NewEnergyNews More: November 2015

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



Your intrepid reporter


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


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

  • ---------------
  • Monday, November 30, 2015


    Three energy solutions that excite Bill Gates

    Nyshka Chandran, November 29, 2015 (CNBC)

    “Solar chemical technology, flow batteries and solar paint are three examples of promising technologies…[that the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which includes Bill Gates, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba's Jack Ma, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, will fund]…to accelerate clean energy innovation…[and bring] public and private funds into research and development (R&D) to make renewable energy cheaper and more effective…Solar chemical technology essentially uses solar energy to create hydrogen, which can be used as fuel or for commercial purposes, such as making fertilizer…[A flow battery] could redefine how we store electricity…[because it is] much more sustainable than lithium-ion batteries…The purpose behind solar paint is to make solar power easier to install [and maintain]…” click here for more


    What will the University of Maine do with an indoor ocean? Simulating wind and waves will help engineers find out if their innovations can hold up to the power of the sea.

    Kelsey Warner, November 22, 2015 (Christian Science Monitor)

    “…[The University of Maine] is looking to scale down the sea and make it approachable to innovators with its new Ocean Engineering Laboratory, a $13.8-million simulator capable of creating waves that top 100 feet and winds that exceed 200 mph. The 100-foot pool, made windy and wavy with 32 fans and 16 paddles, will simulate a stormy ocean to help engineers coming up with new products find out if their innovations can hold up to the power of the sea…The W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory will test the fortitude of seaworthy objects as varied as boats, offshore wind turbines, tidal and wave-renewable energy facilities, aquaculture initiatives, oil and gas equipment, and public infrastructure such as ports and bridges…[Funded by a combination of public and private grants, it could also] model coastal cities like Portland, Maine, and New York City to simulate the impact of sea level rise…[and] test protective measures for those places…” click here for more


    Most Car Dealers Are Lousy At Selling Electric Cars: Here's Why

    Stephen Edelstein, November 30, 2015 (Green Car Reports)

    “…[B]uyers have grumbled about the experience at traditional dealers that sell electric cars alongside internal-combustion models…One problem is that dealers apparently don't think consumers are interested in electric cars…[One study showed] only 14 percent of buyers cited fuel efficiency as the most important factor…[but electric cars also] take longer to sell, because buyers are often unfamiliar with the technology…[and] calculating tax credits and applying other incentives also [takes extra time while salespeople] make money based on the number of cars they sell…[so] salespeople may not be taking the necessary time to educate themselves about electric cars…[Also, on average], dealers make three times as much profit from service as they do from new-car sales…[but a 2013 J.D. Power survey found that while 57 percent of gasoline-car buyers planned to take their vehicles back to the dealer for service…[only 48 percent of electric-car buyers will]...As long as dealers feel they have nothing to gain from selling more electric cars, they will likely remain a major bottleneck to greater adoption…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 25, 2015


    An All Wind, Water, and Solar Grid Will Be Stable Without Batteries

    Charles Q. Choi, 23 Novmber 2015 (IEEE Spectrum)

    “The U.S. electrical grid could rely completely on solar, wind, and water power, and existing low-cost methods of storing energy [rather than giant battery farms]…Previous research suggested that the U.S. and the world] could get 100 percent of its energy from [New Energy] by 2050…[S]cientists created a 3-D global weather model to predict how much electricity wind, water, and solar power could generate in [an all-electric U.S.] between 2050 and 2055…[and] modeled a variety of ways to store this energy…[They concluded all the raw energy] could come from wind, water, and solar, with no need for coal, oil, natural gas, biofuels or nuclear power…[and] existing low-cost ways of storing clean energy [like pumped hydro and consumer geothermal] could suffice, in combination with ‘demand response’ programs where consumers are given financial incentives to turn equipment down, or off, when the power supply is limited or when the grid needs balancing…” click here for more


    Amazon's Ohio Wind Energy Farm to Power AWS Worldwide

    Sejuti Banerjea, November 25, 2015 (Zacks)

