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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...

Like Exxon, Utilities Knew about Climate Change Ri...

A study issued Tuesday by an energy watchdog group offers important new insights into the fossil fuel industry’s extensive early understanding of climate change and the risks it poses. This time, it’s the electric utility sector that’s under the microscope. The detailed study, backed up by reams of archival documents, was issued by the Energy and Policy Institute, an environmental advocacy and research...

Ohio decision could put more ratepayers on the hoo...

Critics say an Ohio court decision last week underscores the urgency of a pending bill to address unfairness under current law, while opening the door to more efforts by utilities to shift the economic burdens for past pollution to today’s customers. Under the Supreme Court of Ohio’s June 29 court decision, Cincinnati-area utility customers must pay $55.5 million to Duke Energy for cleanup of contamination from plants that...

Utilities fighting against rooftop solar are only ...

Batteries are going to make rooftop solar invulnerable Several of the big trends in clean electricity depend, in one way or another, on batteries. How fast batteries get better and cheaper will help determine how fast renewable energy grows, how fast fossil fuel power plants get shut down, and how fast the vehicle fleet electrifies.  The consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently released an analysis noting that...

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lob...

Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate. That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A number of factors are driving the reversal, from saturation in markets like California to financial woes at several top solar...

Mind the Storage Gap: How Much Flexibility Do We N...

The Climate Policy Initiative quantifies the flexibility needs and costs in 80- to 100-percent-renewables scenarios. Imagine for a moment that we have built enough wind and solar power plants to supply 100 percent of the electricity a region like California or Germany consumes in a year. Sure, the wind and sun aren’t always available, so this system would need flexible resources to fill in the gaps. But with continuing rapid...

U.S. Utility Industry Execs Say Renewables Trend U...

Bloomberg View: Why is it that all of the people I’ve talked to and heard speak on panels this week in Boston at the annual convention of the Edison Electric Institute, a utilities trade group, seem to think the shift toward renewables and away from coal is just going to keep going? Mainly because they think Trump is too late (and my Bloomberg View colleague Noah Smith agrees). “We’re over the tipping point now,” said Jan...

Pile On The Payoff = When Battery Energy Storage S...

Utility executives may be calling battery energy storage (BES) systems the holy grail of renewables integration and other industry challenges, but here’s an ironic reality: Most organizations keep that holy grail half full or even close to empty. That’s because most organizations target few value streams from battery systems, damaging the profitability of the investment. Learn how storage investments can provide value along...

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want

SGCC’s latest consumer-pulse study finds high levels of interest in grid edge tech, but also hesitancy. Electricity customers have more choice in how they consume and manage their energy today than at any time before, and the number of options available continues to multiply. But what is it customers want? What types of products and services are they being drawn to? And are they following through with a purchase? That’s what...

How Much Does a Rooftop Solar System With Batterie...

Backup power or self-consumption? The cost of a solar-plus-storage system depends on how it’s used, say analysts from RMI and NREL. Back in April 2015, Rocky Mountain Institute and partners including Global X and HOMER Energy published a study, The Economics of Load Defection, that examined how grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems will compete with traditional electric service. The findings showed that declining costs...

Australian Electric Grid Operator Predicts Half It...

Could a combination of PV and storage cut Australian blackouts? The boss of Australia’s fifth-largest electricity distributor has hinted that residential solar-plus-storage could help prevent blackouts like the one that rocked South Australia last September. SA Power Networks CEO Rob Stobbe predicted that 50 percent of his company’s customers would have home battery storage by 2035, and 30 percent would have electric...

Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among...

Brooklyn is known the world over for things small-batch and local, like designer clogs, craft bourbon and artisanal sauerkraut. Now, it is trying to add electricity to the list. In a promising experiment in an affluent swath of the borough, dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. Called the Brooklyn Microgrid, the project is signing up residents and businesses to a...