NewEnergyNews More: August 2015

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Every day is Earthday.

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  • Monday, August 31, 2015


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    Will Wind Energy Emerge as the Unsung Hero in Fighting Climate Change?

    Ronald White, August 20, 2015 (Center for Effective Government)

    “While solar energy typically receives the most attention as the ‘bright future’ of renewable energy, there is strong evidence that wind energy will emerge as the ‘unsung hero’ of the renewable clean energy movement…A key strategy for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming included in President Obama’s Clean Power Plan…is to grow renewable energy from its current 10 percent of all energy used in America to 28 percent by 2030…[A Department of Energy (DOE) study concluded wind power can be] 20 percent of U.S. energy by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050…[which would cut global-warming carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 16 percent in 2030 and 23 percent by 2050…The avoided climate change damages under this scenario amount to an estimated $400 billion…[and almost 22,000 avoided early deaths and more than 10,000 avoided emergency room visits for asthma attacks…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015


    etter wind turbines could spell trouble for coal; From taller towers to more efficient turbines, the case for wind energy is growing.

    Sami Grover, August 17, 2015 (Mother Nature News)

    “…[Construction is set to begin on a 200-plus megawatt North Carolina wind installation, the first large-scale wind farm in the Southeast with] a hefty power purchase agreement from web-giant Amazon…[It shows how] wind turbines are getting taller and cheaper, and they're able to produce energy more efficiently, more of the time, in more places across the country…While the developers are using taller towers (93 meters, compared to the standard 80-meter towers used until recently) it won't be long before we could see towers reaching up to 140 meters or more…[because] the higher you go, the stronger and more consistent wind speeds will be…[And turbines aren't just getting bigger; they're getting more efficient…[What's becoming increasingly evident] is that the cost of wind power isn't just coming down. It's ability to produce power is consistently going up too…Things really do look bright for wind energy…” click here for more


    Power companies may have found a new way to crack into the solar business

    Chris Mooney, August 19, 2015 (Washinton Post)

    “…[N]ew research out of the University of Texas at Austin suggests there could be a kind of ‘middle ground’ in the conflict between some utilities and solar installers. The potential ‘win¬win,’ as the researchers put it, involves so-¬called community solar — solar energy projects or panels that are in effect shared by a group of people, such as the inhabitants of an apartment building, rather than sitting on a single residential rooftop…[Business model innovations for deploying distributed generation: The emerging landscape of community solar in the U.S.] found that at least some utility companies seem to like community solar programs, are already offering them, and plan to expand them…[because customers] clearly want access to solar, and some utility industry representatives find community solar to be a great way to give it to them — in a manner that allows the utility to continue to service these customers’ full electricity demand…[and many] Americans still lack access…” click here for more


    Panasonic Leads in EV Batteries With 39% Market Share, But Others Aim for Its Crown; LG Chem could claim lead in the emerging $30 billion market, if it can accelerate sales…

    August 18, 2015 (Lux Research)

    “Panasonic is currently the runaway leader in the nascent battery market for electric vehicles, but LG Chem has the potential to overtake it in [a still emerging market that] will be a $30 billion market in 2020…[but] most auto majors are quickly offering [plug-in] more options…[including the] Volkswagen Group…Renault-Nissan will account for 9% of this market in 2020…[but] its joint venture that sources batteries from NEC, has underperformed, hobbled by high costs and lagging technology, leaving an opening for LG Chem…New technology beyond the current Li-ion batteries is key to the lower cost and higher performance need…Samsung Ventures has invested in solid-state battery developer Seeo and in graphene-silicon anode maker XG Sciences…Volkswagen has backed Quantumscape and GM Ventures has invested in Sakti3, Envia Systems, and SolidEnergy Systems…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015


    Inside Microsoft's wind energy strategy

    Stephen Abbott, August 18, 2015 (GreenBiz)

    “Over the past two years, Microsoft has contracted for 285 MW of renewable power from two off-site wind energy projects…capable of generating enough electricity to power 125,000 U.S. homes…[that] could not have been built without the long-term off-take agreement provided by Microsoft…The [Rocky Mountain Institute Business Renewables Center (BRC)…is working to accelerate corporate procurement of off-site renewable energy, such as Microsoft’s, by bringing together corporate buyers, project developers and service providers…Microsoft’s data center energy group, the principal champions of these transactions, pursued renewable energy contracts to both reduce costs and limit the company’s operational exposure to future energy price fluctuations, especially increases…[R]enewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) [allow] the company to balance…large, long-term demand with a similarly large, long-term, fixed-cost supply…[and] save the company money…” click here for more


    Google Launches ‘Project Sunroof’ To Show Where Solar Energy Works Best; How Much Free Power Can You Get From Your Roof?