    “Last year, Amazon committed to gradually switch to using 100% renewable energy for the entire Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure that powers its cloud computing services globally…[and it] recently announced its plan to construct a 100-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Ohio to power its data centers with clean energy…Expected to become operational in May 2017, this facility will supply energy to the electrical grid that powers the existing and upcoming AWS data centers…According to AWS, about 40% of the power consumed by its worldwide infrastructure will come from renewable sources by the end of the next year…[Other tech giants hae alwo been attracted to long term fixed price Neqw Energy contracts. Apple] claims that its iCloud online service is powered with 100% renewable energy…[Microsoft] signed a deal with EDF Renewable Energy…[Google’s Alphabet] currently powers about 35% of its operations with renewable energy…” click here for more


    Church Fights Duke Energy For 3rd Party Solar Energy

    Jon Camp, November 24, 2015 (Eyewitness News/Raleigh, North Carolina)

    “…[Faith Community Church is living the story of David and Goliath in] going up against Duke Energy…[The church] teamed up with the environmental advocacy group NC WARN to install solar panels on the church's roof…NC WARN paid for them and is selling back the power to the church for half of what Duke Energy was charging…[I]t may be against state law. North Carolina is one of four states that doesn't allow 'third party sales' of solar energy. Only regulated utilities can sell power and Duke has questioned whether NC WARN is breaking the law…[NC WARN says this is a test case to open the state’s rooftop solar industry. A Duke spokesperson said] the company isn't opposed to third party sales in principle but says the model doesn't always put consumers' best interests first…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015


    Why are so many Americans skeptical about climate change? A study offers a surprising answer.

    Joby Warrick, Novdmber 23, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “Climate change has long been a highly polarizing topic in the United States, with Americans lining up on opposite sides depending on their politics and worldview. Now a scientific study sheds new light on the role played by corporate money in creating that divide…The report, a systematic review of 20 years’ worth of data, highlights the connection between corporate funding and messages that raise doubts about the science of climate change and whether humans are responsible for the warming of the planet. The analysis suggests that corporations have used their wealth to amplify contrarian views and create [an ‘ecosystem of influence’ to give] an impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists…” click here for more


    3 Ways General Electric Just Got Serious About Wind Energy; General Electric Company wants to win the wind war.

    Justin Loiseau, November 23, 2015 (Motley Fool)

    "General Electric Company is taking its wind energy growth strategy to the next level…After folding in recently acquired Alstom's power and grid business, General Electric Company just announced that it's officially creating its own renewable energy business unit…The move makes sense. Alstom brings with it a suite of complementary renewable resources, expanding both the scope and quality of General Electric's current offerings. Globally, Alstom laid claim to the world's largest installed renewable energy base (370,000 MW)…While ‘growth by acquisition’ of a $10.6 billion company and a business unit restructuring may not seem like major signals that General Electric Company is getting serious about wind energy, there are three reasons that this is actually a big deal. Click through the slideshow below for three ways these recent developments signal GE's seriousness…” click here for more


    Solar energy is for everyone

    Sean Gallagher, November 24, 2015 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

    “…[S]olar benefits all Americans, of all income levels…As with any new technology, early adopters of solar tended to have higher incomes…But as solar prices have plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last decade, multiple reports outline how rooftop solar systems are overwhelmingly adopted in middle-class neighborhoods with median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000…Though sometimes mischaracterized as a ‘subsidy,’ the net metering policies under which most rooftop solar customers are billed is simply a compensation mechanism that recognizes that clean energy — produced near the site where it’s consumed and primarily during expensive peak hours — is more valuable than generic ‘brown’ power…[For] customers who haven’t been able to go solar themselves, statewide low-income solar initiatives, solar leasing programs and community solar projects broaden access to solar…” click here for more

