Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Extra High Voltage Underground Power Cables (VIDEO)

Posted: 12 Feb 2013 12:00 AM PST

The renewable energy graduate student who got me to go give a guest lecture on renewable energy to his class recently passed along some useful videos on different types of clean technology. These are introductory videos, but they’re not as introductory as our typical blog posts about such topics — they’re each about 30 minutes to 1 hour in length. Above is the third video we’re sharing, which is on the topic of “extra high voltage underground power cables.”

For more videos, check out our Leonardo Energy archives.

Extra High Voltage Underground Power Cables (VIDEO) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

IEA Says Energy Industry In Troubled Water With Future Water Usage

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 09:00 AM PST

It’s an easily forgotten necessity of energy production: the billions of cubic meters (BCM) of freshwater that is necessary for cooling, irrigating, fracking, and other uses. This is water that is not returned to the water basin for future use — it’s temporarily lost to evaporation, consumption, or pollution.

The International Energy Agency expects energy industry water consumption to double from the 66 BCM used today to about 135 BCM by 2035.

The IEA predicts that more than half of that 135 BCM consumption will be due to coal-fired power plants, along with 30% used in biofuel production.

To imagine what 135 BCM looks like, the IEA equates it to 90 days’ discharge of the Mississippi River or four times the volume of Lake Mead. No drop in the bucket, friends.

Water pulled in all directions

As water is needed for increasing energy needs, water is also needed for an increasing population. To make matters worse, there’s concern over how robust the water supply will be in the coming decades as rainfall is less reliable and predictable thanks to climate change. Dwindling water supplies will affect agriculture, population distribution, and political stability.

How to sidestep excessive water usage

Renewables!

Increased reliance on wind and solar photovoltaic — which are decidedly less water hungry than coal and biofuels — will drastically reduce water usage. According to Think Progress, the IEA calculates that “wind and solar photovoltaic power have such minimal water needs they account for less than one percent of water consumption for energy now and in the future, by IEA’s calculations.”

Check out these tables of water use efficiency for conventional power plants versus wind and solar technology derived from 2010 data.

However, the big loser of renewable energy water consumption is concentrating solar thermal power. The misfortune is that wet-cooled concentrating solar power plants use a lot of water to make power. Like coal-fired power plants, to reduce water consumption at concentrating solar thermal power plants, dry-cooling technology should be implemented, but this can be quite costly.

Source: Think Progress

IEA Says Energy Industry In Troubled Water With Future Water Usage was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

EON Plans Hundreds Of Megawatts Of Wind Farms In Norway & Sweden

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 08:00 AM PST

The residential and business energy-supply company EON intends to construct hundreds of megawatts of wind power generation capacity in Norway and Sweden, where development costs are lower than that of other European countries.

EON has proposals to set up 1,500 MW of wind turbines in Norway, as the country’s low population density and high wind speeds facilitate larger and cheaper projects than in Germany.

Wind turbines in Spain (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

"Norway has a huge untapped potential," said Mark Porter, the northern Europe onshore wind power director. "It's a new market that has many cost-efficient projects. We plan to complete a handful before 2020 though not all nine farms will make it."

The Norwegian government and the European Union agreed to increase the fraction of electricity it consumes from renewable power sources to 67.5% by 2020, up 6.4% from 2010.

Norwea, which is the wind energy association of Norway, expects the installed wind generation capacity to increase to 3,500 megawatts (MW) by 2020, compared to the 620 MW that was in place on December 20.

EON also intends to install one of the world’s largest sea farms (700MW) in Sweden's Soedra Midsjoebanken, and will export electricity from it to the Baltic region, Poland, and Germany.

"Sweden has great offshore potential, competitive with Germany and the UK, but first new physical cables are needed and it'll likely be the back end of this decade before we can harness the potential," Porter said yesterday from Malmoe.

According to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, “Renewable energy will thus account for more than two-thirds of Norway's energy consumption in 2020.”