    Mary Beth Griggs, August 17, 2015 (Popular Science)

    “…Google’s Project Sunroof uses data from Google Maps to tell people whether their homes are good candidates for solar panels…[The website uses location data], Street View, and satellite imagery to calculate the shape of your roof, how much sun your roof gets, and factors in shade from trees and other buildings. It even connects you to solar panel installers in the area, just in case you're so pumped by the results you can't wait to take that next step…[It] is only available in a few places right now…[but] there are plans to expand the project to locations across the country… in keeping with Google's previously stated clean energy ambitions…” click here for more


    Geothermal Tapped for 2 Downtown Tulsa Buildings

    Linda Hardesty, August 17, 2015 (Energy Manager Today)

    “Beneath an urban reuse area in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as Guthrie Green, a system of geothermal pipes provide cooling for two nearby buildings…A field of 120 500-foot geothermal boreholes were drilled in Guthrie Green prior to the construction of the Tulsa Paper Company building and the Hardesty Arts Center building. The field ties into a hybrid system of geothermal heat pumps and a ground-mounted cooling tower that serve as the main mechanical systems for the buildings…The geothermal-borehole field, which is organized into 15 operating circuits, provides 600 tons of heating and cooling to both buildings, with the capability of reducing heating and cooling costs by about 60 percent…The Tulsa Paper Company building has 15 geothermal-heat-pump systems…and the Hardesty Visual Arts Center has 59…” click here for more

    Monday, August 17, 2015


    We need a miracle on climate change

    Michael Gerson, August 13, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “…If climate scientists are right about the pace of global warming, and about the total amount of carbon dioxide that humans can emit in the future without potentially catastrophic consequences, then we currently do not have feasible policy responses that are adequate to the need, even if we had far greater political will. By some estimates, the world must keep two¬-thirds of its carbon¬-based energy resources in the ground — at the same time that vast numbers of people…move toward middle¬class levels of energy consumption…There was no way to get to the moon by stacking ladders. That required an entirely different technology…So how do we get technological miracles at a realistic social and economic cost? Only by dramatically increased investment in basic research and development. [Bill Gates] has pledged to increase his personal investments in green technologies by $1 billion over the next five years…[and] he has also recommended that U.S. investments in basic energy technology be more than tripled — from about $5 billion to $16 billion a year. Even at this level, energy research funding would lag well behind defense and health research…” click here for more


    Are Solar Energy Yieldcos Worth More Than Investors Think?

    Paul Ausick, August 15, 2015 (24/7 Wallstreet)

    “…Are solar stocks merely tracking stocks for oil company stocks? While that may appear to be the case, Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggested…the drop in oil prices could boost investments in renewable energy. Bloomberg reports that U.S. investment in clean energy rose from $48 billion in 2013 to $52 billion in 2014. Only China, which invested $89 billion in 2014, sunk more investment into clean energy last year. Globally, clean energy investment rose to $310 billion, the second highest total on record, behind only 2011’s $318 billion…[And according to Bloomberg, the] key drivers behind these numbers were: the brief window of renewed policy support for wind, the acceleration of the rooftop solar business; and the emerging phenomenon of ‘yieldcos’ (publicly listed companies that own operating renewable energy assets)…[But] yieldcos have tracked oil stocks down, with losses in a range of 11% to about 44%...[A]re investors missing something here? …[L]ook at five yieldcos: Abengoa Yield…NRG Yield…NextEra Energy Partners…TerraForm Power…[and] 8point3 Energy Partners…” click here for more