    Monday, November 23, 2015


    Delaying action on climate change will hurt growth: Global CEOs

    23 November 2015 (The Economic Times)

    “Advocating the need for meaningful ‘global action’ to deal with climate change…[an open letter from 78 corporate leaders] said delaying action would damage growth prospects in the years to come…Ahead of the crucial global climate change talks beginning later this month in Paris, [the letter, signed by] a cross-sectoral coalition facilitated by the World Economic Forum (WEF)…[representing] USD 2.13 trillion in revenue, said] that an economically sustainable shift to a low-carbon future will create 'jobs and growth' across the world…[but delaying] action is not an option, it will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come…[It called] on government leaders and policy makers to align on global measures, to be consistent in policy-making and to develop helpful innovation frameworks…” click here for more


    First US offshore wind farm hits the waves

    November 22, 2015 (News 24)

    “…[W]hile the US East Coast has what one study called a ‘Saudi Arabia’ of untapped wind resources just off its shores…[Europe] has built more than 80 offshore wind farms since 1991 [but] there had not been a single wind farm constructed in US waters…[but] Deepwater Wind's five-turbine Block Island project is expected to go online in late 2016 with an overall capacity of 30 MW…[The project] is a ‘demonstration project’, despite its hefty price tag of $290m, raised entirely from private investors…Deepwater and two other companies, including Dong Energy of Denmark, have leased tracts from the federal government farther off Rhode Island and Massachusetts for even larger farms, with up to a combined 500 turbines. Other developers are eyeing Maryland and New Jersey…A recent report by Oceana, an ocean conservation advocacy group, found that the wind resources off the 13 US states along the East Coast could generate 127 GW…[and] supplant 70% of the East Coast's fossil-fuel based electricity…” click here for more


    SolarCity cutting ties with rooftop solar advocacy group

    Kyle Roerink, November 20, 2015 (Las Vegas Sun)

    “The Alliance for Solar Choice, an advocacy group representing rooftop solar companies, is losing one of its anchor members…SolarCity will leave the alliance in December, after a pivotal battle with NV Energy over a policy called net metering, which pays rooftop solar customers for providing energy to the grid…Since 2013, the alliance has advocated and lobbied for rooftop solar in Nevada and is working with regulators to devise a long-term price structure for net metering in the state…Sunrun, the nation’s second largest rooftop solar company and a fellow member of the alliance, has been SolarCity’s top ally…SolarCity’s split from the alliance highlights an apparent rift with its competitor…The two have differed on tactics for addressing the state’s solar policies and disagreed on how to work with lawmakers and regulators…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015


    CIA Director Cites ‘Impact of Climate Change’ as Deeper Cause of Global Instability

    November 16, 2015 (CNS News)

    “…Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said that CIA analysts [believe nationalistic, sectarian, socioeconomic, and technological factors and the impact of climate change are deep causes for the instability in] places like Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Yemen and Libya…[ Extreme weather’s impact on food and water supplies can create or worsen humanitarian crises and the historical record supports the judgment that the world has become more unstable, he said]…” click here for more


    Planned Texas wind farm to power Owens Corning, Equinix

    Jordan Blum, November 16, 2015 (FuelFix)

    “…Invenergy inked multi-year power purchase agreements with [Owens Corning insulation and fiberglass giant and Equinix Inc. data center company] to help finance the construction of the planned [300-megawatt] Wake Wind Energy Facility to be completed by the end of 2016…Owens Corning contracted for 125 megawatts of the wind farm…Equinix committed to buy 100 megawatts of electricity generated as both companies move toward their commitments to go green…There’s a push to complete wind farms by the end of 2016 in order to qualify for the federal production tax credit that expired and debates are ongoing whether Congress will extend it…Last month, Owens Corning announced more ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas and toxic air emissions as well as new renewable energy initiatives…Equinix plans to be 100 percent by renewable energy in North America by the end of 2016…” click here for more