Source: Bloomberg

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EON Plans Hundreds Of Megawatts Of Wind Farms In Norway & Sweden was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Czech Republic Has 35.5 Times More Solar Per Capita Than The Sunshine State (Florida)

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 07:00 AM PST

The stat above comes from my quick analysis of the top solar power countries in the world (per capita) versus the top solar power states in the world (per capita). It’s actually based on Q3 2012 state data and Q4 2011 country data, so it gives Florida a 9-month bonus.

It’s a “fun stat” and there are many more like it that I could have chosen, but I’m simply using the stat to get to the matter of importance: why is solar power growth in “The Sunshine State” and much of the US so much weaker than solar power growth in the super grey Czech Republic, super grey Germany (Germany has over 57 times more solar power per capita than Florida.), super grey Belgium, etc?

The reason is that Florida (like much of the US) hasn’t implemented policies to:

  1. price the pollution that comes from coal and natural gas power plants (in a perfect market, this would be adequately priced); or to
  2. pay solar power producers for the full value and benefits they provide to society.

The huge majority of Americans support solar power. But we aren’t demanding it. The rich have more influence over our politicians than we do. In the energy industry, this includes the heads of fossil fuel companies and utility companies. Without strong citizen efforts to change the story, Florida remains far behind the likes of those two countries above and many, many more.

If Floridians (or other Americans) truly want solar power to be on equal footing when it comes to subsidies or pricing of electricity, then they need to organize and demand it. Otherwise, coal, natural gas, and nuclear are going to remain unfairly propped up by externalities and other subsidies.

Czech Republic Has 35.5 Times More Solar Per Capita Than The Sunshine State (Florida) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Guns For Bikes Exchange In Uruguay

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:30 AM PST

Recently in the press there has been quite a focus on guns and their impact on society, including the potential public policy implications. Coinciding with the extra press have been some efforts to reduce their numbers, such as a guns for cash exchange in Marin County near San Francisco, which effectively sold out in about an hour and collected 827 guns.

This type of gun exchange is not new, but it could be argued the interest in reducing the number of guns in society is gaining traction. For example, an exchange in Uruguay called Weapons for Life offers either a bicycle or laptop computer when a gun is turned in to government officials. The point of the disarmament campaign in Uruguay is the same as those in the United States: to make society less violent and more harmonious.

Image Credit: Down the Hutong, Wiki Commons

Bikes are a very energy-efficient mode of transportation. They are good for fitness, and therefore for obesity reduction. Physical exercise is also both a stress reducer and mood enhancer.

Additionally, cycling can be a social experience because whole groups of people can cycle together and meet each other in social contexts such as at an outdoor shopping center or at a cafe. Socializing and social connections tend to be very helpful in maintaining mental health because they are a big part of the social support network that benefits people when they are in need. Furthermore, cycling contributes to local economies. A research study found cycling-related industry contributed about $90 million a year to the overall economy of the city of Portland.

So though it may seem fairly inconsequential to exchange guns for bikes, it truly is not such a small matter to get more bikes on the roads and more guns off the streets.  In Uruguay there are an estimated 500,000 unlawfully owned guns. The total human population is just about 3.3 million. There is also potentially an emotional burden created by gun violence. “Studies have documented that young people exposed to gun violence experience lasting emotional scars. ” (Source: FutureofChildren.org)

Guns For Bikes Exchange In Uruguay was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Mercury Contamination In Water Quantifiable With New App

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:01 AM PST

A simple new method to quantify the level of mercury contamination in potential drinking water has been created by researchers at the University of Burgos. A thin sheet manufactured by the researchers is placed in the water and then changes color in the presence of mercury. The results can then be quantified by taking a picture of the test sheet with a mobile phone and using an app.

20130210-235541.jpg

Mercury contamination is a significant and growing problem throughout much of the world, but developing countries are currently the most affected by it. Mercury is extremely toxic, causing neurological degeneration, impaired cognitive ability, psychosis, kidney disease, loss of hearing/speech, muscular spasms, death, and birth defects.

Clean water can be difficult to obtain in many parts of the world. While there are effective DIY methods for water filtration and disinfection, such as SODIS, the detection and/or purification of heavy metals and toxic chemicals in drinking water remains a problem.


