NewEnergyNews

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, August 15: New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges; Wind Becoming The Go-To Power; 88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far
  • QUICK NEWS, August 14: Climate Is The Elephant In The Room; Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer; Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Al Gore Talks With Bill Maher
  • Weekend Video: The U.S. Celebrates Its First National Wind Week
  • Weekend Video: Wind Is Just Beginning To Show Its Power
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Five Countries Leading The Climate Fight
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Global Wind Spend To Soar
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Pakistan’s Global View On Solar
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Denmark Trial Proves EVs Can Support The Grid
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 10:

  • TTTA Thursday-Why Greenland Burning Is Cause For Fear
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind Power Booming
  • TTTA Thursday-IKEA To Offer Solar
  • TTTA Thursday-EV Growth Ready To Explode
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Research Shows Ongoing Need To Value Customer-Sited Resources
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Details On New York’s Landmark Work To Value Customer-Sited Resources
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

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    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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      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.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, August 16:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Organizing California’s Distributed Energy Efforts
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Deep Look At Evolving U.S. Efforts To Support Solar

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Organizing California’s Distributed Energy Efforts

    Herding cats: California PUC President Picker on the new DER Action Plan; A new regulatory roadmap aims to guide the power sector into the distributed energy future, but is everyone along for the ride?

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 21, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: California PUC Chair Michael Picker’s noble effort to organize the state’s distributed energy policies did not get adequate attention because it was released just as stakeholders were focusing on the opening of the IRP process.

    The growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) presents challenges to electric utilities, from reliability to grid planning and rate design. And no state has done more to adapt utility regulation to those challenges than California. The California Public Utilities Commission opened its first regulatory proceeding on DERs in 1998. Since then, the CPUC has led the nation in pushing utilities to plan for DER growth, operate their systems with more distributed resources, and share data with third-party providers. But California’s DER proceedings have evolved into a tangled web of dockets, difficult and resource-intensive for stakeholders to follow. The seven-page DER Action Plan is intended by CPUC President Michael Picker to untangle it.

    The plan covers three key areas: rates and tariffs; DERs on the distribution system; and DERs in wholesale markets. If regulators can devise the right markets and rules, the payoffs could be huge. By 2020, DER could deliver $1.4 billion per year or more to California in net societal benefits, according to SolarCity calculations using an Electric Power Research Institute methodology and rate case data from Pacific Gas and Electric. Many of the distributed energy rules under consideration in California are the product of legislation, the Action Plan notes, including mandates for the reform of utility distribution system planning, investment, and operations to include “time- and location-variant” rates to support DERs. Senate Bill 350, a 2015 law that codified the state’s 50% renewable energy mandate, specifically requires an integrated resource plan (IRP) process (R.16-02-007). That process is outside the Action Plan’s scope, but is the “capstone” of it, according to Picker…” click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Deep Look At Evolving U.S. Efforts To Support Solar

    War, peace and innovation: Solar policy in 2016; Solar policy debates will continue to rise as stakeholders debate rate design and NEM

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 16, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Last year’s shift toward successor NEM tariffs detailed in this piece has transformed this year into emerging efforts to improve those successor tariffs.

    The fierce debates between solar interests and utilities over solar policies showed no sign of slowing down in 2016. The annual report from North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC) found a total of 212 policy debates over solar compensation and rates took place last year, a jump from 175 in 2015. The debates ranged from fixed charges and net metering policies to community solar programs and third-party ownership regulations. And some new trends are beginning to emerge, including fewer tweaks to net energy metering (NEM) policies and a greater emphasis on collaboration between power sector officials and solar advocates on NEM successor tariffs, according to Autumn Proudlove, CETC Manager of Policy Research.