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    The U.S. wind energy boom couldn’t be coming at a better time

    Chris Mooney, August 10, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan…requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report finds that wind] is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions…[The study suggests] that wind is being installed at a rapid rate, that its costs are plummeting, that its technologies are advancing, and that it is creating a growing number of jobs to boot…Wind energy in the U.S. is now at 66 gigawatts of installed capacity… providing roughly 5 percent of total U.S. electricity demand…[or] enough electricity to power 17.5 million homes…[and] 13 more gigawatts are now [in construction] and set to come online by 2016…[I]n 2012, the U.S. had 1063 gigawatts of total installed electricity capacity…[W]ind now provides 73,000 jobs…[and] is now just 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s the lowest it has ever been…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015


    Maui may get its first two major solar energy farm projects

    Duane Shimogawa, August 10, 2015 (Pacific Business News)

    “Developer South Maui Renewables Resources…plans to build a 2.87-megawatt project near the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei…[and Kuia Solar LLC] plans to build a 2.87-megawatt project in Lahaina near Lahainaluna School…These projects are expected to offer up to [their] nearly 6-megawatts of solar power to Maui Electric’s grid at a price of 11.06 cents per kilowatt-hour…The utility said it does not mark up or take a profit from purchased power, passing the savings directly to Valley Isle customers…Maui’s 2014 average monthly rate for residential customers was 37.83 cents per kilowatt-hour…There are more than 8,000 rooftop photovoltaic systems installed in Maui County, with nearly 2,000 of those systems installed last year alone...[and more] than 30 percent of the electricity used in Maui County now comes from renewable sources.” click here for more


    Plan for Maine’s largest wind farm submitted to regulators

    Darren Fishell, July 17, 2015 (BDN Maine)

    "Plans to build New England’s largest wind farm in southern Aroostook County were submitted to [the Maine Department of Environmental Protection by developer EDP Renewables. If approved, pre-construction could begin] by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017…[T]he company is still working with towns in the area on local permitting matters and with the state’s two major utilities — Emera and Central Maine Power Co. — to build a 50-mile transmission line that would connect [the project] to the regional grid in Haynesville…[EDP secured long term contracts for the 250 MW output of the 119 turbine Number Nine Wind Farm from] Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating…” click here for more


    Sierra Magazine Announces 2015 Rankings Of America’s Greenest Colleges And Universities; Annual “Cool Schools” issue shows new trends in campus sustainability

    August 11, 2015 (Sierra Magazine)

    “…Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, released its ninth annual ‘Cool Schools’ ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities. Each of the schools ranked in the top 20 have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility…More than 150 schools filled out Sierra’s extensive survey…This is UC Irvine’s sixth consecutive year as a top 10 finalist, and its second time in a row as Sierra’s winner, thanks in part to three on-campus solar projects, a 19-megawatt turbine cogeneration plant, and energy-efficiency goals that are consistently exceeded…Other factors that helped those at the top of our list: dining halls that serve organic, local foods; waste systems that divert trash away from landfills; transportation options that keep students and staff out of cars; academic programs that are heavily eco-focused; and strong methods in place to conserve water and energy…” click here for more

    Monday, August 10, 2015


    Communicating the consensus on climate change

    Sam Illingworth, August 10, 2015 (PhysOrg)

    “…Climate Change is happening, global warming is real, our planet is changing irrevocably, and it is almost entirely our fault. This is not an opinion or a provocation; this is scientific fact, agreed upon by approximately 97 % of climate scientists…But then there's this equally unavoidable fact. According to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in 2014, only 44% of Americans said they thought global warming is both happening and human caused. Without the public accepting the [facts, it is] far less likely to want to accept climate change mitigation policies, such as the recent Obama Clean Power Plan…One of the key findings of [a recent study] was that members of the general public were more likely to correctly estimate scientific agreement when presented with quantitative rather than qualitative statements...It is unlikely that a single exposure to a scientific agreement message will result in complete belief updating; however, … simple clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources is an effective framework for public communication…” click here for more


    Energy Department Reports Highlight Trends of Growing U.S. Wind Energy Industry; New Installations Usher in Lowest Wind Energy Prices to Date

