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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1200 on: March 25, 2016, 07:32:29 PM »
Wind and solar are growing at a stunning pace (just not enough to stop climate change)
http://www.vox.com/2016/3/24/11300698/wind-solar-growth
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1201 on: March 25, 2016, 08:49:19 PM »
Lengthy article on the many solar regulations debated in the U.S. during 2015.

Quote
Only residents in Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alabama were spared from solar policy last year. Everywhere else, regulators, utilities, solar providers and the like have been wrestling to find the proper valuation, aggregation and ownership models for the fast-growing renewable resource, according to a new report from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NC CETC).

“It has created an uproar in different places and it is hard to say what has affected the regulators’ thinking because each commission is different and each is persuaded by different evidence,” said NC CETC Sr. Policy Analyst Autumn Proudlove, co-author of “The 50 States of Solar; 2015 Policy Review.”
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/5-maps-that-show-where-the-action-is-on-solar-policy/415938/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1202 on: March 25, 2016, 08:55:12 PM »
Clean Energy News
Weekly Report: Mar. 23, 2016
Top News This Week
Quote
- The world’s biggest polluter is now the global leader in renewable-energy spending (Quartz)
China surpassed the European Union as the world’s top renewable energy investor.

- Apple now operates on 93% renewable energy worldwide (Greentech Media)
The company has pledged to run all its offices, retail stores and data centers on 100 percent renewables.

- IKEA solar array in Las Vegas will be Nevada’s largest (Business Wire)
This is IKEA’s 43rd solar project, having solar at 90 percent of its U.S. locations.

- Texas grid plans jump in 2016 solar & wind capacity (Clean Technica)
Two thirds of new power will come from wind and solar in oil-rich Texas.

- Ohio clean energy jobs rose 13 percent last year (Columbus Dispatch)
Ohio had over 100,000 renewable energy jobs in 2015, a 13 percent increase from 2014.
http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d1f5797e59060083034310930&id=a85bca2ace&e=c482051b8f
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1203 on: March 27, 2016, 06:48:45 PM »
The $2.5 Billion U.S. Power Line That No State Can Stop
Quote
A $2.5-billion transmission line carrying wind power to the U.S. Southeast is coming -- whether state regulators there like it or not.

On Friday, the U.S. Energy Department used a decade-old statute to clear Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s 705-mile (1,134-kilometer) power line for construction over any objections from the states involved.

The Energy Department’s approval of the line, proposed to carry 4,000 megawatts of power from the wind-rich Oklahoma panhandle through Arkansas and into Tennessee, marks the first time the 2005 statute has been used to bypass state approval and push through an interstate transmission project.

“Moving remote and plentiful power to areas where electricity is in high demand is essential for building the grid of the future,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. “Building modern transmission that delivers renewable energy to more homes and businesses will create jobs, cut carbon emissions, and enhance the reliability of our grid.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-25/the-2-5-billion-u-s-transmission-line-that-no-state-can-stop
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tombond

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1204 on: March 28, 2016, 06:40:39 AM »
Some electricity energy numbers for 2015.

http://www.vox.com/2016/3/24/11300698/wind-solar-growth

Quotes from this article.

Wind and solar, plus a little geothermal and biomass is growing at a record pace with 118 gigawatts coming online.

Countries also added 22 gigawatts worth of large hydropower and 15 gigawatts of new nuclear.  If you include hydro, renewables now provide 22 percent of the world's electricity.  If you add in nuclear, the carbon-free electricity total rises to 33 percent.

But also last year, the world added 43 gigawatts worth of coal capacity, on net, and 40 gigawatts worth of natural gas capacity.  Because these coal and gas plants can run more often, they actually generated more electricity than all the new renewable facilities built in 2015.

Keep in mind, too, that this report mainly focuses on the electricity sector, which only accounts for 40 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions. If you really want to whip global warming, you'd also need to clean up transportation. Plus figure out what to do about cement, steel, and other industries.

Bottom line: There are some amazing things happening in renewable energy. Large sacks of money are being tossed around. Photovoltaic panels and wind turbines are going up at a frenetic pace. But we're still very far from solving this pesky climate change problem.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1205 on: March 29, 2016, 05:04:11 PM »
Per the linked reference, following current trends towards increase use of renewable energy causes water and land inefficiencies.  We need to change the trend line and/or decrease our energy consumption:

Usama Al-mulali , Sakiru Adebola Solarin , Low Sheau-Ting & Ilhan Ozturk (2016), "Does moving towards renewable energy causes water and land inefficiency? An empirical investigation", Energy Policy, Volume 93, Pages 303–314, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.03.023