    Solar policy action is also moving out of traditional solar states like California, Hawaii and Nevada, and nascent markets like Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Indiana are becoming key battlegrounds in solar policy debates. Another key trend in 2016 was the changing categories of policy action. More of the discussions focused on changing NEM policies or compensation rates, while there were fewer debates on broader distributed generation valuation or cost-benefit analyses. On the rate side of the debate, requests for fixed charges climbed, but the number of residential demand charge proposals fell. And both fees and rate design proposals found little success with regulators. Not one regulatory commission approved a mandatory residential demand charge, while 79% of fixed charge requests were reduced or rejected outright…” click here for more

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    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind

    2016 Distributed Wind Market Report

    Alice C Orrell, Nikolas F Foster, Scott L Morris, Juliet S Homer, August 2017 (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/Battelle/U.S. Department Of Energy)

    Executive Summary

    From 2003 through 2016, a total of 992 MW in cumulative capacity from over 77,000 wind turbines was deployed in distributed applications across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), and Guam. In 2016, 25 states and Guam added a combined 45.4 MW of new distributed wind capacity, representing 2,585 turbine units and $163 million in investment. Of the 45.4 MW, 43 MW is from turbines greater than 100 kW, and 2.4 MW is from small wind (turbines up through 100 kW). Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Massachusetts led the United States in new distributed wind power capacity in 2016.

    The 43 MW from turbines greater than 100 kW installed in distributed applications in 2016 represents $149 million in investment, an increase from 23.7 MW and $81 million in 2015. The increase was driven mainly by the installation of multiple large (greater than 1 MW) turbine projects, mostly installed behind the meter, or remote net metered, for industrial operations and municipalities.

    The 2.4 MW of small wind deployed in the United States in 2016 represents 2,560 units and more than $14 million in investment. This continued the downward trend of recent years and was the lowest small wind annual capacity addition recorded since this annual report was started in 2012. However, while overall capacity is down—driven by the decrease in sales of units sized from 11 kW to 100 kW —sales of units 10 kW and less increased from 2015.

    Since 2012, the number of small wind turbine manufacturers, both operating and participating in the U.S. market, has decreased. U.S. small wind manufacturers accounted for 98% of 2016 U.S. domestic small wind sales; non-U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers continue to have limited sales in the United States and typically focus on international markets. New York led the nation for small wind capacity deployment in 2016, accounting for 25% of documented small wind capacity for the year.

    As certification requirements are becoming increasingly common across the globe, small wind manufacturers continue to pursue the certification process for their turbine models. Certification is also consistent with industry and Department of Energy goals to promote the use of proven technology; raise its competitiveness; and increase consumer, government agency, and financial institution confidence and interest in distributed wind.

    Three new small wind turbine models were certified in 2016. A total of 15 different small wind turbine models are fully certified to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Standard 9.1-2009 as of July 2017, whereas no turbine models were certified in 2010. Three medium wind turbine models have published power performance and acoustics certifications to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400-12-1 (power) and IEC 61400-11 (acoustics).

    In January 2016, United Wind, a distributed wind leasing company, announced that it had secured $200 million in project equity capital from Forum Equity Partners to expand its lease program. A year later, United Wind announced that it had purchased 100 Excel 10 Bergey WindPower wind turbines, the largest order ever—by number of units—for either company.

    In December 2016, One Energy Enterprises LLC secured $80 million in financing from Prudential Capital Group, signaling institutional capital acceptance of One Energy Enterprises’ approach to providing distributed wind to industrial and commercial customers.

    Other highlights of the report include:

    • U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers continued to favor U.S. supply chain vendors for most of their wind turbine components. Self-reported domestic content levels for 2016 ranged from 80% to 100%.

    • U.S. small wind turbine manufacturers continued to focus on international markets as a source of revenue. While exports doubled from 2014 to 2015, exports in 2016 were back to a level comparable with 2014 at 10.3 MW with an estimated value of $62 million from six manufacturers.

    • Reflecting the increase in sales of units 10 kW and less in size, an estimated 95% of turbine units in 2016 distributed wind applications were deployed to charge batteries or power off-grid sites such as remote homes, oil and gas operations, telecommunications facilities, boats, rural water or electricity supply, and military sites. However, grid-tied wind turbines accounted for nearly 99% of the annual distributed wind capacity (in terms of MW).