    August 10, 2015 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…[T]he U.S. wind energy industry continued growing at an impressive rate in 2014, further solidifying America’s position as a global leader in wind energy. Wind power is a key component of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and Clean Power Plan to reduce climate-changing carbon pollution, diversify our energy economy, and boost America’s economic competitiveness…With rapidly increasing wind energy generation, fast-growing demand, and steadily decreasing wind energy prices—the lowest ever seen in the United States— the U.S. wind energy market remains strong…According to the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report…total installed wind power capacity in the United States grew at a rate of eight percent in 2014 and now stands at nearly 66 gigawatts (GW), which ranks second in the world and meets 4.9 percent of end-use electricity demand in an average year. The United States was the global leader in total wind energy production in 2014. The report also finds that wind energy prices are at an all-time low and are competitive with wholesale power prices and traditional power sources across many areas of the United States…” click here for more


    SEIA Unveils Consumer Guide to Solar Power; Free guide offers one-stop shop to better understand the basics of solar energy, ownership August 10, 20154 (The News) “…[T]he first SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power… offers those interested in solar power a one-stop shop to better understand the basics of solar energy and ownership options and includes key questions to ask solar installers before entering a transaction. The guide is a result of a joint effort of the leading companies across the solar industry and complements [the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)] existing code of ethics by which all SEIA members abide…[T]he residential solar market is growing at a record-breaking pace. According to the newly released U.S. Solar Market Insight report Q1 2015, the market segment increased 76 percent from this time last year. By 2016, industry projections forecast enough clean solar energy in the U.S. to power 8 million homes…One of the components of the consumer guide is a section…devoted solely to potential problem resolution…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015


    MidAmerican aiming for 57 percent of energy from wind

    Donnelle Eller, July 27 2015 Des Moines Register

    Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy, the utility subsidiary of the Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE), is planning on obtaining up to 57% of its electricity from wind and is also planning to expand its generation capabilities into utility-scale solar power plants and community shared solar arrays…BHE just signed the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge and committed to extend the fight against climate change along with Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Alcoa, Cargill, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, and Wal-Mart…MidAmerican has invested some $6 billion in wind energy since 2004 and has a $900 million 552 MW project awaiting approval from Iowa regulators that would take the utility’s installed renewables capacity to over 4,000 MW by 2017 and make it possible to get to the 57% wind target. click here for more


    Solar-Power Fight Hits Home in Arizona

    Cassandra Sweet, July 31, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

    A new Arizona consumer protection law, SB 1465, will require increased clarification for homeowners from solar leasing companies…Solar companies say legislators were pushed by Arizona’s utilities to put the unnecessary protections in place to slow the rapid growth of rooftop solar in the state…A $93 per month lease with a 2.9% per year escalator allows a homeowner to have the benefits of solar for a total cost of about $30,000 over the 20 year contract life rather than paying $17,300 upfront…Solar leasing pioneer and sector leader SolarCity has suffered allegations of shoddy installations but has the Better Business Bureau’s A+ rating…For solar leasing, SolarCity General Counsel Seth Weissman said, there are 12 to 15 statutes. Regulation M under the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) governs solar leasing and car leasing…Selling solar systems with financing is governed by the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z. Uniform deceptive and unfair trade practices acts and FTC’s Fair Credit Reporting Act also regulate solar. click here for more


    Super PAC backing Bush received $1M from Florida power firm after he pushed for rate increase

    Jack Gillum and Ronnie Greene, August 3, 2015 AP

    National independent power producer NextEra Energy, parent of regulated utility Florida Power & Light (FP&L), the state’s biggest electricity provider, is the biggest corporate donor to Right to Rise, the political action committee (PAC) supporting the Jeb Bush campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination… NextEra donated over $1 million to the Bush super PAC in 2015. That does not include a $2,700 contribution from NextEra’s CEO. The Bush campaign denied this would create a conflict of interest…NextEra is currently engaged in federal regulatory proceedings pertaining to power plant emissions and recently warned shareholders about the costs of environmental law compliance…The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations and unions to make political contributions through super PACs like Right to Rise that do not coordinate with the candidates. click here for more

