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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
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Why would they need to discuss "watts X (unit-of-time)" specifically in this document?

It has absolutely nothing to do with their purpose and would be in opposition to their approach encouraging a flexible, needs-based, or use-based strategy for developing different technologies for different applications.

Their benchmark of 1% of peak load is unquestionably appropriate to the function of their rule making, which encompasses the entire range of potential services that storage might provide for transmission, distribution and behind-the-meter customer owned storage. The potential variance in the appropriate size of these widely differing systems argues against too much prescriptive detail at the CPUC level.

What I like is that they have limited utilities to ownership of storage under this program to 50% or less and that they've excluded large scale (>50MW) pumped hydro storage. Both decisions show that the direction they are steering is towards a distributed grid with lots of local stakeholders.

Solar Panels The New Granite Countertops, But Not For Long…

Solar Panels The New Granite Countertops, But Not For Long…

Originally published on Cost of Solar.

Home solar panels are “the new granite countertops,” according to Tom Werner, CEO of US-based SunPower, one of the largest solar panel companies in the world. What does that mean? That means that, for an increasing number of new homeowners, solar panels are becoming an add-on right from the beginning. Furthermore, Werner is confident home solar panels will move beyond the “granite countertops phase” to mass adoption rather quickly.

“You’re going to see a transition from novelty, to granite countertops, to mainstream option,” Werner said. “We’re rapidly passing the equivalent of a ‘countertops decision’ to a ‘no-brainer.’ You just do it.”

If, like me, you’re not that familiar with the granite countertop thing, Bloomberg notes that a lot of new home buyers have decided to pay $5,000 to $10,000 for a granite kitchen countertop that is expected to last longer than a Formica-style countertop and would also be made of natural materials.

The thing with solar panels is that you’re probably saving money from Day 1 if you incorporate the solar panel purchase into your mortgage. The solar panels will cut your home’s electricity bill dramatically. You may even get paid a pretty penny when you generate more electricity than you use. And installing the solar panels as part of new home construction is cheaper than adding them onto an existing home (approximately 20% cheaper). Like granite countertops, there is a financial benefit in the long term, but there’s also a financial benefit right from the beginning.

Solar Panels For Home Growing Fast
SunPower has now supplied over 10,000 homes with solar panels, and about 4,000 of those were built in California last year. Apparently, according to Werner, approximately 20% of all new homes in the state will include solar panels this year. And that percentage is only expected to go up in the coming years.

At least 6 of the 10 largest US homebuilders now incorporate solar panels into the construction of some new homes....

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/27/solar-panels-new-granite-countertops-long/#tt4xBiyPP77vkPBW.99

2 utilities - 2 reactions to renewable future

Utility 1, Arizona Public Service
Arizona Utility Funds Solar Smear Campaign, Saying It Is ‘Obligated to Fight’
APS spokesperson: “We are in a political battle. We are obligated to fight.”

Herman K. Trabish October 22, 2013

Utility Arizona Public Service has confirmed that it donated funds to front groups running an anti-rooftop-solar advertising campaign meant to turn Arizona ratepayers against net energy metering.

“APS recently acknowledged that it provided money to a Washington, D.C.-based conservative organization called 60 Plus,” the Arizona Republic reports. “It also gave money to another nonprofit called Prosper.”

The APS monies supported the production and airing of television ads meant to fuel backlash against Arizona's net metering incentives. One of the ads, produced by 60 Plus, attempted to tie solar service providers SolarCity and Sunrun with Solyndra, the solar manufacturer that went bankrupt in 2011.

Showing images of shady businessmen doing secret deals outside a corporate jet, the ad claimed that "California billionaires are getting rich off of your tax dollars." ...


Arizona Public Service sponsored:

Solar industry response:

Utility 2: RWE Germany crafts this strategy for responding to a more advanced stage of the same challenges facing APS:

Under Threat, Germany’s Second-Biggest Utility Says It Will Create a New ‘Prosumer Business Model’
“We will position ourselves as a project enabler and operator, and [as a] system integrator of renewables.”

Stephen Lacey October 23, 2013

...According to the documents, RWE wants to move away from simply being a developer and owner of centralized power plants and instead help use its expertise to help manage and integrate renewables into the grid.

“The guiding principle is ‘from volume to value’ with technologies ranging from large-scale offshore wind and hydro to onshore wind or photovoltaic. But we will no longer pursue volume or percentage targets in renewables. We will rather leverage our skill set by taking a ‘capital-light’ approach. Based on funds sourced largely from third parties, we will position ourselves as a project enabler and operator, and [as a] system integrator of renewables," read the documents published by Energy Post.