    • Based on small wind turbine manufacturers’ reports, the overall capacity-weighted average installed cost for small wind turbines sold in the United States in 2016 was $5,900/kW. After slightly declining the past three years, this cost metric has increased slightly from $5,760/kW in 2015.

    • Based on surveys of international government and industry publications, total global small wind installed cumulative capacity was estimated to be at least 1.4 GW in 2016.

    • The top three U.S. small wind turbine manufacturers, based on 2016 sales in terms of capacity (MWs of domestic sales and exports), in order were Northern Power Systems of Vermont, Xzeres Wind of Oregon, and Bergey WindPower of Oklahoma.

    • The combined value of federal, state, and utility incentives given for distributed wind projects in 2016 was $12.8 million (excluding repaid loans, the federal investment tax credit, and federal depreciation). This reflects a relatively modest increase from the $10.6 million of 2015 funding awards, while still being significantly lower than in the preceding years, when funding levels fluctuated between $100 million (2012), $15.4 million (2013), and $20.4 million (2014).

    • The overall number of wind turbine manufacturers supplying turbines for distributed wind projects has contracted significantly since 2012. In 2016, reported U.S. distributed wind projects encompassed 29 different wind turbine models ranging from 160 W to 2.3 MW from 17 manufacturers. This is comparable to 2015, during which U.S. distributed wind projects used 24 different wind turbine models ranging from 160 W to 2.85 MW from 15 manufacturers and suppliers, but a decline from the peak of 74 different turbine models from 30 manufacturers and suppliers in 2012.

    • For documented projects in 2016, residential and agricultural installations accounted for the majority of 2016 projects (34% and 29%, respectively), but only for 7% of the total distributed wind capacity installed in 2016. Institutional projects, mainly utilities and schools, accounted for 64% of the distributed wind capacity installed in 2016.

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    QUICK NEWS, August 15: New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges; Wind Becoming The Go-To Power; 88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solars

    New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges 'Donald Trump forest' climate change project gains momentum

    Matt McGrath, August 15, 2017 (BBC News)

    “A campaign to plant trees to compensate for the impact of President Trump's climate policies has 120,000 pledges…The project was started by campaigners upset at what they call the president's ‘ignorance’ on climate science…Trump Forest allows people either to plant locally or pay for trees in a number of poorer countries…The organisers say they need to plant an area the size of Kentucky to offset the Trump effect…Based in New Zealand, the project began in March this year and so far has gained pledges from around 450 people based all around the world. In the first month, 15,000 trees were pledged - that's now gone past 120,000…Some people have paid for trees to be planted in forest restoration projects in Madagascar, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Nepal. Others have simply bought and planted a tree themselves and sent a copy of the receipt to the project…” click here for more

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    Wind Becoming The Go-To Power Interactive Map Shows You How Wind Power Is Taking Over America

    August 14, 2017 (IFL Science)

    "…[A new tool maps] every utility-scale wind project and wind-related manufacturing facility in the United States…In 2016, [wind provided over 6 percent of all energy used in the country, after 30 years] of rapid growth…[The tool’s time-lapse feature traces that growth…California took the lead, establishing the earliest modern wind projects in the early 1980s. Since then, several other states have upped their game, including Iowa, Kansas, Texas, and South Dakota, who get as much as 20 percent of their energy from wind…[Wind] supports more than 100,000 jobs across 50 states and the Bureau of Labour puts wind turbine service technicians at the top of its fastest growing occupations list…” click here for more

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    88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports Why 88,000 American jobs in solar energy are at risk

    Charles Hernick, August 14, 2017 (The Hill)

    “…[An August 15] hearing will determine the fate of 88,000 American jobs…The U.S. International Trade Commission must decide whether an influx of lower-cost solar panels, mostly produced in Asian countries, has an excessively harmful effect on domestic manufacturers that make comparable solar cells…[The outcome will have an immediate jobs impact and] set a precedent for how similar cases will be handled…The case was brought by Suniva and SolarWorld, which together employ a little over a thousand workers. [They] claim there are too many imported solar panels that are too cheap…The commission will assess whether there has been injury done and whether it was a direct result of the inexpensive imports, and it will then make a formal recommendation to the president if it has determined that a trade remedy — a tariff increase — is appropriate. The tariff the two companies have requested on imported cells would effectively double their cost, which would obviously be a disaster for the broader solar industry…” click here for more

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    Monday, August 14, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far

    50 States of Grid Modernization; Q2 2017 Quarterly Report

    Autumn Proudlove Brian Lips David Sarkisian Achyut Shrestha, August 3, 2017 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    What Is Grid Modernization?