    Why leasing solar panels may not be a good idea if you’re planning a home sale

    Jill Chodorov, November 17, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “…[Some] homeowners have learned the hard way that it pays to read the fine print [in solar lease deals. As] solar ¬powered homes come on the market for sale, unexpected issues are bubbling to the surface. What’s more, almost all of the issues are happening to homeowners who lease rather than own the solar panels, which comprise an estimated range of 60 to 90 percent of the market…Explaining solar panels and lease agreements is a new issue for local real estate agents…[and] there are many challenges involved in appraising and selling a home with leased solar panels…The rules [on leased solar systems for FHA loans] are cumbersome and confusing…[Also, solar] companies make it very difficult to buy out a lease agreement in the first five years...[because they don’t want to lose the five-¬year depreciation] on the equipment…[B]uying solar panels is not as expensive as most believe…If you determine that solar would be a good investment, it may be better to purchase now, before the 30 percent federal tax credit expires.” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015


    Wind energy event in Paris will go ahead; The European Wind Energy Association annual event will open tomorrow in Paris as planned, despite the attacks on the city on Friday night.

    16 November 2015 (Windpower Monthly)

    “…[The European Wind Energy Association has been working closely with the local Paris authorities and they have advised it to move forward with preparations for EWEA 2015, the industry’s annual conference, as intended. EWEA is taking all the necessary security and logistical measures to ensure the utmost safety and care is taken throughout the four-day event. EWEA said it had not taken the decision lightly but decided ‘it is essential that we stand firm in the face of such adversity,’ its head announced. ‘We must continue as we mean to go on.’ Three of the four keynote speakers at the opening event have reconfirmed their attendance…” click here for more


    Will Solar Energy Plummet if the Investment Tax Credit Fades Away? Many solar supporters say the loss or reduction of the credit will be a ‘cliff’ for the industry. But others say the credit’s impact is overstated and solar will continue to grow.

    Amit Ronen and John Farrell, November 15, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

    [Ronen:] "… without congressional leadership, the credit will expire for consumer-owned systems and shrink for commercially owned systems at the end of 2016. When it goes, it will have a dramatic effect on the industry—and economy…Can the solar industry survive without the current credit? Yes, but not as we know it today…The credit has proved an essential financing mechanism to getting solar built, even though some projects rely on complex tax-equity markets to monetize the credit…"

    [Farrell:] "…[Third-party leases or power-purchase contracts] took on much of the financial risk and the responsibility for redeeming the 30% tax credit…and as a result, solar developers and customers have received an effective discount of 15% instead of 30%. So the current incentive isn’t as big as it looks, and the effect of losing the incentive won’t be as severe as many think…If the change in the tax credit opens the door to more sizable, low-margin investors that offer a discounted cost of debt and equity for solar projects, we estimate that the net cost of solar would rise just 2.5%...A November 2014 pro forma analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that self-financing lowers the cost of solar by 23% for residential customers and 87% for commercial customers…[Assuming] a 30% cut in the growth potential for solar energy…[ignores] countervailing forces…” click here for more


    A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity

    Clifford Krauss and Diane Cardwell, November 8, 2015 (NY Times)

    “In Texas, wind farms are generating so much energy that some utilities are giving power away…[Thousands of TXU Energy customers are] at the vanguard of a bold attempt by the utility to change how people consume energy. TXU’s free overnight plan, which is coupled with slightly higher daytime rates, is one of dozens that have been offered by more than 50 retail electricity companies in Texas over the last three years with a simple goal: for customers to turn down the dials when wholesale prices are highest and turn them back up when prices are lowest…It is possible because Texas has more wind power than any other state, accounting for roughly 10 percent of the state’s generation…[and] Texas runs its own electricity grid…Wind blows most strongly at night and the power it produces is inexpensive because of its abundance and federal tax breaks. A shift of power use away from the peak daytime periods means lower wholesale prices, and the possibility of avoiding the costly option of building more power plants…” click here for more

    Monday, November 16, 2015


    Are The Pope And Faith Communities Changing The Climate Change Conversation?