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516301264

Abstract: "This study investigates the effect of renewable energy production on water and land footprint in 58 developed and developing countries for the period of 1980–2009. Utilizing the ecological footprint as an indicator, the fixed effects, difference and system generalized method of moment (GMM) approaches were employed and eight different models were constructed to achieve robustness in the empirical outcomes. Despite the use of different methods and models, the outcome was the same whereby GDP growth, urbanization, and trade openness increase the water and land footprint. Moreover, renewable energy production increases the water and land inefficiency because of its positive effect on ecological footprint. Additionally, based on the square of GDP it is concluded that the EKC hypothesis does not exist while the square of renewable energy production indicates that renewable energy production will continue to increase water and land footprint in the future. From the outcome of this study, a number of recommendations were provided to the investigated countries."
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ghoti

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1206 on: March 29, 2016, 05:18:19 PM »
And as always in economic studies by "empirical" they mean modeled. Economic models with assumptions that ensure the result isn't actually empirical.

This is more of the old trope that increased efficiency only leads to more consumption.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1207 on: March 29, 2016, 08:47:56 PM »
Quote
Economic models with assumptions that ensure the result isn't actually empirical.

Science has always used models, we just called them theories.  (And the term theory in science has a different meaning than the common use which means "guess".)

Theories and models are based on empirical data.  They are an explanation of what is likely to happen next based on what we know.  We compare them to what happens next and make adjustments as new facts emerge.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1208 on: March 30, 2016, 09:26:40 PM »
Silent rooftop wind turbines could generate half of a household’s energy needs
Quote
The use of wind turbines in households is becoming more and more popular. Wind power like other natural power sources can be quite volatile, but it’s still a highly sustainable power source for those who want to live an off-the-grid lifestyle. A Dutch renewable energy start-up called The Archimedes, developed this product named Liam F1 turbine which is a small and silent wind turbine that will change the way we view wind power. Their product will be able to generate 1,500 kWh of energy per year and can be installed on the rooftop of a house. The best part is, that when the Liam F1 is matched with solar panels, it can generate enough power for an entire household. This way you can alternate between the use of solar power and wind power, having a backup in case the weather conditions are not suitable for you.
http://www.goodshomedesign.com/silent-rooftop-wind-turbines-could-generate-half-of-a-households-energy-needs/
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ghoti

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1209 on: March 31, 2016, 01:07:35 AM »
Funny how old things pop up as if they just happened. The first marketing stories for this device appeared in 2014. Soon after articles explaining how the claims being made were overly optimistic appeared.

http://www.skepsis.nl/blog/2014/08/hot-air-around-a-wind-turbine/

A search today found no additional blogs/stories/videos which I'd expect to see if a wonderful product had successfully made it into the world. So I'm also skeptical.

I'd really love to see functional effective local means of generating renewably (I do have both a solar domestic hot water system and 32 solar PV panels on my roof) but this neither looks new nor viable. Oh well.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1210 on: March 31, 2016, 01:18:37 AM »
...
A search today found no additional blogs/stories/videos which I'd expect to see if a wonderful product had successfully made it into the world. So I'm also skeptical.
...

It does look too good to be true.  But the invention that eventually does work well, will probably look even stranger than this.  ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1211 on: March 31, 2016, 01:21:48 AM »
More on the recently-approved southeast U.S. powerline.

This new transmission line will help unleash wind energy in the Great Plains. One down, dozens to go.
Quote
A transmission line to unlock Oklahoma wind energy

On Friday, the Department of Energy approved the Plains and Eastern Clean Line, a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power line that will extend from western Oklahoma to western Tennessee. It is meant to bring the abundant wind power of the sparsely populated Oklahoma Panhandle to dense population centers to the east.

The project is being developed by Clean Line Energy Partners; it is privately funded, paid for by energy producers and utilities that want to make use of it.
http://www.vox.com/2016/3/29/11322600/plains-eastern-transmission-line
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1212 on: March 31, 2016, 01:36:21 AM »
This chart shows the United States’ mind-blowing clean energy potential
Quote
The United States uses about 3.7 million gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s an unfathomably huge number. But the next time someone tries to make the argument that 100 percent renewable energy is out of reach for the U.S., show them [the image below]...

All of U.S. electricity usage is down there at the bottom right. Everything else is the States’ renewable potential.

Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report that said the United States’ upper ceiling on rooftop solar generation potential was around 39 percent of all U.S. electricity sales. That’s the tiny yellow circle in the middle. The potential of utility-scale solar? 350 times that li’l guy.