 
The new technique was designed by the researchers as a way for the dangerous metal to be detected in water “in a cheap, quick and in situ way,” says José Miguel García, one of the authors of the study.

The method is as simple as placing the newly designed sheet in the water for five minutes. After the five minutes, if it’s red, there’s mercury. “Changes can be seen by the naked eye and anyone, even if they have no previous knowledge, can find out whether a water source is contaminated with mercury above determined limits,” García continues.

One of the best features of the new method is that it allows for the level of mercury contamination to be very easily determined, simply through the use of a smartphone app. You take a photograph of the sheet with a phone or tablet computer’s camera, and then use “the image treatment software (the team used the open access GIMP programme) to see the color coordinates. The result is then compared with reference values.”

The primary sources of man-made mercury pollution in the world are coal-fired power plants and small-scale gold mining.

Over the last century, mercury levels in the top hundred-meter layer of the oceans have doubled, while deep water concentrations have risen by 25%. These fast-increasing levels of pollution pose a substantial threat to many fishing industries. Fish high on the food chain, such as Tuna, may become too toxic to eat in the not too distant future, if their populations don’t collapse first anyways.

The research was just published in the journal Analytical Methods.

Source: Plataforma SINC
Image Credit: J. M. García et al

Mercury Contamination In Water Quantifiable With New App was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Tax Reforms Could Save Energy, Create Jobs, And Pay For Themselves

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:00 AM PST

Via American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE):

Roof repair via Shutterstock

Washington, D.C.—Tax reform will provide Congress with many opportunities to promote energy efficiency and remove barriers through the tax code, according to Tax Reforms to Advance Energy Efficiency, a new report issued today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report looks at several major changes to the tax code.

"Tax reform will be a major topic of discussion in Congress in upcoming months, and energy efficiency should be part of the conversation," said Steven Nadel, ACEEE's executive director and the report's lead author. "Since energy efficiency leads to job growth, increased productivity, and a cleaner environment, it's only common sense that Congress should consider these changes as they rewrite the tax code."

Window replacement via Shutterstock

The report looks at tax reforms that could be made in six major areas including promoting capital investment in manufacturing, encouraging advanced energy-saving technologies, and rationalizing depreciation schedules. The authors find that changes in these three areas would pay for themselves as the increased energy savings increase profits and tax receipts. They also find that the provisions to encourage advanced energy-saving technologies would increase employment by an average of 164,000 jobs over the 2014-2030 period.

Other topics discussed in the report are reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels, emissions fees, and radical change to the business tax code in order to reduce marginal tax rates and remove some disincentives to energy efficiency.

"Our report explores new perspectives that haven't been considered much before," said Kate Farley, ACEEE researcher and co-author of the report. "This report is an important starting point for making some major, beneficial changes that will benefit all Americans. By using the tax code to remove barriers to energy efficiency, Congress can help modernize the manufacturing sector, promote new, advanced energy-saving technologies, and help us all keep more money in our pocketbooks."

This report evolved from a series of several working papers that were published by ACEEE over the course of 2012. The authors invited stakeholders and tax policy experts to comment on the working papers, and this final report reflects many of the comments and critiques that the authors received.

To read the report visit: http://aceee.org/research-report/e132.

Tax Reforms Could Save Energy, Create Jobs, And Pay For Themselves was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Barclays Ponies Up £1 Million Loan For Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems For Sub-Saharan Homes

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 05:30 AM PST

A £1 million working capital loan from Barclays is providing the funding for British solar technology company Azuri to bring another 30,000 pay-as-you-go solar systems to homes in sub-Saharan Africa.

How IndiGo works
Image Credit: Azuri

The Azuri IndiGo “brings power at scale to off-grid customers in rural emerging markets, providing basic needs that are regarded as routine in more developed countries,” according to the web site.

For many homes in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of electricity means that lighting often comes from kerosene, which emits fumes and is expensive and dangerous. With IndiGo, users can have about eight hours of light per night and charge their mobile phones via solar power.