    Marshall Shepherd, November 16, 2015 (Forbes)

    “…[A] unique study design of within-subject surveys of a nationally representative sample of American adults conducted in the Spring, prior to the release of the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, and again in the Fall, after the Pope’s visit to the United States [shows more Americans and more American Catholics are worried about global warming than six months ago and more believe it will have significant impacts on human beings. Some of these changes in Americans’ and American Catholics’ views can be attributed to the Pope’s teachings, as 17 percent of Americans and 35 percent of Catholics say his position on global warming influenced their own views of the issue]…[I]t is important to caution that [The Francis Effect: How Pope Francis Changed The Conversation About Global Warming ] has not been peer reviewed…We will indeed be further analyzing the data for publication in academic journals, and at least one dissertation is already planned. The Pope’s efforts on behalf of the climate created a wonderful natural experiment…” click here for more


    Electric vehicles beat gasoline cars in cradle-to-grave emissions study

    Jerry Hirsch, November 12, 2015 (LA Times)

    “Cradle-to-grave analysis finds driving an electric car…creates less greenhouse gas emissions than even the most efficient gasoline vehicle…A car running on electricity -- even when power plant emissions are considered -- produces pollution equivalent to a theoretical conventional car with fuel economy of 87 miles per gallon, according to…[Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists] tallied all the greenhouse gas emissions from every aspect of auto manufacturing and operations and found that electric vehicles beat their gasoline counterparts in every region of the U.S…They did best -- putting out the pollution of a gas vehicle that gets 135 mpg -- in upstate New York, which is rich with renewable energy resources…Electric cars offered the least pollution reduction -- the equivalent of a 35 to 36 mpg car -- in the central U.S., states such as Colorado, Kansas and Missouri, because so much of the electricity in that region comes from fossil fuels such as coal…” click here for more


    Maine pilot project receives $3.7 million award, reviving vision for offshore wind farm; The money will help finance further development of floating turbines that could lead to a lucrative clean-energy industry in the state.

    Tux Turkel, November 16, 2015 (Portland Press Herald)

    “An experimental offshore wind turbine being developed by a University of Maine-led consortium has won a $3.7 million federal award [from the Department of Energy for the Maine Aqua Ventus project]…reviving ambitions that the state could be the home of a floating, deep-water wind farm and a new clean-energy industry…[Demonstration projects in New Jersey, Virginia, and Oregon won $47 million grants when] Maine got $3 million to continue engineering and design work…[but the three others have] been unable to secure a power purchase agreement, and each has had trouble with cost and/or regulatory issues [so Aqua Ventus gets] $3.7 million to help overcome remaining barriers…In elevating the status of Maine Aqua Ventus, the Energy Department’s action may put Maine back in the [offshore wind] game…The project won a 20-year power-purchase agreement from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. An average Central Maine Power Co. home customer would pay an additional 73 cents a month, or $8.70 in the first year…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 10, 2015


    This is Why Solar Panels Will Boom Early Next Year; But the forecasts aren’t completely sunny in 2016. Here’s why.

    Katie Fehrenbacher, November 9, 2015 (Fortune)

    "The global market for solar panels is expected to soar to a record high in the first half of 2016 because of strong demand as well as favorable policies in the U.S. and China…[but in the second half of 2016 and into 2017] growth is expected to slow after the U.S. lowers its solar tax credits and a push by China to install more panels ends [ according to IHS Technology]…At the end of 2016, the U.S. will reduce an important 30% tax credit for customers to 10%. As a result, solar sales, particularly to utilities, are expected to slow in 2017…[And following a similarly policy-driven] solar push, China’s market will likely slow in the second half of 2016…Overall, the market for solar panels is expected to continue to grow globally beyond 2017. As the cost of installing and making solar panels continues to drop, the technology will increasingly be more attractive to customers as an alternative to fossil fuel-based energy.” click here for more


    New Jersey is next for offshore wind energy; Two companies bid a collective $1.8 million to explore the potential of fledgling U.S. industry.

