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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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That's why the OP is extremely significant

I know it is your intent to piss on the accomplishments of renewables, but the OP shows we are actively changing the composition of the chart you posted.

Solar Industry and Renewables Face ALEC, A Powerful Foe

Distributed renewable energy is a threat to fossil-fuel-based utilities and industries. The more clean energy consumers produce, the fewer assets utilities get to add and the less energy gets sold. It turns the utility model upside down.

It would be naive to think that these incumbent forces would not push back, hard, against renewable energy on the frontlines and in back rooms...


Wind Topped All New US Generation Capacity in 2012, Ahead of Gas and Coal

Wind Topped All New US Generation Capacity in 2012, Ahead of Gas and Coal
Record-breaking numbers at competitive prices


With a Q4 installed capacity of 8,380 megawatts, the U.S. wind industry brought its 2012 total to 13,124 megawatts, shattering its 2009 record by 3,000 megawatts. With its record year, U.S. wind became the first renewable energy to lead the nation in annual new generation capacity, ahead of traditional electricity sources like natural gas, coal and nuclear, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Q4 2012 report.

Wind power was 42 percent of all new U.S. generation capacity built in 2012. Total new renewable capacity was over 55 percent of the nation’s build.

In Texas, which once again led the U.S. in cumulative, annual, and Q4 installed capacity, the Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) released a report with some startling conclusions. ERCOT’s newest cost and output numbers showed wind and solar to be more competitive than natural gas over the next twenty years and serving to drive electricity market prices lower.

With its Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission initiative about to be completed, this sets Texas up for a huge renewables future if its legislators and regulators choose to continue backing them.


Read more at: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Wind-Topped-All-New-U.S.-Generation-Capacity-in-2012-Ahead-of-Gas-and-Coal?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily

Wind, Solar, Biomass Provide All New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity In January 2013
By Kenneth Bossong

According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 1,231 MW of new in-service electrical generating capacity came on line in the United States in January 2013 — all from wind, solar, and biomass sources.

This represents a nearly three-fold increase in new renewable energy generating capacity compared to the same month in 2012 when wind, solar, and biomass provided 431 MW of new capacity.

Once again, renewable energy sources have dominated the new electrical generation market. And once again, their rapid expansion demonstrates that the U.S. can meet its future energy needs without resorting to dirtier sources such as nuclear power or the Keystone XL pipeline.


*Note: Generating capacity is not the same as actual generation. Actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources in the United States now totals about 13% according to data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


California Utilities Are Fighting Solar Progress

California Utilities Are Fighting Solar Progress
Adam Browning of Vote Solar suggests that utilities really don’t appreciate solar power.


Solar energy is one of California's biggest success stories. Homes, schools and businesses are going solar in record numbers. The growing industry now employs 43,000 Californians and has infused $10 billion in private investment into our otherwise limping economy.

Yet California's investor-owned utilities are quietly gearing up for battle against rooftop solar, using fuzzy math to distort the impact of the program that is the backbone of our state's solar energy boom. The interests of a few monopoly utilities should not outshine the rest of us.


But just as California’s grid is beginning to truly transform, here comes the backlash. Rooftop solar is under attack like never before by the state’s investor-owned utilities.

Why would your utility oppose customers going solar?

Utilities make money by getting a guaranteed rate of return on the infrastructure they build -- and that you, the ratepayer, pay for -- such as transmission lines or power plants. Building more infrastructure is better for their bottom line. Rooftop solar reduces the need to build more infrastructure because power is produced on rooftops, right where California needs it most. Rooftop solar generation is good for our electricity grid, but it upsets the status quo that has boosted utilities’ revenues for so long.

The utilities criticize net-metered rooftop solar by claiming that consumers who install solar systems “shift” the costs of running the grid to other utility customers, thereby raising their rates. But this view leaves out one big piece of the cost-benefit equation: namely, the benefits.


Read more at: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/guest-post-california-utilities-are-fighting-solar-progress?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=013113&utm_campaign=GTMDaily

Three articles on shutting down coal plants

A Big New Milestone Reached In Coal Retirement, Public Health, Climate Disruption

Millions of Americans are breathing easier these days as we announce that the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign has crossed the halfway mark toward meeting our goal of securing the retirement of a third of the nation's coal-fired power.

It's only been a year and a half since Bloomberg Philanthropies gave a $50 million grant to the Sierra Club to support the efforts of the Beyond Coal campaign. As part of this partnership, the Sierra Club set the ambitious goal of winning commitments to retire 105,000 megawatts of coal -- about one-third of U.S. coal plants -- by 2015.

These coal plants are the nation's number one source of the carbon pollution that is disrupting our climate, the sulfur pollution that causes heart attacks and premature death, and the mercury pollution that harms babies in the womb.

Today, thanks to the hard work of millions of people and dozens of partner organizations, our children, our grandparents, our friends, our neighbors, and so many others are enjoying cleaner air and water, and U.S. carbon emissions are at a two-decade low. Earlier this week, we announced the three coal retirements by American Electric Power that put us across this halfway mark...