The pay-as-you-go scheme allows customers to pay with pre-paid weekly scratch-cards. Azuri claims that IndiGo can reduce users’ spending on kerosene and phone charging services by as much as 50 percent.

Other cool solar projects in sub-Saharan Africa include this irrigation system and this solar water purifier.

Source: Business Green

Barclays Ponies Up £1 Million Loan For Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems For Sub-Saharan Homes was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

EPA Mileage Ratings For EVs Could Be Misleading (But That’s The Good News)

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 05:13 AM PST

A  real-world demonstration of electric vehicle range under actual driving conditions reveals that EPA’s mileage ratings for electric vehicles could be significantly under-estimating the range of some models. That’s the good news, but there’s a small catch. The demonstration basically shows that EV range can easily exceed the EPA mileage rating (again, at least for some models) when a driver obeys traffic regulations and follows common-sense, safe driving practices.

Wait, that’s a catch?

Some EVs can signifiantly outperform EPA mileage ratings

EV Mileage Ratings: What is MPGe?

Before we get into the details of the demonstration, it’s worth noting that EPA has a cool interactive online version of its new mileage rating label. Each part of the label is numbered and linked to at least two more levels of detail.

Since the label compares all fuel types, you’ll see a little item called MPGe and if you’re mystified about what exactly that means, click on item #5 and you’ll get to this helpful explanation:

“Think of this as being similar to MPG, but instead of presenting miles per gallon of the vehicle's fuel type, it represents the number of miles the vehicle can go using a quantity of fuel with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.  This allows a reasonable comparison between vehicles using different fuels.”

Electric Vehicles Put to the Test

The demonstration was undertaken by edmunds.com, where you can get a detailed rundown of the findings. To sum it up, of the nine models tested, four beat the EPA’s MPGe ratings.

As described by Edmunds’ Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds, pretty much any driver could get the same results without resorting to any fancy hypermiling techniques. Aside from obeying the speed limit, the idea is to avoid jackrabbit stops and starts, weaving, and tailgating.

The demonstration consisted of morning rush-hour drive around a 105.5 mile loop in Orange County, California, making as many laps as possible on a single charge. The route, which did not include any freeways, was selected to include numerous controlled intersections as well as hilly terrain.

Electric Vehicles and the Real World

The Edmunds test reveals something about EVs that is true about all vehicles: your mileage will vary depending on your personal driving habits as well as actual driving conditions.

In any case, the study should provide some reassurance to drivers who would use an EV for local shopping and commuting, with the idea of being able to charge up at home if there are no charging stations along the route.

That’s a pretty safe call in California, where home charging stations seem destined to become part of standard home equipment just like a stove and a fridge. Solar powered home charging stations are also in the future.

More Charging Stations for an EV World

For that matter, the whole range anxiety issue is destined for the dustbin of automotive history in pretty short order.

Longer-range batteries are one part of the solution, but the most advanced battery technology won’t be on the market for a while. In the meantime, one solution is already on the roads, and that is the availability of EVs that include a backup gas tank for longer trips, the Chevy Volt being the most well known example.

Another solution already at hand is to install more charging stations, and to that end the Obama Administration has been promoting the establishment of a national EV charging station infrastructure through a public-private partnership called EV Everywhere.

The initiative includes all aspects of EV infrastructure, including both private and publicly accessible charging stations.


The most recent program to roll out of EV Everywhere is the Workplace Charging Challenge, which has recruited some heavy hitters in the private sector including 3M, Chrysler Group, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company, Ford, GE, GM, Google, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla, and Verizon.

These companies are working with trade organizations, government agencies and other stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of workplace EV charging, with the aim of getting many other companies to follow suit. The goal is a tenfold increase within five years.

Note: Due to a typo, the length of the test loop was originally stated as 10.5 miles. That’s since been corrected to 105.5 miles.

Image: EV charging stationsign by quinn.anya

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EPA Mileage Ratings For EVs Could Be Misleading (But That’s The Good News) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

French Solar Power Generation Advances By 67% In 2012

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 05:00 AM PST

French solar energy generation in 2012 saw some big gains. 