    Grid modernization is a broad term, lacking a universally accepted definition. In this report, the authors use the term grid modernization broadly to refer to actions making the electricity system more resilient, responsive, and interactive. Specifically, in this report grid modernization includes legislative and regulatory actions addressing: (1) smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure, (2) utility business model reform, (3) regulatory reform, (4) utility rate reform, (5) energy storage, (6) microgrids, and (7) demand response.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this report is to provide state lawmakers and regulators, electric utilities, the advanced energy industry, and other energy stakeholders with timely, accurate, and unbiased updates about how states are choosing to study, adopt, implement, amend, or discontinue policies associated with grid modernization. This report catalogues proposed and enacted legislative, regulatory, and rate design changes affecting grid modernization during the most recent quarter. The 50 States of Grid Modernization report series provides regular quarterly updates of grid modernization policy developments, keeping stakeholders informed and up to date.

    Approach

    The authors identified relevant policy changes and deployment proposals through state utility commission docket searches, legislative bill searches, popular press, and direct communications with stakeholders and regulators in the industry.

    Questions Addressed

    This report addresses several questions about the changing U.S. electric grid: • How are states adjusting traditional utility planning processes to better allow for consideration of advanced grid technologies? • What changes are being made to state regulations and wholesale market rules to allow market access for distributed energy resources? • How are states and utilities reforming the traditional utility business model and rate designs? • What policy actions are states taking to grow markets for energy storage and other advanced grid technologies? • Where and how are states and utilities proposing deployment of advanced grid technologies, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response programs?

    Actions Included

    This report focuses on cataloguing and describing important proposed and adopted policy changes related to grid modernization and distributed energy resources, excluding policies specifically intended to support only solar technologies. While some areas of overlap exist, actions related to distributed solar policy and rate design are tracked separately in the 50 States of Solar report series, and are generally not included in this report. In general, this report considers an “action” to be a relevant (1) legislative bill that has been introduced or (2) a regulatory docket, utility rate case, or rulemaking proceeding. Only statewide actions and those related to investor-owned utilities are included in this report.

    Specifically, actions tracked in this issue include:

    Studies and Investigations

    Legislative or regulatory-led efforts to study energy storage, grid modernization, utility business model reform, or alternative rate designs, e.g., through a regulatory docket or a cost-benefit analysis.

    Planning and Market Access

    Changes to utility planning processes, including integrated resource planning, distribution system planning, and evaluation of non-wires alternatives, as well as changes to state and wholesale market regulations enabling market access.

    Utility Business Model and Rate Reform

    Proposed or adopted changes to utility regulation and rate design, including performance based ratemaking, decoupling, time-varying rates, and residential demand charges. Time-varying rate and residential demand charge proposals are only documented if they are being implemented statewide, the default option for all residential customers of an investorowned utility, or a notable pilot program intended to soon become a default option. Actions related to inclining or declining block rates are not included in this report.

    Grid Modernization Policies

    New state policy proposals or changes to existing policies related to grid modernization, including energy storage targets, interconnection standards, and energy storage compensation policies.

    Financial Incentives for Energy Storage and Advanced Grid Technologies

    New statewide incentives or changes to existing incentives for energy storage, microgrids, and other advanced grid technologies.

    Deployment of Advanced Grid Technologies

    Utility-initiated requests, as well as proposed legislation, to implement demand response programs or to deploy advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, microgrids, or energy storage.