    Daniel J. Graeber, November 10, 2015 (United Press International)

    “Two energy companies won the rights to advance wind energy off New Jersey's coast, where the potential exists to power 1.2 million homes…RES America Development and U.S. Wind Inc. bid more than $1.8 million collectively for the rights to consider the potential to develop wind energy in the federal waters off the coast of New Jersey…The estimated 344,000 acres off the New Jersey coast has, by the federal government's estimate, the potential to generate enough wind energy to power 1.2 million average households…[The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management of the Department of the Interior also recently] started a review of Virginia's plans for offshore wind installations…There was no public information on when construction could begin off the New Jersey coast. Construction for what's expected to be the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, Block Island, began off the Rhode Island coast during the summer.” click here for more


    Electric-Car Drivers Will Pay For DC Fast-Charging 12-To-1 Over Level 2

    Stephen Edelstein, November 9, 2015 (Green Car Reports)

    "A growing fleet of electric cars will need a comprehensive network of public charging stations…[It must] be useful to the public, but…also financially sustainable…Level 2 AC charging stations are relatively inexpensive and straightforward to install, but require cars to stay put for…at least a few hours…DC fast-charging stations allow much quicker charges, but are more expensive and place greater demands on electricity infrastructure…Network operator NRG eVgo recently surveyed a handful of its stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and found…found drivers preferred fast charging 12 to 1…[T]he speed of DC fast charging is obviously a plus…Stations can charge most electric-car battery packs to 80-percent capacity in around 30 minutes…[Drivers] can fit a fast-charging session in while running a quick errand…” click here for more

    Monday, November 9, 2015


    Determine Whether Solar Energy Makes Financial Sense for You

    Simone Garneau, November 6, 2015 (Mother Earth News)

    “…[Location] greatly impacts the cost of solar electricity, or LCOE…An average-sized residential solar panel installation with 5-kW capacity would cost about $14,000 ($20,000 minus the 30% federal investment tax credit)…[A]vailable rebates would decrease this cost further…[O]peration and maintenance costs over the expected 20-year lifetime of your panels would be about 20 percent of the initial installation cost before rebates — in this case, about $4,000…$14,000 + $4,000 = $18,000…In San Diego, the solar LCOE] equals about 11 cents/kWh…[I]n Portland, we are looking at about 16 cents/kWh…[C]ompare that number to what you are currently paying for electricity from your local utility…[and remember that while] the LCOE will remain the same over the lifetime of your panels, the cost of electricity from your utility is almost certain to rise…[Also remember the with] solar energy, you will save money AND help our planet…” click here for more


    California's first offshore wind farm proposed near Hearst Castle

    Paul Rogers, November 9, 2015 San Jose Mercury News

    “In a venture that could pit the state's commitment to green energy against its famed coastal environmental movement… Trident Winds has filed early paperwork with Morro Bay city officials [to build the first ocean wind farm 15 miles off California's central coast. Floating turbines] would generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 300,000 homes…California is already a national leader in wind energy on land, drawing 8 percent of its electricity from wind turbines…Texas is the only state that generates more electricity from wind…[To reach the state’s new 50 percent renewables by 2030 mandate, it] will need dozens of massive new solar arrays, wind farms and other projects…[Environmentalists are waiting to see the project’s location and how it will impact] migrating whales, night lighting and birds…Floating wind technology is still new…A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that offshore wind in the United States could supply 4,150 gigawatts of electricity -- four times the electricity now produced by all U.S. power plants combined…” click here for more


    World’s Largest 2nd-Use Stationary Energy Storage Device Under Construction

    Jake Richardson, November 6, 2015 (Clean Technica)

    “Construction of an energy storage station made from vehicle batteries has begun…[at Germany’s] Remondis SE, a recycling service and water company…When completed, it will have a 13 MWh capacity…A different recent energy storage installation in Germany has a 10 MW/10MWH capacity — projects of this scale seem to be popping up quite often lately…[If EV batteries] can be used effectively outside of vehicles…their costs get spread out much more widely among value/benefit from multiple industries…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015


    Duke urges regulators to deny TPO solar bid from green group, church

    November 4, 2015 (Utility Dive)