In a new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center — where this image appears — researchers lay out the achievability of a U.S. transition to 100 percent renewable energy. “There’s no question of whether or not there’s enough renewable energy,” said Rob Sargent, a program director at Environment America, on a press call. It’s more a function of how to achieve such a transition."
http://grist.org/climate-energy/this-chart-shows-the-united-states-mind-blowing-clean-energy-potential/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1213 on: March 31, 2016, 01:09:25 PM »
Harvesting Sunshine More Lucrative Than Crops at Some U.S. Farms
Quote
There is not a single crop that we could have grown on that land that would generate the income that we get from the solar farm,” said Singletary, 65.
...
“Solar and wind farms have become a new stable income stream for farmers -- and they don’t fluctuate with commodity prices,” said Andy Olsen, who promotes clean energy projects in rural areas for the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center.
...
Singletary, the Bladen County farmer, said the solar panels will let him retire without selling his family land.
“It gives me way to keep the farm,” he said. “I’d like to pass it to my grandchildren someday.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-29/harvesting-sunshine-more-lucrative-than-crops-at-some-u-s-farms
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1214 on: March 31, 2016, 01:14:33 PM »
NRG Says Massive Ivanpah California Solar Plant Now on Pace to Meet Goal
Quote
The operator of a massive U.S. government-backed solar project in California that fell short of production targets says the facility more than doubled its output last month, putting it on pace to meet its obligations to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s biggest solar-thermal power plant, generated 67,300 megawatt-hours electricity in February, up from about 30,300 a year earlier, according to NRG Energy Inc., which operates the faculty and co-owns it with BrightSource Energy Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Mitchell Samuelian, NRG’s vice president of operation for utility-scale renewable generation, said the improved performance shows the plant’s technology is viable and that the facility is on track to fulfill its contractual obligations. The release of the February output data comes 12 days after California regulators gave NRG and its partners more time to avoid defaulting on a contract with PG&E for failing to supply power they had guaranteed.

“The February numbers were well in excess of what we were targeting,” Samuelian said in an interview.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-29/nrg-says-massive-california-solar-plant-now-on-pace-to-meet-goal
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1215 on: April 01, 2016, 03:55:34 AM »
China Unveils Proposal for $50 Trillion Global Electricity Network for clean energy
Quote
The State Grid Corporation of China envisions a future "global village" of efficient transmission lines to tap and distribute electricity from giant solar farms around the equator and wind stations in the Arctic, according to its website. Liu estimated that the global network could mean clean energy comprising 80 percent of global consumption, displacing fossil fuels as Earth's principal energy source.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/china-unveils-proposal-50-trillion-global-electricity-network-n548376
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1216 on: April 01, 2016, 09:38:54 PM »
Fairfield, Connecticut residents want solar on their houses.

Fairfield Realtors Learn Many Homebuyers Are Searching For Solar
Quote
Environmental experts addressed the Greater Fairfield Board of Realtors Wednesday, explaining what sorts of sustainable bells and whistles the savvy homebuyer is looking for these days.

“Solar is the new granite countertop,” said Bob Wall, associate director of marketing and outreach at Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, or CEFIA.

Homes on the market with existing solar panels, modern insulation and sustainable landscaping are getting noticed by a new breed of buyers, he and others said.

About 300 homes in Fairfield currently use some form of solar cells, said Scott Thompson, chairman of the town’s Clean Energy Task Force. When the town announced its Solarize Fairfield initiative recently, about 75 homeowners signed up to learn more.

“It’s really incredible what’s happening,” he said.
http://fairfield.dailyvoice.com/business/fairfield-realtors-learn-many-homebuyers-are-searching-for-solar/648888/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1217 on: April 05, 2016, 01:50:20 AM »
Florida Will Vote This Year On Measure That Would Block Solar Leasing In The State
Quote
Score one for the Koch brothers.

A measure that opponents say is intentionally confusing and will stifle solar growth was given the go-ahead by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday. It will appear on the Florida ballot in November.

Environmental and solar advocates challenged the measure, titled, “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice,” saying that it does not reflect any choice and does not create new rights. Sponsored by utility companies and other groups tied to the Koch brothers, the measure will prevent people from selling their electricity to third parties. This would effectively prevent solar leasing in the state, because under that system, an owner — usually a solar company — installs panels at a home and then sells the generated electricity back to the homeowner.

“This amendment hoodwinks voters by giving the impression that it will encourage the use of rooftop solar when, in fact, it would do the opposite,” Earthjustice attorney David Guest told the News Service of Florida.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/01/3765695/florida-voters-are-going-to-be-confused/
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1218 on: April 05, 2016, 06:51:45 AM »
Quote
Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report that said the United States’ upper ceiling on rooftop solar generation potential was around 39 percent of all U.S. electricity sales.

That was (IIRC) based on 15% efficient solar panels.  We're now installing 20% efficient panels.

The move from 15% to 20% panels would take the 39% per of all US electricity sales to 52%.  And solar panel efficiency should continue to rise.


James Lovejoy

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1219 on: April 05, 2016, 07:48:16 PM »
Quote
Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report that said the United States’ upper ceiling on rooftop solar generation potential was around 39 percent of all U.S. electricity sales.