    Actions Excluded

    This report excludes utility proposals for grid investments that do not include any specific grid modernization component, as outlined above, as well as projects that have already received legislative or regulatory approval. Actions related exclusively to pumped hydroelectric storage or electric vehicles are not covered by this report. While actions taken by municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are not comprehensively tracked in this report, particularly noteworthy or high-impact actions will be covered. The report also excludes changes to policies and rate design for distributed generation customers; these changes are covered in the 50 States of Solar quarterly report.

    Q2 2017 Grid Modernization Action

    In the second quarter of 2017, 36 states plus DC took a total of 181 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization, utility business model and rate reform, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions on these topics. Of the 181 actions catalogued, the most common were related to deployment (40), followed by policies (38), and studies and investigations (29).

    Top 5 Grid Modernization Developments Of Q2 2017

    Five of the quarter’s top policy developments are highlighted below.

    Massachusetts DOER Adopts 200 MWh Energy Storage Target

    In June 2017, following the completion of a detailed energy storage study, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources adopted a mandatory energy storage target of 200 MWh to be met by January 2020. Pending legislation calls for the Department to establish a subsequent target to be reached by January 2025 and 2030. Massachusetts is the third state to adopt a formal energy storage target.

    Nevada Enacts Suite of Energy Storage and Grid Modernization Bills

    In Q2 2017, Nevada’s Governor signed multiple bills relating to energy storage and grid modernization into law. The enacted legislation includes an energy storage study, a potential energy storage target, an energy storage rebate program, and amendments to the integrated resource planning process.

    Vermont Launches Grid Modernization Proceeding

    Vermont became the latest state to initiate a grid modernization proceeding, with the Public Utility Commission (formerly the Public Service Board) opening a docket in June 2017. The Commission is looking to reexamine the state’s regulatory structure in response to recent transformations in technology, state policy, and more.

    Maryland and North Carolina Initiate Energy Storage Studies

    In June 2017, the North Carolina state legislature passed H.B. 589, a broad solar policy reform bill which also includes a directive for the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory to conduct an energy storage study upon raising $75,000 in non-state matching funds. In late July, Governor Cooper signed H.B. 589 into law. The Maryland legislature also initiated an energy storage study with the signing of H.B. 773 in May. Maryland’s study will examine regulatory reforms and market incentives to encourage storage deployment.

    Hawaii Utilities File Revised Grid Modernization Plan

    In late June 2017, Hawaii’s investor-owned utilities submitted their revised grid modernization plan, after the Public Utilities Commission rejected the utilities’ original plan in January 2017. The new plan comes in at about $205 million, as opposed to the $340 million estimated for the original plan. The new plan includes a near-term (2018-2023) Grid Modernization Roadmap, which focuses on mitigating current service quality issues to allow for greater adoption of distributed energy resources.

    Most Active States And Subtopics Of Q2 2017

    The ten states taking the greatest number of actions related to grid modernization in Q2 2017 can be seen in Figure 2. New York and Massachusetts saw the most action during the quarter with 25 and 16 actions, respectively. The most common types of actions across the country were advanced metering infrastructure deployment (19 actions), smart grid deployment (13), and grid modernization investigations (13)…

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    QUICK NEWS, August 14: Climate Is The Elephant In The Room; Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer; Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice

    Climate Is The Elephant In The Room If you care about identity politics your priority has to be saving the planet; You expect to find climate change denial on the right. But from the left too, there is a strange silence about the single most pressing issue facing humanity

    Matthew Todd, 14 August 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…[The climate crisis gets much less attention in the daily news than other stories even though it is] smashing temperature records, raising sea levels, driving diseases into places they’ve not been before, and which may lead, as Professor Stephen Hawking suggests, to a need for the human race to flee the planet…Partly it’s because of the tens of corporate millions spent by the biggest polluters to create doubt that stalls legislation…But what is surprising is that the left are not more fired up…[This is something] on which all other issues rest and rely…This is not a case of either/or – it is possible to campaign on multiple issues at the same time, but for too long, too many progressives have stayed silent over climate change…[We can start] by watching Al Gore’s new film An Inconvenient Sequel…The Earth itself could not be clearer…[I]n Iraq birds are falling from the sky as the country suffers through 50C heat. Spain has just broken its all-time temperature record, hitting a shocking 46C amid a European heatwave named Lucifer. We are on the verge of something literally unimaginable from which scientists say there will be no way back…” click here for more

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    Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer Switching from coal to natural gas will not save our planet; If as little as 3 percent of natural gas leaks in the course of fracking and delivering it to the power plant through a pipe, then it’s worse than coal.