Instead of simply transmitting electricity and selling kilowatt-hours, RWE wants to think of itself as a conduit for renewable energy projects -- helping manage risk without making dramatic new capital investments.

Citing a "prosumer" business strategy, the documents read as if they were written by a consumer electronics company, not a legacy utility.

“Developing an innovative and profitable prosumer business model is a challenge we also need to address successfully ...


"You change the fuel, you change the market..."

How a Carmaker Like Ford Will Spark Changes on the Grid’s Edge
“You change the fuel, you change the market and the customers you’re dealing with.”
Stephen Lacey
October 23, 2013

Ford, the iconic American car company that pioneered the modern automobile, is also on the cusp of another major technology shift -- this one driven by the connection between the power industry and automobile electrification.

...However, with multiple all-electric and plug-in hybrid models, Ford is attempting to move beyond simple production of automobiles and into a new customer engagement strategy that will change its relationship with technology providers, car owners and utilities.

....But selling cars is only one piece of Ford's strategy. After making the decision to scale up its EV business, the company moved deeper into the power sector.

....The pilot features a partnership with Eaton, Infineon, SunPower, Nest Labs and Whirlpool to connect Ford's C-MAX Energi hybrid with smart appliances, solar production and mobile data about utility rates. The integrated system has been installed at two homes in California and Colorado.

Georgia Tech researchers predicted the platform could reduce energy costs by 60 percent....


There are some interesting details at the link.

8 States, 3.3 million 0 Emission vehicles by 2025

8 States Team Up to Increase Electric Car Sales
Published: October 24, 2013

Monica Almeida/The New York Times
An electric vehicle charging station at a parking garage in Santa Monica, Calif. The coalition's goal is to achieve sales of at least 3.3 million vehicles that do not have any emissions by 2025.

WASHINGTON — In an effort to spur lackluster sales of electric cars, California, New York and six other states said on Thursday that they would work jointly to adopt a range of measures, from encouraging more charging stations to changing building codes, to make it easier to own an electric car.

...The states, which represent more than a quarter of the national car market, said they would seek to develop charging stations that all took the same form of payment, simplify rules for installing chargers and set building codes and other regulations to require the stations at workplaces, multifamily residences and at other places.

They said they would also promote hydrogen fueling stations, presuming that fuel-cell cars become more widely available. And they said they would promote “time of use” electric rates that would allow charging at off-peak prices, and expand incentives like high-occupancy lane access and reduced tolls and preferential parking. The states also said they would buy electric cars for their own fleets, and in some cases encourage their municipalities to do the same.

“There’s much that states can do, and perhaps even more that local governments can do,” said Mary D. Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board and a longtime promoter of electric cars. In a telephone interview, she said that electric cars were “in the midst of a start-up,” and she predicted that they would “go viral.”...


New York
Rhode Island

Goal: 3.3 million 0 Emission vehicles by 2025

Martin Rowson on a new nuclear power station for Britain – cartoon


Meanwhile, G. Monbiot, the most notorious nuclear cheerleader in the UK, is disappointed that the government chose real-world technology rather than the speculative unproved hype that he mistook for nuclear reality.

The farce of the Hinkley C nuclear reactor will haunt Britain for decades
We need nuclear power. But the government has plumped for outdated technology at the worst price imaginable


I still support nuclear power. I believe that to abandon our primary source of low carbon energy during a climate change crisis would be madness. It would mean replacing atomic plants with something much worse.

We should, of course, cut our profligate demand for power as much as possible. But if transport and heating are to be powered by low-carbon electricity, total demand is likely to rise even with the most parsimonious use of energy.

And we should make as much use as we can of renewables. But the biggest onshore wind schemes could supply only a fraction of the low-carbon power a nuclear plant can produce. For example, the controversial deployment in mid-Wales would generate just one 14th of the proposed output of Hinkley C. Offshore wind has greater potential, but using it to displace most of our fossil fuel generation is a tough call, even when it's balanced with a nuclear power baseload. Without that you would explore the limits of feasibility. If every square metre of roof and suitable wall in the UK were covered with solar panels, they would produce 9% of the energy currently provided by fossil fuels.

The harsh reality is that less nuclear means more gas and coal. ...


No George, less nuclear only means more coal and gas if and only if the Conservative government choses for it to mean more coal and gas. You need to reread the entirety of McKay's book carefully instead of just skimming over the highlights; for while 'back of the envelope' section makes it sound like there is a shortage of renewable potential, the actual details further on in the missive conclusively refute that premature, nuclear industry driven conclusion that McKay propagandizes for them.