That was (IIRC) based on 15% efficient solar panels.  We're now installing 20% efficient panels.

The move from 15% to 20% panels would take the 39% per of all US electricity sales to 52%.  And solar panel efficiency should continue to rise.

In addition, the report also states "Actual generation from PV in urban areas could exceed these estimates by installing systems on less suitable roof area, mounting PV on canopies over open spaces such as parking lots, or integrating PV into building facades."

So the 39% is by no means a limitation on urban distributed solar.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1220 on: April 06, 2016, 03:05:22 AM »
Another $1.2 Billion Substation? No Thanks, Says Utility, We'll Find a Better Way
Quote
Consolidated Edison, the iconic utility that provides New York City's electricity, discovered a problem in the summer of 2014. Within a few years, the demand for power in an area spanning parts of Brooklyn and Queens would outpace what existing infrastructure could supply, especially during the peak demand of the hottest summer days.

The traditional solution would be to add a substation. But that would cost $1.2 billion or more and represent a more-of-the-same approach to the electric grid—a central station with long inefficient wires, less resilience to the effects of climate change and more fossil fuel use. Con Ed was not thrilled.

So it came up with a completely different approach. Con Ed solicited ideas for smaller, cheaper, nontraditional and ideally more environmentally friendly solutions. So far, the company has received more than 80 suggestions and has turned many of them into the Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management project.

BQDM, as it's called, is a plan that reimagines the area's grid for 21st century climate changes, especially longer, hotter summers. While the specifics are not fully formed, BDQM is likely to harness state-of-the-art grid management, emissions-free on-site power generation and basic customer-side energy efficiency, which is already going into effect.

The cost: About $200 million, less than one-fifth the price of a substation.


The low price tag and the concept have utilities, regulators, public officials, electricity experts and environmentalists nationwide watching to see whether BQDM will work. The project sets ConEd apart from other big power companies that have fought rooftop solar electricity and other clean energy solutions that disrupt their established business model.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042016/coned-brooklyn-queens-energy-demand-management-project-solar-fuel-cells-climate-change
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1221 on: April 07, 2016, 01:26:38 AM »
Solar Farm Developers Target New York With Lease Offers
Quote
Less than a year after New York banned fracking, dashing the hopes of farmers who had hoped to reap royalties from natural gas leases, the commercial solar industry is courting landowners for energy production.
...
For some farmers in New York, the leases could mean salvation. Marginal land could become productive, and prime cropland could produce income without labor and other costs during a 20-year lease, with the potential to one day return to crop production.

"I've been looking for anything and everything to get some other income for my farm," said Mike Athanas, a retired electronics technician who has a 184-acre farm in Hyde Park in the Hudson Valley. "The taxes are killing me. My vegetable business doesn't have much profit margin. And some of the soil isn't the best for planting."
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/solar-farm-developers-target-york-lease-offers-38120084
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1222 on: April 07, 2016, 01:32:02 AM »
And a lot more on the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, a $2 billion, 705-mile, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system in the southeast U.S..
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-doe-is-leveraging-federal-authority-to-ease-transmission-development/416724/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1223 on: April 07, 2016, 01:38:08 AM »
Massachusetts legislature reaches long-awaited deal on net metering
Quote
After five months of negotiation and a purported solar impasse that delayed more than 500 solar projects in Massachusetts worth US$617 million, an official consensus has been reached.

On Tuesday, House and Senate leaders concurred on raising the net metering cap by 3% – alleviating the obstacles for ratepayers to receive credit for generating extra power from modules. However, at the same time, the agreement means that the value of the incentives for new projects will decrease. The final wording of the bill allows smaller scale projects to benefit from higher retail reimbursements rates – which last year was around US$0.17/kWh, according to reports. Commercial or community projects however are excluded and entitled to a less favourable wholesale reimbursement rate.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/massachusetts-legislature-reaches-long-awaited-deal-on-net-metering
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1224 on: April 07, 2016, 03:02:41 AM »
Bloomberg: Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels
Record clean energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1.
Quote
The reason solar-power generation will increasingly dominate: It’s a technology, not a fuel. As such, efficiency increases and prices fall as time goes on. What's more, the price of batteries to store solar power when the sun isn't shining is falling in a similarly stunning arc.