    Bill McKibben, August 8, 2017 (Seattle Times)

    “…[The natural-gas industry recently claimed ‘the U.S. leads the world in absolute reductions in carbon emissions, due in large part to the increased availability and affordability of natural gas.’ This is true on the surface…[But methane, which is the scientific name for natural gas, traps heat about 80 times more effectively, molecule for molecule, than CO2…If as little as 3 percent of natural gas leaks in the course of fracking and delivering it to the power plant through a pipe, then it’s worse than coal…And, sadly, it’s now clear that leakage rates are higher than that. In January 2013, aerial surveys of a Utah fracking basin, for instance, found leak rates as high as 9 percent. Data from a Harvard satellite survey showed that between 2002 and 2014, U.S. methane emissions increased more than 30 percent…[Some experts] say that because of the boom in fracking and the conversion to gas, America’s total greenhouse-gas emissions may actually have gone up…” click here for more

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    Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice 5 Things You Should Know About Wind Energy

    August 8, 2017 (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

    “…From utility-scale wind farms to small distributed wind applications to the nation’s first offshore wind project, the U.S. wind industry continued to grow in 2016…Across all 50 states, wind energy powered more than 101,000 jobs in the United States in 2016, an increase of 32% from 2015…The first American offshore wind farm began operating off the coast of Rhode Island [in December 2016]…More offshore wind projects are anticipated in the near future, bringing with them the promise of new jobs and low-cost, carbon-free energy…Prices of wind turbines and their installation costs have plummeted over the past eight years…[Combined with the ongoing development of larger, more efficient wind turbines and record-low interest rates, land-based wind power prices] compare favorably to natural gas prices in 2017 and beyond…” click here for more

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    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Al Gore Talks With Bill Maher

    ”We can still avoid the worst consequences if we act boldly now.” (And the bold action is building New Energy.) From Real Time with Bill Maher via YouTube

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    The U.S. Celebrates Its First National Wind Week

    It’s a week to think wind - but what week isn't? From U.S. Dept of Energy via YouTube

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    Wind Is Just Beginning To Show Its Power

    Wind is big but it can get bigger -- big enough to be a Champ in the climate fight. From U.S. Dept of Energy via YouTube

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    Friday, August 11, 2017

    Five Countries Leading The Climate Fight

    These 5 Countries Are Killing It in the Battle Against Climate Change

    Raya Bidshahri, August 7, 2017 (Singularity Hub)

    “When it comes to climate change, government leaders and politicians must begin to think beyond their term limits and lifetimes. They must ask themselves not how they can serve their voters, but rather how they can contribute to our species’ progress. They must think beyond the short term economic benefits of fossil fuels, and consider the long term costs to our planet…[Countries leading the way include Denmark, China, France, India, and Sweden. Denmark is on the path to be completely independent of fossil fuels by 2050…[China’s] recent investments in renewable energy are noteworthy…[France aims] to reduce its emissions by 75 percent in 2050…[India] has launched several federal-level renewable energy-related policies…Sweden has passed a law that obliges the government to cut all greenhouse emissions by 2045…Given the potential of climate change to displace millions of people and cause chaos around the planet, we have a moral imperative to protect our only home…” click here for more

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    Global Wind Spend To Soar

    WindEconomics: Reports put wind share at 7-30% by 2035-40

    31 July 2017 (Windpower Monthly via Global Wind Energy Council)

    “…[The Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017 suggested $3,300 billion would be spent on investments in wind energy between now and 2040. Investments in 2016 were estimated at $107 billion, so the annual amount coming in is expected to rise…[Projections vary but] BNEF expects investment in wind to grow faster than for solar. By 2040, these two renewable technologies together may account for 34% of global electricity generation…” click here for more