According to the 2012 French Electricity Report, 4 terrawatt hours (Twh) of solar energy came from photovoltaic systems, making up for 0.79% of France’s energy demand last year.

Meanwhile 1.022 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy was installed, boosting the overall solar capacity to 3.5 GW.

Image Credit: Solar Panel via Cardaf /Shutterstock

The report noted that the leaps and bounds made by solar in France is helping to boost the country’s overall renewable energy mix to 16.4%.

As the sixth overall global solar PV market in 2012, France is looking toward solar as an energy source to get its country away from nuclear fuel dependency. French president Francois Hollande said last fall he hopes to cut France’s nuclear demand from 75% to 50% by 2025, while in the next few months rolling out a new solar strategy to give underlying support.

Nuclear still made up nearly three-quarters of the country’s energy demand last year, despite generating 3.8% less in 2012. However, nuclear still made up nearly three-quarters of the country’s energy demand last year.

With the new French President Hollande in charge, and nuclear power far more expensive and unpopular as an alternative, French solar energy may well be positioned to continue to nibble away at nuclear’s dominance.

Main Sources: Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) / PV Magazine

French Solar Power Generation Advances By 67% In 2012 was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

Solar Battle Afoot In Arizona Due To Cheap Solar?

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST

Below is a great piece by Elias Hinckley of Kilpatrick Townsend. It leaps off of a recent CleanTechnica story that showed Arizona is #1 in the US for total installed solar power per capita. But the article is actually focused on much more important matters than fun stats — notably, it addresses what seems to be an attack on solar power. Solar power is creating jobs and economic activity in Arizona. But due to how it reduces the for additional transmission (and offers other societal benefits), it actually reduces the profits of the utilities there. You would think that a better, more efficient electric system would be embraced by elected officials in Arizona, but that’s not always how “democracy” works (i.e. the utility lobby has money and influence, as does the fossil fuel lobby). Notably, for those who are action-oriented, a reader dropped two petitions below the article that you can sign to fight for solar power in Arizona — one from CREDO and one from Change.org. I would recommend that you sign those and that you read the full article from Elias:

Does the State of Arizona Hate Solar Power?

Zachary Shahan just put together statistics on the amount of solar installed by state on a per capita basis through 2012.

The results are interesting (and the full post can be found here) but none of these results are more interesting than the curious case of Arizona.

Arizona has historically been a large coal producing and consuming state and despite recent growth in solar has not been a leader on renewable energy policy or deployment.

Note Arizona standing out in bright white still in 2011.

A lot of solar generating capacity went in service in 2012, so these two representations (combined with the fact that a relatively small percentage of power nationally is solar-generated) don't actually conflict. It is also worth noting that a significant portion of the electricity generated from solar in Arizona is sold to neighboring California. History (and power prices slightly below the national average) notwithstanding, it makes sense that Arizona had a rapidly growing solar industry – it is sunny, borders one of the most dynamic clean energy markets in the world, and has drawn hundreds of solar companies to the state, including the headquarters of First Solar, one of the world's largest solar companies.

(Read More: Perfect Storm Brewing for Troubled U.S. Solar Manufacturers)

So with a rapidly growing industry and the associated economic benefits to the state (not to mention the importance of diversifying power supply in the face of likely significant coal plant retirements in the near future and inadequate water resources to easily build new fossil generation) is this the start of a new industrial love story?

No.

Rather than embracing the economic engine (and long-term insurance on the cost of future generation) that the solar industry could provide, Arizona is moving aggressively in the opposite direction. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), which is Arizona's version of a public service commission (it is an all elected body – unusual, as only 9 states have publicly elected commissioners – and is presumably representative of the state), has taken three distinct steps against the solar industry.

This is part of a broader trend to attack state based policies supporting clean energy. Underpinned by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has taken a very public stance against renewable portfolio standards and has drafted a model bill for repealing state RPS programs, and supported by other conservative groups that have publicly proclaimed state support for clean energy a key target, there are a number of actions to reduce clean energy support being tested across the country.