Greenpeace activists have piracy charges dropped by Russia

Greenpeace activists have piracy charges dropped by Russia
Protesters who were aboard Arctic Sunrise and have been held over a month now face far lesser charges of hooliganism

theguardian.com, Wednesday 23 October 2013 18.03 BST

Greenpeace's ship, Arctic Sunrise, being towed into the Russian port of Murmansk. Photograph: Igor Podgorny/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has dropped piracy charges against 30 people involved in a Greenpeace protest over Arctic oil drilling, replacing them with lesser charges, the Itar-Tass news agency reported on Wednesday, citing federal investigators.

Investigative committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the charges against activists who protested at an oil platform last month had been changed from piracy, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 12 years, to hooliganism which has a lesser punishment, Itar-Tass reported.

The boat was seized by Russian coastguards last month as it approached the Prirazlomnaya oil rig, an offshore Arctic drilling platform operated by the state energy giant Gazprom.

President Vladimir Putin said it was "completely obvious" that the environmentalists were not pirates, but Russia's investigative committee went ahead with the charges.

The activists come from 18 different countries and ...


Scotland irked by British nuclear power plans

Scotland irked by British nuclear power plans
Oct. 22, 2013 | 7:09 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The British government has "misguided enthusiasm" for nuclear power after striking a deal with French and Chinese companies, the Scottish government said.
French utility company EDF and its Chinese partners are to build a new nuclear power station near the western British coast. The facility will represent the first nuclear power station built in the country since the 1990s.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said in a statement the British government was moving in the wrong direction in terms of its electricity choices.

"This U.K. government's misguided enthusiasm for nuclear comes at a time when other countries, such as Germany and EDF's home nation France, are either eliminating or scaling back their dependence on nuclear generation and when we should be putting the support to our renewables energy industry and the jobs it will support across the country," he said Monday.

...The Scottish government set a goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.....

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/10/22/Scotland-irked-by-British-nuclear-power-plans/UPI-29781382440161/#ixzz2iWeg16tS

Four Reasons Why Solar Can Unseat Coal in India This Decade

Asia Report: Four Reasons Why Solar Can Unseat Coal in India This Decade

Renewable Energy World Editors
October 21, 2013

New Hampshire, USA -- Coal contributes 60 percent to India's power mix today; solar is less than 1 percent. But what was a factor-of-seven difference between the cost of coal and solar two years ago shrank this summer to just a 1.8x gap. Can solar catch up within the next ten years?

In 2011 big coal plants were signing PPAs with tariffs for INR 2.8/kWh while solar was as high as 18/kWh. Now large grid-connected solar can be had at INR 7/kWh, while imported coal, on the rise to help offset a ~10 percent power deficit (baseload) exacerbated by rapidly rising power demand, is pushing INR 4/kWh without taking into account subsidies or cost of externalities. And that doesn't begin to address the challenges of grid-connecting villages, much less the hundreds of millions of citizens who remain off-grid.

The answer to this lies in domestic solar power, both centralized and distributed, built relatively fast at any size and requiring less than 1 percent of the nation's land. Four factors have to come into play, though, for solar to truly supplant coal in India in the next decade, according to Tobias Engelmeier, managing director at Bridge to India:

- Looking at longer-term costs. ...

- Costs of infrastructure and grid management. ...

- Measuring externalities. ...

- Valuing energy security.


Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, toxic water stymies cleanup

For Tepco and Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, toxic water stymies cleanup
WRITTEN BY Chico Harlan

TOKYO — Two and a half years after a series of nuclear meltdowns, Japan’s effort to clean up what remains of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is turning into another kind of disaster.

The site now stores 90 million gallons of radioactive water, more than enough to fill Yankee Stadium to the brim. An additional 400 tons of toxic water is flowing daily into the Pacific Ocean, and almost every week, the plant operator acknowledges a new leak.

That operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as Tepco, was put in charge of the cleanup process more than two years ago and subsequently given a government bailout as its debts soared. The job of dismantling the facility was supposed to give Tepco an opportunity to rebuild credibility.

But many lawmakers and nuclear industry specialists say that Tepco is perpetuating the kinds of mistakes that led to the March 2011 meltdowns: underestimating the plant’s vulnerabilities, ignoring warnings from outsiders and neglecting to draw up plans for things that might go wrong. Those failures, they say, have led to the massive buildup and leakage of toxic water.

“Tepco didn’t play enough of these what-if games,” said Dale Klein, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission...

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