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    Pakistan’s Global View On Solar

    Tracking the clean energy revolution

    Farzana Yasmin, August 11, 2017 (Daily Pakistan)

    “The global energy scenario has undergone revolutionary changes. The countries which have been major contributors in the world’s carbon dioxide emission are now taking crucial steps [toward New Energy and] phase out fossil fuel…Coal is still the major source…[in emerging economies like China, India, and Indonesia but the top three coal-consuming countries China, USA, and India are] committed to implementing policies to minimize CO2 emission and to address climate change…[Pakistan’s energy mix is 35.2% oil, 29% gas, and 6%] nuclear, solar and imported. The] average energy demand is around 19,000 MW against a generation of around 15,000 MW resulting in energy deficits/shortfall…[that] drastically rises in the summer…Pakistan has plentiful available and inexhaustible renewable energy resources, which if tapped effectively can play a significant role…[M]any parts of the country have long sunshine hours…[and] a potential of 2.9 million MW…” click here for more

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    Denmark Trial Proves EVs Can Support The Grid

    Parked Electric Cars Earn $1,530 From Europe's Power Grids

    Jess Shankelman, August 11, 2017 (Climate Changed via Bloomberg News)

    “….[In trials by Nissan and Enel, electric] car owners are earning as much as $1,530 a year just by parking their vehicle and feeding excess power back into the grid…[The trials prove] batteries inside electric cars could help balance supply and demand at times and provide a new revenue stream for those who own the vehicles…Technology linking vehicles to the grid marks another challenge for utilities already struggling to integrate wind and solar power into their distribution system. As the use of plug-in cars spreads, grid managers will have to pay closer attention to when motorists draw from the system and when they can smooth variable flows…Electric car demand globally is expected to soar, putting further pressure on grid operators to find new ways of balancing demand. Power consumption from vehicles will grow to 1,800 terawatt-hours in 2040 from just 6 terawatt-hours now…” click here for more

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    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Why Greenland Burning Is Cause For Fear

    The real fire and fury is in Greenland right now, and it’s super scary; Scientists are freaking out.

    Joe Romm, August 9, 2017 (ThinkProgress)

    “Thousands of acres of permafrost are burning in what appears to be Greenland’s biggest fire on record. And climate scientists are freaking out not just because the massive fires are unusual, but because they release large amounts of greenhouse gases and speed up the melt of the ice sheet and the carbon-rich permafrost…[G]rassy, carbon-rich peatlands along the coast are heating up and drying out…Peat fires are difficult to stop, often burning until all the organic matter has turned to ash…[and] are the largest fires on Earth in terms of their carbon footprint…As the massive Greenland ice sheet shrinks–ice melt has sped up more than five-fold since the mid-1990s–more formerly ice-covered land will turn to grass- and shrub-covered peatland, leading to more wildfires, leading to more ice melt. No wonder scientists are freaking out.” click here for more

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    Wind Power Booming

    Energy Department Reports: Wind Energy Continues Rapid Growth in 2016

    August 9, 2017 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    "…America’s wind industry added more than 8,200 megawatts (MW) of capacity last year, representing 27 percent of all energy capacity additions in 2016…and 14 states now get more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind, [according to three new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report found utility-scale] wind installations stand at more than 82 GW, enough to meet about 6.2 percent of U.S. end-use electricity demand in an average year…[It concludes that wind is now] cost-competitive with traditional power sources such as natural gas in many parts of the U.S…[The 2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report reported the project] development pipeline includes over 20 projects totaling 24,135 MW of potential installed capacity…[The 2016 Distributed Wind Market Report found] distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 992 MW…” click here for more

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    IKEA To Offer Solar

    IKEA Launches Solar Panels; The move is a push for sustainable energy

    Hadley Keller, August 7, 2017 (Architectural Digest)