Just since 2000, the amount of global electricity produced by solar power has doubled seven times over. Even wind power, which was already established, doubled four times over the same period. For the first time, the two forms of renewable energy are beginning to compete head-to-head on price and annual investment. 
...
Oil and gas woes are driven less by renewables than by a mismatch of too much supply and too little demand. But with renewable energy expanding at record rates and with more efficient cars—including all-electric vehicles—siphoning off oil profits at the margins, the fossil-fuel insolvency zone is only going to get more crowded, according to BNEF. Natural gas will still be needed for when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing, but even that will change as utility-scale batteries grow cheaper. 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/wind-and-solar-are-crushing-fossil-fuels
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sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1225 on: April 09, 2016, 12:11:02 AM »
This is stunning and far ahead of schedule. The second leg of the coal-electric-rail triangle is collapsing. (i expect rail to last for a while) I guess Barclay's sees the same battery price drop following solar as i do.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/barclays-downgrades-entire-us-electric-utility-sector/266936/

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1226 on: April 09, 2016, 02:14:25 AM »
This is stunning and far ahead of schedule. The second leg of the coal-electric-rail triangle is collapsing. (i expect rail to last for a while) I guess Barclay's sees the same battery price drop following solar as i do.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/barclays-downgrades-entire-us-electric-utility-sector/266936/

Wow -- what an upset!

Quote
Barclays Bank’s bond rating service has downgraded the entire U.S. electric utility sector bond market rating against the U.S. Corporate Bond Index due to the challenge from ratepayers’ increasing opportunities to cut grid electricity consumption with solar and battery storage
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1227 on: April 09, 2016, 10:50:00 PM »
GE's New Solar Installations to Cut $2.2M in Energy Costs
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General Electric Company, a leading industrial goods manufacturer, recently announced that it is likely to slash approximately $2.2 million in energy costs by harnessing solar energy using solar panels. The company is expected to set up these panels in Schenectady and North Greenbush in New York.
http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/212826/ges-new-solar-installations-to-cut-22m-in-energy-costs
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1228 on: April 10, 2016, 07:12:27 AM »
This is stunning and far ahead of schedule. The second leg of the coal-electric-rail triangle is collapsing. (i expect rail to last for a while) I guess Barclay's sees the same battery price drop following solar as i do.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/barclays-downgrades-entire-us-electric-utility-sector/266936/

I think Barclay's has missed the other side of the market shift.  Some demand will be lost to end-user solar and storage but at the same time the addition of EVs and PHEVs are going to be replacement demand.  In the long run utilities may enjoy net market growth.

And there's a good chance that electricity rates will fall overall.  That will lower the likelihood the incentive for consumers to produce and store their own electricity.  It won't take a huge amount of end-user solar to wipe out the most expensive portion of demand, the peaker plants.  We've already seen in Germany a surprisingly small amount of solar  reduce the wholesale price of midday electricity to late night off peak levels.

Electric vehicles will also aid the drop in electricity prices.  Being opportunistic demand they will be available to eat up any less needed supply.  And that means that we can add more "variable" wind and solar to our grids without storage.  When non-vehicle demand is high in relation to supply EVs/PHEVs can drop out and stop charging until demand drops lower than supply.

plinius

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1229 on: April 10, 2016, 11:43:03 AM »
Bob, interesting point, but I fail to see the stringency of your argumentation. The point of Barclay's is the collapsing monopoly. Currently, utilities still own the lines to their customers and can essentially charge them for that whatever the regulation allows. Plus they had a lot of market tricks to sell cheap electricity for a high price, just by holding the cheap capacity slightly below the market demand, such that marginal costs of high price production (usually gas turbines) set the market price. There are countries like Germany, where those parasites have sucked out net profits of >500 dollars per year and inhabitant in the past. Industry demand has never been good business, because industry is large enough to produce their own electricity if they want to (or in other words if you squeeze too much).

1) overall price: So, now they face an increasing number of customers, who can just get out of the grid essentially and live from PV + batteries, Solarthermic plus warm water tanks, or even entire villages that set up their own solar, biomass + wind production. Those solutions set the new price, at which big electricity companies can sell. So, even if you can increase the nominal market price again, you have the problem that your customers run away if you sell at the market price.

2) market price problem: The intrinsic problem of solar and wind for them is that they will go far into overcapacity. I.e. the times when an expensive production unit may set the market price, will be miniscule compared to the old "every day" situation. Wind and solar are also far more flexible - you can just shut them off. Leaves you with large-scale fluctuations on the timescale of days, and those are covered by "cheaper" production plants. To cite your example, Germany again: The variability of required capacity outside the regenerative sector has increased a lot, but still the gas turbines went out of business. And worse: storage is getting cheaper, pushing their old expensive crap out of the net. Last, but not least - if regeneratives take up a part of the share (and they now do practically every day even on bad days), the basis for your cheap production shedding the money gains, just shrinks proportionally.






sidd

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1230 on: April 10, 2016, 09:06:44 PM »

Bob Wallace

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1231 on: April 10, 2016, 11:01:35 PM »
Bob, interesting point, but I fail to see the stringency of your argumentation. The point of Barclay's is the collapsing monopoly. Currently, utilities still own the lines to their customers and can essentially charge them for that whatever the regulation allows. ....

1) overall price: So, now they face an increasing number of customers, who can just get out of the grid essentially and live from PV + batteries, ....