U.S. Coal Decline Driven By Free Market, Despite Industry Opposition To Obama

By Daniel Trotta

BEALLSVILLE, Ohio, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Leon Lieser has been a coal miner 49 years, his bent fingers testament to his first job, loading coal by hand into a bucket. Mining also led to a hip replacement and a knee replacement. He loves his job and his industry, despite what it has done to his body.

"It's a way of life. It's a proud life," said Lieser, 66.

It may also be doomed. Lieser's boss, Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp, said he fears for the end of coal, prodded by a U.S. president who has promoted wind and solar power while cracking down on emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"There are no coal-fired plants being built. Mr. Obama took care of that. I think we're totally eliminated by 2035," said Murray, 73, a prominent advocate for his industry and a fund-raiser for Republican Party causes.

Despite Murray's protestations, the decline of the coal industry is being driven by the free market. U.S. natural gas production rose 16 percent from November 2008 to November 2012, creating a cheap supply that has made gas-generated electricity more competitive than that from coal...


Coal Kills -- Time to Kill Coal

A report published today by Europe's Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a powerful wake-up call about the dangers of coal-fired power. The Unpaid Health Bill: How Coal Power Plants Make Us Sick claims to provide the "first ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe," and mirrors the findings of a comparable 2010 report about the U.S. published by the Clean Air Task Force. The simple take-home message of these reports? Coal kills, and is costing us an arm and a leg (or perhaps more to the point, a heart and a lung).

The EU study summarizes its main findings with a dizzying string of facts and figures:

Emissions from coal power plants in Europe contribute significantly to the burden of disease from environmental pollution. The brand-new figures published in this report show that European Union-wide impacts amount to more than 18,200 premature deaths, about 8,500 new cases of chronic bronchitis, and over 4 million lost working days each year. The economic costs of the health impacts from coal combustion in Europe are estimated at up to €42.8 billion per year. Adding emissions from coal power plants in Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, the figures for mortality increase to 23,300 premature deaths, or 250,600 life years lost, while the total costs are up to €54.7 billion annually.

I can only imagine what these statistics would look like if they incorporated the additional impacts from coal mining, or from coal's contribution to climate change. The 2012 Climate Vulnerability Monitor provides some hints on that score.

But while I applaud HEAL for drawing attention to the economic costs, because of course cost-benefit analysis lies at the core of government policymaking, I'm far more incensed by the human suffering that these numbers imply...


EU probes Germany's energy discounts for industry

EU probes Germany's energy discounts for industry

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission formally launched an investigation Wednesday to find out whether energy price cuts granted to industrial clients in Germany is a hidden form of state aid.

Large electricity consumers were exempt from paying around (EURO)300 million ($390 million) in network charges last year alone - an arrangement that may put competitors in other member states at a disadvantage, said the Commission, which is also the 27-nation bloc's antitrust watchdog.

Germany exempted its industry from the charge to keep rising electricity costs in check as the country switches from nuclear power to renewable energies over the next nine years. Industry lobbies complained the country's rising energy costs would undermine competitiveness.

The charge is rolled over to small German electricity consumers who pay more because of the industry exemption. A similar scheme also exempts industrial consumers in Germany from a surcharge financing the expansion of renewable energies, which has sharply risen over the past years as the share of wind, solar and biomass power topped 25 percent of the country's electricity production.

In Berlin...

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/06/3269663/eu-probes-germanys-energy-discounts.html#storylink=cpy

Cleita is correct because the utilities are set to be marginalized.

Energy Industry Pushing Against Renewables, Says CA Assembly Member

by Chris Clarke
on July 13, 2012 9:45 AM

California Assembly member Nancy Skinner, a strong advocate for renewable energy in the California Legislature, told a group of solar industry executives yesterday that the energy industry is mobilizing to fight renewables in Sacramento. According to Recharge correspondent Benjamin Romano, who observed the conversation in the hallways of this week's Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco, Skinner spoke bluntly about the power companies' attempts to obstruct renewables in California.

"We are experiencing a very big push-back, from the utilities, from various companies," "It's sort of like, 'Oh, you've given those renewable people too much,'" Skinner said.

"Now we are experiencing a very big push-back, from the utilities, from various companies," Skinner continued. "There's really a huge onslaught right now in Sacramento which is anti-solar, anti-renewable energy.... The legislature right now is getting a bit shaky because they're hearing so strongly from voices that will benefit far more from sticking with dinosaurs."

...Skinner, who represents California's 14th Assembly District in the East San Francisco Bay Area, has written a number of bills promoting renewable energy development in California, including 2010's AB 510, which doubled the state's net metering program. That program is one area in which the utilities have "pushed back." In May of this year the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) clarified its interpretation of AB 510, in effect doubling the number of possible new net metering accounts, a huge incentive for property owners to install small-scale solar. Utilities were outraged, and attempted an end-run around the CPUC by sponsoring legislation that would establish a far stricter net metering policy. As the solar lobbying group Vote Solar said in a June 29 blog post,

Opponents quietly amended AB 2514 -- formerly positioned as a harmless bill to study the impacts of net metering -- into a bill that would completely reverse our net metering win. The new proposal would explicitly order the CPUC to use the cap calculation methodology preferred by the utilities - effectively halving the number of California homes, businesses, schools and other energy customers who could receive fair credit for going solar.