In Virginia, the Attorney General is leading efforts to remove financial incentives for renewable energy projects. In North Carolina, rumors are rampant that the state tax credit for renewable energy is at risk (though there are also broader efforts to repeal the whole of the state income tax regime). However, while these are noteworthy developments, it is in sunny Arizona that the anti-clean energy campaign (and this is really about solar in Arizona) has found an ally.

The ACC has taken a series of measured and cumulatively important steps to undercut support for solar. Most recently, the ACC has introduced a measure that would remove sales to the largest customers from the basis on which renewable portfolio targets are calculated. Since the RPS is based on a ratio, reducing the baseline for calculating the target will reduce the absolute amount of renewable power needed to meet the targets and the associated support. This action comes on the heels of a widely criticized decision by the ACC to eliminate state incentives for solar installations on or attached to commercial buildings. The elimination of support for commercial solar appears likely to have a measurable cooling effect on the fast growing market for larger distributed solar projects. It was the first and arguably most innocuous of these three steps, however, that provides some insight into why the ACC has acted as aggressively against the solar industry as it has.

In March, Arizona Public Service will begin charging what is effectively a reliability fee that was approved by the ACC last May. In announcing this Lost Fixed Cost Recovery Fee (LFCRF) to customers, APS specifically references renewable (and energy efficiency) adoption by ratepayers as the cause for the utility selling less power, and therefore the reason for the need to recover an additional fee from all power customers to cover the utility's fixed costs. The fee is small, no more than a dollar or two per month for residential customers – but it is important.

At first look this doesn't seem much different than other typical rate adjustments used as part of the process for tweaking utility rates to ensure adequate revenue for utilities. It also looks much like some decoupling arrangements, which are used to remove lost revenue concerns from utilities for energy efficiency and distributed generation penetration by ensuring adequate revenue collection regardless of the actual number of kilowatt hours sold by the utility. As a stand-alone item, the LFCRF wouldn't mean much (other than the clear effort to associate higher bills with solar power and energy efficiency), but in context with the RPS reduction and the elimination of support for commercial solar it can be seen as both a key element of, and the foundation for, the coordinated action against solar development in the state.

While solar can be built as large centralized utility projects where a utility (either with its own generation or through purchased generation can compete effectively on price or react), it is extremely well suited to be put on a roof or next to a building. This shifts the point of competition to the other side of the utilities distribution network allowing solar to compete not with just the electricity generating costs, but with the fully delivered price of power, which includes transmission and distribution costs.

The characterization of the LFCRF as the result of demand destruction caused by customer investment in energy efficiency and distributed energy systems acknowledges that the utility was failing to compete for the delivered price of electricity. More importantly that shift in competitive balance will only become more severe as the installed price of solar continues to decline (because most of the utility's electricity delivery costs are fixed infrastructure costs).

A utility has a requirement to maintain reliable service, and with that comes substantial infrastructure costs. The admission that APS was losing in the market where it competes directly with on-site solar generation for the customer is not a market most utilities are ready, or well positioned to face – this is true both with respect to customer engagement in the market and because of a regulatory market that requires the reliable provision of electricity and the enormous associated costs.

So maybe Arizona doesn't actually hate solar – it might just be that given the rapid pace of solar growth, and the potential disruption of the traditional utility model that it is just scared of the change it represents.

Solar Battle Afoot In Arizona Due To Cheap Solar? was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

US Energy Efficiency (VIDEO)

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 03:30 AM PST

The renewable energy graduate student who got me to go give a guest lecture on renewable energy to his class recently passed along some useful videos on different types of clean technology. These are introductory videos, but they’re not as introductory as our typical blog posts about such topics — they’re each about 30 minutes to 1 hour in length. Above is the second video we’re sharing, which is on the topic of US (vs global) energy efficiency & energy efficiency policies. (Notes: the presentation is a bit out of date, but still interesting and useful; HR 2454 — discussed at length in the presentation — died, but particular policies from it could of course be reintroduced in the future; the slides do not appear for a short portion of the video.)

For more videos, check out our Leonardo Energy archives.

US Energy Efficiency (VIDEO) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 others and subscribe to our free RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just visit our homepage.

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