    Duke Energy filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) in opposition to a request from environmental activist group NC WARN for permission to sell energy directly to Faith Community Church from a solar array atop its building...Duke’s filing argues the sale of electricity by NC WARN to the church violates state law that limits electricity generation and delivery to commission-certified public utilities. Duke noted NC WARN may be fined up to $1,000 per day for illegal third-party electricity sales. NC WARN argues it is not acting as a public utility but providing a service to the church. Interfaith Power & Light and the Energy Freedom Coalition of America, representing the solar industry, back NC WARN.” click here for more


    Wind energy is being unfairly held back in California

    Michael B. Gerrard and Nacy Rader, October 2, 2015 (Sacramento Bee)

    “…[Beyond California’s new 50-percent-by-2030 renewable energy standard is] a brewing contradiction: Wind energy projects are being banned or severely restricted in several California counties and, more significantly, across vast federal lands in the state…These restrictions threaten the ability to achieve California’s climate-change goals…According to the most detailed state-commissioned assessment of what must be done to meet the 2030 target, each year the state will need to add 1,600 megawatts of renewable resources – roughly 16 new utility-scale projects – in addition to rooftop solar and aggressively increasing energy-efficiency…[S]ome rural communities clearly do not want local wind energy…despite California’s strict environmental laws and modern industry practices…Instead of carefully reviewing specific sites and using reasonable measures to address environmental, health, military and other concerns, these communities have resorted to wholesale bans, or have established unattainable standards that amount to bans…[where] mining, cattle grazing, recreational-vehicle use, and even oil and gas drilling – are allowed…No one is saying that utility-scale renewable energy should go everywhere, but [bans on wind projects cannot be part of a responsible solution…” click here for more


    Boise geothermal innovation is up for a national award

    Teya Vitu, November 4, 2015 (Idaho Business Review)

    "Boise’s new heat pump technology for reusing geothermal water…arose from a collaboration of the city’s Public Works, its Sustainable Boise Program, and the Capital City Development Corp. More than 65 downtown Boise buildings use geothermal energy. The new technology allows the city to offer geothermal [and incentives] in another downtown sector…In this area, the new heat pump technology will enable the reuse of once-used, lower temperature water…The incentive package [from the city’s geothermal fund] includes the offer of free water to the equivalent of 125 percent of the additional capital costs associated with connecting to the geothermal system, plus a 60 percent rebate on the monthly bill…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015


    PSE&G utilizes landfills to generate more solar energy

    November 2, 2015 (Penn Energy)

    “Since 2009] through more than $500 million and 2,000 new jobs, [the Public Service Electric and Gas Co (PSE&G)] Solar 4 All program has brought more than 100 megawatt-dc to New Jersey homes and businesses…Three of the 26 solar projects active today are located on top of landfills [and the company views landfills as ideal spots to set up solar farms]…Recently, the company announced it reached the halfway point in constructing another solar farm atop a landfill…While [Waste Management of New Jersey] will continue to own the landfill, PSE&G will own and operate the L&D Solar Farm…[B]y the end of 2016, New Jersey landfills and brownfields will have the capacity to produce nearly 53 megawatts of solar energy through solar farms built on top of them…[PSE&G] has an overall goal of creating 125 MW-dc…Aside from utilizing landfills and brownfields, the company has also used the space-saving innovation, pole-attached solar…” click here for more


    Best Electric Car For The Average American

    Zachary Shahan, November 2, 2015 (Clean Technica)

    “…[The best electric car for the ‘average American’ depends on what you consider average…[A] short-range electric car like the Nissan LEAF (84 miles of range), BMW i3 (81 miles of range), VW e-Golf (83 miles of range), or Kia Soul EV (93 miles of range)…[is really adequate for the average person because] ~99% of trips are under 50 miles (leaving plenty of room for buffer) and ~90% of days have a total of just ~70 miles of driving (with plenty of time between trips to charge — whether from a charging station or a typical electricity outlet)… [A] new Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($22,995), Smart Electric Drive ($25,000), Chevy Spark EV ($25,995), VW e-Golf ($28,995), Nissan LEAF ($29,010), or Ford Focus Electric ($29,170) fall below the average [$31,000] new car price… even before you subtract the $7,500 federal EV tax credit and any other incentives available…So, basically, any electric option [except Tesla] on the market is as cheap or cheaper than the average new car bought in the US…[After that, it is] personal preferences…[T]he case is well enough made that the i3 is the best electric car for the hypothetical average American…But if you want more space and seating, the Soul EV, LEAF, or e-Golf probably is. If you want a normal-looking car, the e-Golf is surely your best option. If you want better fast charging options, the LEAF is probably the best electric car for you…” click here for more