    Tuesday, August 4, 2015


    Wind energy a major solution under Clean Power Plan; Wind can supply majority of new clean power needed most cost-effectively, according to EIA

    August 3, 2015 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “Wind energy can provide a majority of the clean power that states will need to comply with the government’s new rule to reduce carbon pollution from electric power plants…and it can save consumers money doing so…The final rule of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan…[calls] for reducing carbon emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Wind energy can supply the majority of the lowest-cost Clean Power Plan compliance mix, according to recent economic analysis by theU.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)…” click here for more


    The Solar Industry Applauds EPA's Clean Power Plan

    August 2, 2015 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    “Calling President Obama’s signature climate change policy both ‘historic’ and ‘critically needed,’ the solar industry issued its strong support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan…[and urged] states to consider solar as a clean, affordable, reliable and carbon-free solution…[because it] works in all 50 states, has zero carbon emissions, creates more jobs per megawatt (MW) than any other technology, and can be deployed cost-effectively and quickly…while improving grid reliability…[It is already] the fastest-growing source of energy in America and…[and has created] more than 150,000 new solar jobs in the last decade…By the end of 2016, there will be enough solar energy in the U.S. to power 8 million homes, offsetting nearly 45 million metric tons of carbon emissions…The final rule will include an incentive period to encourage states to take advantage of solar energy's falling costs and rapid deployment…[which] emphasizes the significant role the EPA believes solar will play in helping states cut their carbon emissions…” click here for more


    Only One Loser In Obama's Clean Power Plan

    James Conca, August 4, 2015 (Forbes)

    “Natural gas, renewables, nuclear and efficiency are the winners[in the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan…that requires a 32% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030 relative to 2005 levels]. Coal is the loser…Critics claim that the Plan is inherently unfair, punishes taxpayers and will destroy our economy, similar to what was claimed [but never happened] for the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and a host of other environmental changes that have kept our country reasonable cleaner and safer than most other nations in the world…And none of that will happen if this Plan gets enacted…Since coal kills about a million people worldwide each year, more than any other part of our infrastructure, this public health aspect is the real strength of this Plan…[And] this plan will be easier to enact than anyone realizes…[I]t’s just a matter of planning [old plants’] replacement with a combination of gas, renewables and new nuclear…The utilities won’t be hurt at all. The consumer won’t be hurt either” click here for more

    Monday, August 3, 2015


    …The Clean Power Plan is a Landmark Action to Protect Public Health, Reduce Energy Bills for Households and Businesses, Create American Jobs, and Bring Clean Power to Communities across the Country

    August 3, 2015 (The White House)

    “…We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged. The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation [according to President Obama]…The final Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030…[It provides] significant public health benefits…[creates] tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring grid reliability…[drives] more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies…[saves] the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030…[gives] a head start to wind and solar deployment and [prioritizes] the deployment of energy efficiency improvements…[and continues] American leadership on climate change…” click here for more


    EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations Fail to Consider the Economic Impact on Americans

    "…Any increase in the cost of electricity most dramatically impacts those who can least afford it, and the fallout from the EPA's rule will cascade across the nation for years to come [according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)]…While we appreciate the efforts intended to help offset the financial burden of rising electricity prices and jobs…the final rule still appears to reflect the fundamental flaws of the original proposal. It exceeds the EPA’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act, and it will raise electricity rates…while challenging the reliability of the grid…” click here for more


    Sierra Club Statement On The Clean Power Plan

    August 3, 2015 (Sierra Club)

    “The Clean Power Plan is the most significant single action any President has ever taken to tackle the most serious threat to the health of our families: the climate crisis…Today marks the end of an era for dirty power plants that have spewed dangerous pollution into our air without limits for too long. It signifies a new era of growth for affordable and safe clean energy sources that don’t fuel climate disruption and sicken our communities…The Clean Power Plan is an opportunity for workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses to prosper…Public officials around the country have a choice. They can support new jobs, cleaner air, healthier families, and the vast majority of the American people - or they can stand with fossil fuel executives who will say and do anything to maintain the dangerous status quo…” click here for more