2) market price problem: The intrinsic problem of solar and wind for them is that they will go far into overcapacity. I.e. the times when an expensive production unit may set the market price, will be miniscule compared to the old "every day" situation. Wind and solar are also far more flexible - you can just shut them off. Leaves you with large-scale fluctuations on the timescale of days, and those are covered by "cheaper" production plants. To cite your example, Germany again: The variability of required capacity outside the regenerative sector has increased a lot, but still the gas turbines went out of business. And worse: storage is getting cheaper, pushing their old expensive crap out of the net. Last, but not least - if regeneratives take up a part of the share (and they now do practically every day even on bad days), the basis for your cheap production shedding the money gains, just shrinks proportionally.

I trimmed your text.

If utilities are getting away from charging too much in a regulated market then that's a problem with the regulating agency.   But back to the Barclay's claim that exiting customers will cause utilties to crash.

I highly doubt that will happen.  The majority of customers will not add solar/storage.  They either don't own their roofs or their electric bills are too small to motivate them.  The average US electricity bill is $100/month.  Then there will be new demand as we add EVs.

Then add to that, some utilities are being successful with adding large enough fixed 'user fees' to wipe out much of the economic advantage for solar/storage.
---

Yes, we are likely to see a lot of overbuilding of wind and solar.  That will be cheaper, up to a point, than adding storage.  Add an extra unit of wind or solar at 3c/kWh, use only half of the potential output, and the cost rises to 6c/kWh.  Store 3c/kWh at a storage cost of 5c/kWh and the cost is 8c/kWh.  At some point adding more generation will not pay compared to storage.  That's when we'll see large scale utility storage take off.  And it might be 10 to 20 years in the future.

It will probably be a long time before natural gas plants are put out of business.  They will simply be used less and less.  That will mean that they will have to charge more per MWh in order to stay in business.  We'll pay what they need.  But the effect on electricity price should be negligible as the total MWh purchased will fall and be replaced by much cheaper renewable input.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1232 on: April 11, 2016, 03:48:04 PM »
Why Facebook Is Focusing on Renewable Energy
Quote
Weihl:... One of the key principles we try to adhere to is “additionality,” which means that our purchase of clean energy results in additional clean energy being added to the grid. It goes beyond business as usual.

Dienel: One of the challenges in procuring renewable energy for a utility grid is the upfront cost of developing the project. How do you support those projects?

Weihl: We want to engage in contracts that will help drive supply. One way to do that is to sign a long-term power-purchase agreement and commit to some period of time. What does a project developer need to go to the bank and get financing? If they have a long-term commitment from a credit-worthy customer, they can go to the bank and say, “My revenue is guaranteed for the next 10 or 20 years.” That allows them to get the financing they need to build that wind farm or get the capital to build the next one.
https://medium.com/@BSRnews/why-facebook-is-focusing-on-renewable-energy-44d08d950b74
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1233 on: April 11, 2016, 04:11:57 PM »
With another generation record, Texas edges closer to 50% wind penetration
Quote
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reached a new wind generation system high by getting 48.28% of its 27,245 MW load, or 13,154 MW, from the resource at 1:10 a.m. on March 23. This surpassed February 18’s record-setting 45.14% wind penetration

- ERCOT has 15,764 MW of installed wind capacity and its peak use of wind capacity is still February 18’s 14,023 MW. Wind energy accounted for 18.4% of ERCOT’s 2015 generation.

- ERCOT delivers about 90% of Texas electricity, with some regions in the North and West served by MISO and SPP. Over 20% of ERCOT’s nearly 80,000 MW generation capability comes from the state’s U.S.-leading 17,713 MW of installed wind capacity.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/with-another-generation-record-texas-edges-closer-to-50-wind-penetration-1/417089/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1234 on: April 11, 2016, 04:24:32 PM »
Poll: Nearly three quarters of Londoners want next Mayor to back solar
Quote
People in London like solar power, it turns out.

A poll of 1007 people carried out by Mora consulting found that 73.2% of Londoners (and 70% of undecided voters) thought it was either very or quite important that the next mayor take steps to make London a leading city for solar power.

Just for the record. London is currently very much not a leading city for solar power.

The findings come with London’s mayoral election on a knife edge with air pollution and the environment emerging as a major issue alongside housing.
http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/04/11/solar-poll/


Edit: on the dearth of solar in London:
London has less rooftop solar – as a share of households – than any other UK region or major city, according to a new analysis.
http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/02/18/solar-energy-shines-on-london/
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 04:31:26 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1235 on: April 11, 2016, 04:40:15 PM »
Analysts: Renewables deliver over a fifth of UK power
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Renewables are playing an increasingly important role in the UK's power mix and the trend is set to continue, according to the latest quarterly update from analyst firm EnAppSys.