More at: http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/government/state-assembly-member-cites-big-pushback-against-renewables.html

Here, straight from the horses mouth, is the situation leading to motivation:
Duke Explores Rooftop Solar as Panels Slow Electricity Demand, CEO Says
By Jim Polson, Bloomberg
March 1, 2013

NEW YORK CITY -- Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner, may expand into rooftop solar as wider use of photovoltaic panels by customers cuts into demand for electricity in states including California, Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers said.

Rooftop panels are gaining popularity as the industry faces “anemic” growth in power demand that may redefine the traditional utility business model, as this growth makes it difficult to predict long-term energy demand, Rogers said at an analyst meeting in New York today.

“It is obviously a potential threat to us over the long term and an opportunity in the short term,” Rogers said in an interview after the meeting.

“If the cost of solar panels keeps coming down, installation costs come down and if they combine solar with battery technology and a power management system, then we have someone just using us for backup,” he said.


That might mean something but it was happening before Fukushima happened

You have once again latched onto a distortion of the truth and dedicated yourself to spreading the false meme relentlessly.
"With Germany the only Western European nation still intent on building a large amount of additional coal generation capacity (10GW according to some reports), this marks a remarkable policy failure for European environmentalism."

Facts matter. Merkel's German government took the affirmative action of reversing a policy of phasing out nuclear that was more than a decade old. At the same time they were taking that decision they also set out to build NEW coal plants to replace older plants.

Do you understand that? The SAME political and economic interests that decided to keep the nuclear plants online past their scheduled close date concurrently made the decision to build the coal plants you are now blaming on the nuclear phase-out.

Again, do you understand that?

The reasoning was that the newer plants were more efficient and would represent a net GHG reduction over the older plants they are scheduled to replace. However they still are investing in burning coal well into the future based on a desire to preserve the system built around CENTRALIZED THERMAL (COAL AND NUCLEAR) generation. The timing of their decision vis-a-vis both coal and nuclear proves that conclusively.

The only way we are going to see those large fossil plants shut down is by rebuilding the system into one that honors the economics of distributed renewable generation.

This is supposed to be a fact based forum wtmusic, so please stop spreading misinformation.

German energy company RWE to abandon crude oil, natural gas production

German energy company RWE to abandon crude oil, natural gas production, eyes sale of division
March 05, 2013 - 9:33 am EST

BERLIN — German energy company RWE AG says it is has decided to abandon production of crude oil and natural gas and will consider options for selling its oil and gas division.

RWE said Tuesday that selling RWE Dea AG, the oil and gas exploration and production business, would remove pressure on future capital spending and improve the company's financial situation. It didn't say when a sale might take place or name a price.


California City Wants to Require Solar on Every New Home

California City Wants to Require Solar on Every New Home
A Republican mayor campaigns for a historic requirement for solar on new homes.


...Yesterday in Lancaster, homebuilder KB Home celebrated its 1,000th new home with solar panels from SunPower. Speaking at the event, Mayor Parris announced his city will institute a first-of-its-kind requirement that solar be installed on every new single-family home built in Lancaster after January 1, 2014.

The new law will be written into Lancaster’s “Residential Zones Update” on residential solar. Along with a range of green building provisions, it specifies that new single family homes meet minimum solar system requirements.

“The purpose of the solar energy system standards,” it reads, “is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City.” It is further intended “to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”

Residential homes on lots from 7,000 square feet must have a solar system of 1.0 kilowatt to 1.5 kilowatts. Rural residential homes of up to 100,000 square feet must have a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.

The standards spell out simple, common-sense rules ...


Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity In India’ w/Italy & More Countries Coming in 2014

Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014
By Jeff Spross on Mar 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Deutsche Bank just released new analyses concluding that global solar market will become sustainable on its own terms by the end of 2014, no longer needing subsidies to continue performing.

The German-based bank said that rooftop solar is looking especially robust, and sees strong demand in solar markets in India, China, Britain, Germany, India, and the United States. As a result, Deutsche Bank actually increased its forecast for solar demand in 2013 to 30 gigawatts — a 20 percent increase over 2012.

Here’s Renew Economy with a summary of Deutsche Banks’s logic:
The key for Deutsche is the emergence of unsubsidised markets in many key countries. It points, for instance, to India, where despite delays in the national solar program, huge demand for state based schemes has produced very competitive tenders, in the [12 cents per kilowatt hour] range. Given the country’s high solar radiation profile and high electricity prices paid by industrial customers, it says several conglomerates are considering large scale implementation of solar for self consumption.
“Grid parity has been reached in India even despite the high cost of capital of around 10-12 percent,” Deutsche Bank notes, and also despite a slight rise in module prices of [3 to 5 cents per kilowatt] in recent months (good for manufacturers).

Italy is another country that appears to be at grid parity,

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