    “…[Swedish retailer IKEA, already a go-to source for furnishings and home decor, will now offer rooftop solar. It will partner with solar panel manufacturer Solarcentury to provide UK homeowners installation and hardware on an offering that will start at around $4,000. The company] has long been outspoken about its commitment to renewable energy and eco-conscious practices and had teased solar options for a while…[ IKEA] is on track to become entirely energy neutral by 2020 (and has already installed over 700,000 solar panels on its stores worldwide)…” click here for more

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    EV Growth Ready To Explode

    Electric car forecast predicts 21% market share by 2035

    James Osborne, August 10, 2017 (Chron)

    “Electric cars will be a regular feature of global roadways within the next two decades, far faster than many government forecasts predict…[Research firm Wood Mackenzie predicts that by 2035 there will be 350 million electric cars on the road - representing 21 percent of the total vehicles - as world governments seek to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change…That is a far more bullish outlook than held by the U.S. government, which predicts that by 2040 electric vehicles will only represent 10 percent of total U.S. vehicle sales…Electric vehicles represent an existential threat to the oil industry, which accounts for close to 90 percent of the energy used by the transportation sector…A report by Bloomberg Energy Finance last month predicted that by 2040 electric vehicle sales would displace 8 million barrels a day of oil production - more than the total output of Saudi Arabia…” click here for more

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    Wednesday, August 09, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Research Shows Ongoing Need To Value Customer-Sited Resources

    Research spotlight: Solar cost shift negligible, DER valuation efforts advancing slowly; New studies from LBNL and Rhodium detail the latest findings in distributed energy resource valuation

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 10, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Recent results from proceedings across the country on DER valuation show it is a complex undertaking but policymakers and regulators continue to work at it.

    Recent research into the cost and value of distributed resources details the relatively small rate impacts from distributed solar and allays concerns about the perceived cost shift. On the benefit side, it shows that distributed energy resources (DER) are not yet accurately valued, but could change the energy paradigm when they are. “What Is It Worth? The State of the Art in Valuing Distributed Energy Resources” assesses over 100 peer-reviewed papers on DER and concludes U.S. utility distribution systems but is not set up to properly value the grid services DER can provide. The result is that they are not valued at all or are valued in ways that don’t send the price signals needed to optimize their use…

    Putting the Potential Rate Impacts of Distributed Solar into Context” illustrates the point. State legislatures and regulatory commissions from Maine to California continue to debate the threat of a perceived shift of costs imposed by distributed solar owners on other utility customers. But the numbers show that in most cases, the effects of distributed solar on retail electricity prices are, and will continue to be, quite small compared to many other issues. Those concerned about a rate impact imposed by the skyrocketing growth of distributed solar should realize that even though solar is growing fast, most utilities will not get to even a 1% penetration by 2030. For utilities, commissions, and others concerned about keeping rates low, there are in most cases other areas that more significantly affect rates… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Details On New York’s Landmark Work To Value Customer-Sited Resources

    How utility data sharing is helping the New York REV build the grid of the future; Making detailed grid data public can enable more clean resources and cut consumer costs. The REV docket shows how hard that can be.

    Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 8, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: New York’s work on DER valuation is moving slowly toward the marketplace – but it is not there yet.

    Designing the grid of the future requires utilities and technology providers to understand the grid of the present. New York’s work shows how optimizing DERs like rooftop solar and behind-the-meter storage requires a common understanding of the distribution system. But currently, only utilities have full access to the data needed to fully understand the system’s limits and potential, and even they often lack visibility to understand exactly where all their assets are located. New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) docket includes an effort to enhance and spread the knowledge of the utility grid in its distribution system planning proceeding. If stakeholders there can agree on a common approach, it could become a model to enhance grid planning and DER collaboration across the country.

    By collecting and sharing system data, utilities can indicate to DER providers where their technologies can add the most value to the grid and displace expensive traditional power system upgrades. DER providers, meanwhile, can access a larger consumer market and work with utilities to enhance consumer choice. In New York, the end goal is to amass enough accurate system data to allow real-time transactive energy marketplaces on the distribution system, similar to larger wholesale markets. The effort is still in its early stages, and both utilities and DER providers say there are a number of hurdles for regulators to address before the vision becomes a reality… click here for more

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    NO QUICK NEWS