The energy market analysts reported renewables share of the power mix reached 22.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, comfortably surpassing coal power which provided 16.2 per cent of the mix and nuclear power on 19 per cent. Only gas provided more power, meeting 35.4 per cent of demand.
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2454081/analysts-renewables-deliver-over-a-fifth-of-uk-power
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1236 on: April 11, 2016, 05:38:37 PM »
Germany mulls ‘mammoth’ 95% cut in emissions by 2050
Minister says renewables transition can radically slash greenhouse gases by mid-century, but omits coal exit strategy
Quote
The German vision of community-owned wind, solar and bioenergy production to reduce reliance on nuclear and fossil fuels was touted as a model. In 2015, renewables supplied a record high 32.5% of the country’s power demand.
http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/18/germany-mulls-minimal-carbon-emissions-in-a-generation
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1237 on: April 11, 2016, 05:54:43 PM »
From February:

Sweden to go carbon neutral by 2045
Seven out of eight parliamentary parties back proposal for rapid greenhouse gas emissions cuts, boosted by Paris agreement
Quote
Sweden is aiming to neutralise its greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The Scandinavian country will cut territorial emissions at least 85% from 1990 levels and offset the rest by investing in overseas green projects.

That was the proposal unveiled on Tuesday by a parliamentary committee responsible for environmental policy, backed by seven out of eight parties. Only the Sweden Democrats, who got 13% of votes in the 2014 election, are not represented on the committee.

It is a speeding up of the low carbon transition, from a previous target to be carbon neutral by 2050.
http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/02/11/sweden-to-go-carbon-neutral-by-2045/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1238 on: April 13, 2016, 11:57:41 PM »
California has too much solar power. It needs another grid to share with.
http://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11376196/california-grid-expansion
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1239 on: April 14, 2016, 02:10:12 AM »
California’s Advanced Energy Industry Has More Than Half a Million Workers, Up 18 Percent from Last Year
Growing at three times the rate of employment overall and accounting for more than 3 percent of the state total, advanced energy supports more jobs in California than agriculture, three times as many as motion pictures, TV, radio.
Quote
By far the largest share of advanced energy jobs is in energy efficiency – 63 percent, or roughly 320,000 workers.
https://www.aee.net/articles/new-survey-california-s-advanced-energy-industry-up-18-percent-from-last-year
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1240 on: April 16, 2016, 02:25:28 AM »
Flat roofs, low density housing and lower electricity use can mean a huge potential for solar power on buildings, in surprising places.

Rooftops in Cloudy Places Could Be Solar Gold Mines
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/cloudy-places-could-be-solar-gold-mines-20253
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1241 on: April 17, 2016, 04:53:40 PM »
“Perversely, those who argue that solar is not serving the low-income communities are working to make the economics worse, which is the opposite of what you want to do.”

Solar Advocates Have Their Eyes On Low Income Communities
Quote
Solar power has been criticized for helping the wealthy and punishing the poor. Some groups — largely, it should be noted, utilities and advocacy groups funded by fossil fuel interests — say only affluent people can afford solar, leaving less-affluent people to pay more than their share for the grid.

But it turns out that in the battle to transition to a cleaner, more networked grid, low-income communities are the next big front.

There is no question that distributed solar changes the way we get and pay for our electricity. It is a disruptive technology — something that can change the fundamental way business is done. That in and of itself creates resistance, but when talking about who can afford solar, it’s worth looking at a parallel example.

When personal computers were introduced three decades ago, the first people to buy them were from affluent households, large companies, and schools — just like solar, computers started as something tapped by companies and high-income “early adopters.” Only as prices went down and infrastructure adjusted did computers become widespread. Ultimately, they ushered in the Internet Era. The change simultaneously devastated the Postal Service, one of America’s longest-lasting businesses, and impacted the way millions do business.

Still, no one made the argument that society should stifle computer usage because low-income households couldn’t afford them. In fact, the parallel argument for why solar access isn’t fair has been pretty thoroughly debunked, but the fact remains that it is easier for some people and companies to “go solar” than others.

In order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, more people need to go solar, and more of those people need to be low-income, advocates say. And this week, some of those advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. to release a new policy guide on how to make solar available to every American. The guide makes the argument for why everyone needs access to solar and shows how initiatives are working across the country.

Solar ownership in low-income communities is an investment

“Perversely, those who argue that solar is not serving the low-income communities are working to make the economics worse, which is the opposite of what you want to do,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar, a California-based advocacy group.

