost of operations and maintenance is forcing plant retirements. Longer term hope for nuclear advocates comes from The EPA Clean Power Plan’s assignment of compliance to states that use new nuclear plants and existing facility upgrades that add new capacity. And the Department of Energy last year announced it would accept applications from nuclear developers for $12.5 billion in loan guarantees. click here for more

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    FAITH IN A TIME OF CHANGING CLIMATE

    A time for repentance: Implications of climate change for Nebraska

    Erin Andersen, August 21, 2015 (The 402 411)

    “Will a changing climate bring better conditions or a harsher environment for farmers? Will we see more rainfall or a new Dust Bowl? Yes is the answer to these questions, according to University of Nebraska-Lincoln climatologist and drought expert Don Wilhite…His Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska prompted the Rev. Kim Morrow to leave the pulpit...with the hope that faith, ethics and a moral imperative can change the course of the world…Morrow calls the report a ‘game changer.’ Nebraska and the Midwest states will have it easier than poverty-stricken parts of the world and even the U.S. coasts -- where droughts are expected to lengthen and extreme weather is expected to worsen and last longer...But easier is a relative term, Morrow noted…The changing climate will bring pendulum swings between extremes to our state, said Morrow, director of Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light and now a climate change resource specialist working with Wilhite in the school of Applied Climate Science at UNL…[A]lthough he sees a longer growing season, the less predictable and more variable precipitation also will be evaporated more quickly by the higher temperatures…” click here for more

    A TEXAS SOLAR BOOM?

    Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar; Companies are spending $1 billion on new projects to harvest electricity from the sun

    Russell Gold, August 21, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

    “A new energy boom is taking shape in the oil fields of west Texas…Solar power has gotten so cheap to produce—and so competitively priced in the electricity market—that it is taking hold even in a state that, unlike California, doesn’t offer incentives to utilities to buy or build sun-powered generation…Pecos County, about halfway between San Antonio and El Paso and on the southern edge of the prolific Permian Basin oil field, could soon host…several large solar-energy farms responsible for about $1 billion in investments…State incentives in California, Nevada and North Carolina helped fund the construction of many large-scale solar farms…But in Texas, while there is federal financial support for such projects, there are no state subsidies or mandates…Texas currently has only 193 megawatts of large-scale solar arrays…But the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the power grid that covers most of the state, expects between 10,000 megawatts and 12,500 megawatts of solar-generating capacity to be installed by 2029 [driven by falling prices]. That is roughly equal to the size of all solar farms currently operating in the U.S…” click here for more