    "Global Warming," More Air Conditioning, and More Energy

    Jude Clemente, November 1, 2015 (Forbes)

    “In our IPCC-reported warming world, one key area that will require massive amounts of more energy is…cooling. The world now faces surging demand for air conditioning, refrigeration, etc…[The U.S.] residential air conditioning needs alone devour 6-8% of the country’s electricity, or about 290 terawatt hours per year, more electricity than is used in all sectors in Mexico, with 125 million people…[H]ome central air conditioning systems can gobble up over 3,000 kWh per year, or more electricity per capita than is used by more than half of the world…The air conditioners in our cars alone use some 655,000 barrels of gasoline per day, more gasoline than Germany and Italy use in total combined…[T]he world’s cities are now adding the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Mexico City, and New York City combined…every year…According to the EPA, cities can be a whopping 22°F hotter at night than surrounding areas...[Even with newer, more efficient equipment] global electricity consumption for home cooling will still increase nearly 8-fold by 2050…” click here for more

    Monday, November 2, 2015


    Voters Paying Close Attention To Energy Issues

    November 2, 2015 (Plugged In via Scientific American)

    "...Prior to elections, we tend to break things down by political affiliation, but our voting preferences don't merely fall neatly along party lines. Age plays a significant role in our priorities--just consider [the most recent University of Texas Energy Poll. Millennails are clearly thinking about energy policy but] 65 percent of all Americans say they are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports taking steps to reduce carbon emissions--not all that surprising given that 76 percent now say that climate change is occurring...[and 63 percent]would be more likely to vote for someone who supports increased funding for scientific and university research into new energy technologies...[62 percent are more likely to support a candidate who wants to require utilities to obtain a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources...45 percent of Americans say energy issues will significantly influence the candidate they choose next November. In other words, presidential candidates would be wise to come up with a comprehensive energy plan..." click here for more


    Could Solar Energy Be California's Next Cash Crop? Strapped by drought, farmers are increasingly sowing solar panels rather than seeds.

    Christina Nunez, October 30, 2015 (National Geographic)

    “…[Many farmers in California’s Central Valley and elsewhere] are turning land over to solar developers, planting photovoltaic panels instead of crops…California's punishing drought is sparking fierce debates over water allotments for agriculture, and more than 500,000 acres will lie fallow this year. At the same time, the state is fighting climate change more aggressively than ever with a new law requiring half of all electricity to come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030…All of that clean energy needs real estate, and farmers have land available…[A] lmost a third of California's big solar facilities—those capable of generating one megawatt or more—stand on croplands or pastures…[A] solar deal isn't necessarily a permanent switch. Instead, it can be 25- or 30-year lease that allows the farmer to reclaim the land for crops at the end of the term…” click here for more


    Siemens confirms first order for 7-MW offshore wind turbine

    Mariyana Yaneva, October 29, 2015 (SeeNews Renewables)

    “German industrial group Siemens AG…received its first order for the new 7 MW offshore wind turbine with 47 units going to a project of Danish utility Dong Energy A/S…[T]he German company will supply, install and commission 47 direct drive wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 154 meters at the Walney Extension East project [off the British west coast in the Irish Sea near the Walney 1 and 2 offshore wind farms, each equipped with 51 Siemens turbines with a capacity of 3.6 MW each]…Service for the plant will be provided jointly by Siemens and Dong Energy for a period of five years…Installation of the turbines is expected to start at the beginning of 2018…” click here for more