As solar becomes more widespread, costs go down for everyone, Browning told ThinkProgress. And, in fact, the cost of a residential solar installation has been cut nearly in half since 2010, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
...
“When you’re talking about rooftop solar, you are also talking about local jobs. It takes a local person to install it,” Ronen said.
...
In California, for instance, strong net metering policies and the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program have shown strong results. In Fresno County, half the solar installations are in zip codes with median incomes between $40,000 and $55,000. Zip codes with median incomes less than $40,000 now make up more installations than the $55,000 to $70,000 range or the more than $70,000 range.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/18/3761308/low-income-solar/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1242 on: April 17, 2016, 10:39:57 PM »
The Triton is designed to harvest wave energy without using moving parts that can break down in the brutal ocean.
Quote
Anyone who's ridden or been tossed by a wave has a sense of the kinetic energy contained in our perpetually moving oceans. If we could harness it, it could provide a clean, renewable source of energy. But efforts to turn our oceans into power generators—often in the form of "aqua-mills," windmill technology adapted to water—have foundered on the complexity of their many moving parts in the corrosive and remote environs of the sea.

A new approach, developed by a company called Oscilla Power, applies all that kinetic energy to a solid piece of metal instead of using it to turn the blades of an impeller. That creates an alternating magnetic polarity in the metal that can be converted into electrical current.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-12/this-device-could-provide-a-third-of-america-s-power
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ghoti

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1243 on: April 18, 2016, 10:50:59 PM »
The video of the model testing sure seemed to show a lot of moving parts for something "with no moving parts".

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1244 on: April 19, 2016, 01:58:28 AM »
The video of the model testing sure seemed to show a lot of moving parts for something "with no moving parts".

LOL.  I think they mean the Triton cylinders themselves do not use moving parts (only "stressed" ones) to generate the electricity.  Apparently, the widgets used to transfer the force of the waves to the Triton cylinders don't count.  ;D
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ghoti

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1245 on: April 19, 2016, 03:40:38 AM »
Those are the kind of parts that failed miserably in the Pelamis wave power system.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1246 on: April 22, 2016, 02:05:30 AM »
SunEdison's Epic Failure Had Little to Do With Clean Energy
Quote
Thank hubris, overreaching ambition, and a mismanaged acquisition strategy for the bankruptcy.

It finally happened. After months of speculation, bizarre twists and turns, and dozens of lawsuits, beleaguered clean energy giant SunEdison finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

The news, and SunEdison’s rock bottom share price, will no doubt have deep effects on the growing global solar and clean energy industries. But SunEdison’s downfall isn’t rooted in the failure of solar and wind.

Instead the company’s tale of woe stems from overreaching ambition and core business decisions that led it to try to grow too big, too fast, and in too many directions. Companies in any industry—from drugs to mining to airlines—could, and have met, the same fate.
http://fortune.com/2016/04/21/sun-edison-clean-energy-fail/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1247 on: April 23, 2016, 03:04:40 AM »
San Francisco adopts law requiring solar panels on all new buildings
Tech capital is first major US city to require all new buildings of 10 storeys or under to have solar panels, reports BusinessGreen.
Quote
San Francisco has this week passed landmark legislation requiring all new buildings under 10 storeys in height to be fitted with rooftop solar panels.

The city’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the new rule on Tuesday, making the metropolis the largest in the US to mandate solar installations on new properties.

Smaller Californian cities such as Lancaster and Sebastopol already have similar laws in place, but San Francisco is the first large city to adopt the new standard.
...
San Francisco has a target to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and has emerged as one of the US’s leading clean tech hubs with a raft of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs backing a host of green technology start-ups in the region.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/21/san-francisco-adopts-law-requiring-solar-panels-on-all-new-buildings
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1248 on: April 24, 2016, 04:56:06 PM »
The 25 Year Solar Module Warranty is only 19 Years old
Quote
In a field study done by NREL, the average rate of annual degradation was below 1.0%, however, 15% of solar modules had a rate of degradation above 1% a year (deemed a failure per the warranty). On the positive side – when removing that 15% of modules, the industry average was well below a degradation loss of 0.5%/year – a value at least 20% better than the generally warranted production. A full 10% of modules were still producing electricity at or above their original warranted level at varying years in the study.
http://electrek.co/2016/04/24/the-25-year-solar-module-warranty-is-only-19-years-old/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« Reply #1249 on: April 26, 2016, 08:22:18 PM »
IoT:  "Internet of Things"

AT&T and SunPower bring IoT solar monitoring partnership to residential customers
Quote
AT&T and SunPower are announcing the start of a new relationship – AT&T’s IoT (Internet of Things) expertise combined with the SunPower Equinox home solar and monitoring system. The intertwining of these two companies means AT&T will be able to show off its real time information communication skills while the SunPower Equinox system gets access to a redundant wired and wireless network infrastructure. Meanwhile, both companies get to market their products to the other’s residential customers…
http://electrek.co/2016/04/26/att-and-sunpower-bring-you-iot-solar-monitoring-partnership-to-residential-customers/
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