Here are five recommended reads for today (6/18/13).
Greentech Media reports: “Production costs for industry-leading Chinese crystalline-silicon (c-Si) PV module manufacturers— such as Jinko Solar, Renesola, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy— will fall from 50 cents per watt in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 36 cents per watt by the end of 2017, according to a new report from GTM Research. The report, PV Technology and Cost Outlook, 2013-2017, predicts the majority of these cost declines to derive from technology innovations such as diamond wire sawing for PV wafers, advanced metallization solutions and increased automation in place of manual labor.”
According to an article at Renewable Energy World: “By 2020, swapping aging wind turbines with more powerful modern units will have raised annual electricity generation at refurbished sites from 1524 GWh to 8221 GWh. A 2 MW wind turbine coming off the production line with a rotor diameter of 80 metres can generate four to six times as much electricity as the 1 GWh annual yield of a 500 kW wind turbine with a 40 metre rotor built in 1995. This is the fundamental thinking behind wind repowering.”
The Hill reports, “Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has vowed to shake a few things up at the Energy Department (DOE) — but the agency’s support for solar power is not one of them.”
According to Climate Progress: ”A poll released today by the Center for American Progress shows strong evidence that Americans believe energy development and land conservation are out of balance. It also demonstrates that there is a wide gap between political rhetoric by the oil and gas industry and their allies in Congress and the opinions of westerners about oil and gas drilling.”
The Chicago Tribune reports: “Gov. Pat Quinn today signed sweeping legislation to regulate horizontal hydraulic fracturing, better known as ‘fracking.’ The move, which was expected, adds a bevy of restrictions and protections to an industry that while legal, was largely unregulated.”
Secretary Moniz delivers remarks at the Solar Impulse press conference to celebrate the successful construction and operation of a solar-powered plane. The solar-powered plane represents a milestone not only in aviation, but the achievements of solar power and the successes of the Department of Energy in driving down prices.
Here are five recommended reads for today (6/17/13).
Billionaire anti-KeystoneXL-tar-sands-pipeline activist Tom Steyer writes to TransCanada, “On June 20th, we are sponsoring an event at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club inWashington, DC, at which we will take the facts about Keystone directly to the Americans who re-elected President Obama.“
According to North American Windpower: “While not all state legislatures have adjourned for the year, proponents of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that drive adoption of wind energy can be heartened by the early results of the 2013 legislative session, says the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Lawmakers in at least 20 states introduced bills to weaken state renewable energy policies, with little success.”
The Guardian reports, “Solar-powered plane flying across US lands in Washington DC.”
According to Climate Progress: “As the level of hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells in the United States has intensified in recent years, much of the mounting public concern has centered on fears that underground water supplies could be contaminated with the toxic chemicals used in the well-stimulation technique that cracks rock formations and releases trapped oil and gas. But in some parts of the country, worries are also growing about fracking’s effect on water supply, as the water-intensive process stirs competition for the resources already stretched thin by drought or other factors.”
The Hill reports, “Al Gore is urging President Obama to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, a step the White House has not publicly embraced to date.”
Earlier this year, we interviewed Professors Cathy Hartman and Edwin R. Stafford of the Center for the Market Diffusion of Renewable Energy and Clean Technology at Utah State University on the subject of green marketing. In that interview, Hartman and Stafford offered a number of useful suggestions, which largely boiled down to knowing your customers, speaking to them in ways that are relevant to their lives, employing messengers who have credibility with the target audience, and of course “applying good marketing principles to make green products desirable for consumers.
Now, Hartman and Stafford are out with their latest article, this time focused on “how private businesses and entrepreneurs might step up and dare to navigate the renewable energy development process, especially in communities that haven’t hosted renewable energy projects before.“ What Hartman and Stafford’s article describes is a case study of how an “idealistic entrepreneur, Tracy Livingston, and his engineering colleague, Christine Mikell, took on Utah’s utility industry to build the state’s first commercial wind power plant.” The effort led to “a small 18.9 megawatt project of nine turbines at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon in 2008, sufficient to power over 6,000 homes in the community annually.” How did they do it? A few lessons:
The challenge was “not only convince skeptical utilities, policymakers, and citizens about the viability of wind energy as a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to Utah’s traditional fossil fuels (coal, natural gas), but also demonstrate how the wind farm would create worthwhile local benefits, including local job creation, lease payments to local landowners, and property tax revenues for community services, such as the funding of schools, libraries, and fire protection.”
A key concept that emerged was “sustainable entrepreneurship” – the “exploitation of business opportunities to create goods and services that sustain the natural and/or communal environment and provide economic and social gains for others.“
“Livingston and Mikell found that it literally “takes a village” to develop a wind project and playing collaborative entrepreneurs, they initiated coalitions and forged networks with other groups and supporters to tap the necessary expertise, resources, and assistance to overcome myriad political, siting, market, and social barriers facing their novel wind project.”
…”entrepreneurs and local city officials need to maintain open communications with communities throughout the wind development process; and two, they also need to be cognizant of how a proposed wind project’s local benefits are understood and disseminated throughout the host community.”
Bottom line: “Much of the success behind the Spanish Fork Wind Project was the result of the collaborative relationships Livingston and Mikell forged along the way.”
It’s fascinating research, and it reminds us of what Judith Schwartz told us recently regarding the smart grid, namely the importance of having “a two-way exchange so that you as the person offering the service is listening to your customer and understanding what they’re going to care about – and it’s not the same for every person…” Starting to sense a pattern here?
Huffington Post Green reports, “A dramatic drop in the price of solar power technology last year helped the continued growth of renewable energy, according to a U.N.-backed report published Wednesday.”
At Greentech Media, the CEO of Sunrun explains “Why Utilities Are Attacking Net Metering.”
Johnson Controls released new research indicating that “energy efficiency interest rose 116 percent globally since 2010, with those who set goals making the greatest strides in reducing energy use.”