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This New Solar Collector Design Could Bring CSP Co...

DOE-backed startup Skysun aims to do away with fiddly motors and support structures. Just when it looked like concentrated solar power (CSP) couldn’t get cheaper, a U.S.-based startup says it’s found a way of cutting heliostat costs by a third. Skysun, of Bay Village, Ohio, is aiming to achieve the cost reduction by tying multiple heliostats — the mirrors that reflect sunlight onto CSP power tower receivers...

IEEFA Update: Coal Is Dying, and EPA’s Clean Power...

Energy Policy From Washington Drifts Toward Irrelevance By turning the clock back on American energy policy through reversal of the Clean Power Plan, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt — if he succeeds — will end up making electricity for everyday Americans more expensive. And as power bills rise so will the coal industry’s harmful impacts public health and the environment. I say “if he succeeds” because his order will very...

Solar competitors band together to help bring elec...

Solar companies are banding together to help restore electricity to parts of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico as 90 percent of the island’s 3.5 million residents remain without power. Solar supplies such as roofing, generators and lighting equipment worth about $2 million are expected to arrive in the territory in the coming weeks. Most of that aid is coming from a national solar industry group, which is sending a plane to...

Advanced metering: Making the most of connectivity...

AEE’s (Advanced Energy Economy Group) Coley Girouard outlines how the power sector can make the most of advanced metering infrastructure Editor’s note: The following is a viewpoint from Coley Girouard, a senior associate of regulatory policy and analysis at national business group Advanced Energy Economy. This is the first in a 7-part series from AEE that addresses how the power sector can successfully transition...

For Electric Car Owners, ‘Range Anxiety’ Gives Way...

An oft-cited reason people don’t buy electric cars is “range anxiety” — if batteries struggle to take you as far as gas and charging stations are limited in number, the thinking goes, who would want one? But there is another obstacle: charging time trauma. Compared with a five-minute pit stop at your local gas station, charging an electric vehicle is a glacially slow experience. Modern electric cars still often need an...

Three Ways Electric Utilities Can Avoid A Death Sp...

In the summer of 2016, two high-profile investment advisors declared “The Sun Will Set on Electric Utilities” in a well-read Barron’s article.  Citing rising fixed costs and competition from energy storage and microgrids, Leonard Hyman and William Tilles predicted a “death spiral” for utilities where rising prices create ever-reinforcing incentives for customers to find cheaper power elsewhere. But contrary facts and...

3 Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and How t...

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive...

Duke Energy nixes nuclear plant, will invest $6 bi...

By year end, global solar capacity could equal nuclear; by 2022, solar could double nuclear. This week, Duke Energy Florida announced that it will terminate all plans to build its Levy Nuclear Project. And as part of a deal with the Florida Public Service Commission, the company will instead invest $6 billion in solar energy, smart meters, and grid modernization as well as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and a...

Ohio lawmakers see labor, business potential in en...

  A bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers saw firsthand how energy efficiency programs support good jobs as they met with union and business leaders last week at a Cleveland-area training facility. On August 24, the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers Local 33 (SMART) union and the Cleveland chapter of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) hosted lawmakers and business...

Rick Perry’s energy grid study directly contradict...

Trump administration wants to cut funding for energy efficiency programs. The Department of Energy’s new electric grid study concluded energy efficiency is playing a key role in maintaining a reliable power system, even though the Trump administration is seeking to reduce programs that support efficiency. Improvements in energy efficiency have contributed to flattening energy demand in recent years, putting less pressure on...

Rural Co-Ops and Public Utilities Have Voluntarily...

Three successful models are driving community solar projects around America. In 2015, a farmer walked into the office of a customer-owned electric cooperative in Wisconsin. He pulled out his checkbook and wrote a check to the cooperative for $60,000. That day, two other cooperative members followed suit, and the three of them bought up 10 percent of the brand new community solar garden on the first day of subscription sales....

Electric vehicle batteries may get much more valua...

A new study shows they can help the grid without being degraded. One of the hottest questions among energy nerds these days has to do with the interaction of electric vehicles and the electricity grid. Will EVs remain passive consumers of electricity, like toasters or refrigerators, the way they are now? Or will they be able to communicate with the grid and send power back to it when needed? The answer depends on both...

Net metering debates rev up, but regulators are sk...

More regulators are also revisiting net metering successor tariffs, according to a recent report Fights over net metering policies are showing no signs of slowing down in the second quarter of this year. According to the latest quarterly report from North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, there are 42 proceedings in 25 states plus the District of Columbia to increase fixed charges or minimum bills on residential solar...

Indiana’s governor just (May, 2017) signed a law t...

Gov. Eric Holcomb just slashed incentives for rooftop solar. In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that shreds incentives for rooftop solar, delivering a blow to...

Low interest energy loans would be repaid along wi...

CLEVELAND — A Connecticut-based private finance company has expanded into Ohio to offer commercial building owners up to 30-year loans to pay for energy efficiency upgrades such as heating, cooling and lighting, as well as renewable energy projects such as solar or geothermal. Greenworks Lending is looking for owners of medium and small buildings who want to cut their energy bills without having to pony up a down...