Why Electricity May be the Biggest Opportunity on the Planet
The solar canopy will have capacity to generate 1.038 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 158 average-sized homes. It will be the second-largest solar carport in the Midwest, after a 1.1-megawatt facility at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, and it will reduce the amount of electricity Ford pulls from the grid to run its offices. http://www.pvbuzz.com/press-releases/ford-motor-company-teams-dte-energy-build-michigans-largest-solar-array/
The take away: Utilities are able to meet their renewable energy requirements by installing solar power arrays at high power demand commercial locations with available space, generating electricity at the point of use.
Theses project become more attractive to commercial power customers because their supply is generated closer to the facility, it improves their corporate responsibility image, and its free. In this case Ford is also able to implement power charging for their own brand of electric vehicle, the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Hybrid Energ. Could Ford and DTE Energy tie this into a retail venture as Toyota, Honda and Tesla plan to do?
29 Aug 2014 – Here’s an update by the Wall Street Journal – http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-utilities-push-the-electric-car-1409336042?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories
Here are a few good tools for installers.
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There has been a five-fold increase in new electricity transmission investment in the United States by major investors and privately owned companies during the 15 years from 1997 to 2012. The investment increased from $2.7 billion in 1997 to $14.1 billion in 2012—reversing a three-decade decline.
In a move that is expected to boost renewable energy in the state, the New York legislature has sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo a bill (A.09446) that would extend property tax exemptions for certain solar, wind and biomass projects to Jan. 1, 2025.
The bill carries a 15-year property tax exemption for homeowners and residences installing qualified renewable energy systems. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, property tax exemptions for solar, wind and farm waste energy systems have helped spur the development of renewable energy sources in the Empire State. A.09446 would extend those benefits to 2025, providing developers with incentives to pursue future projects.
New York is among several states that are using tax abatement programs to encourage renewable energy development.
Homeowners who wish to install solar on their rooftops need money, so they should be able to borrow those funds from their local banks. That’s the general idea behind a proposed solar loan program that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced earlier this year.
The program’s goal, the department said, is to reduce barriers for Massachusetts residents to directly own solar projects.
The residential solar loan program would be funded by $30 million of alternative compliance payments. These are funds paid by electric retail suppliers if they have insufficient renewable or alternative energy certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the state’s renewable and alternative portfolio standard programs
This paper uses confidential U.S. Customs data on U.S. importers and their Chinese exporters to investigate the frictions from changing exporting partners. High costs from switching partners can affect the efficiency of buyer-supplier matches by impeding the movement of importers from high to lower cost exporters. I test the significance of this channel using U.S. import data, which identifies firms on both sides (U.S. and foreign) of an international trade relationship, the location of the foreign supplier, and values and quantities for the universe of U.S. import transactions. Using transactions with China from 2003-2008, I find evidence suggesting that barriers to switching exporters are considerable: 45% of arm’s-length importers maintain their partner from one year to the next, and one-third of all switching importers remain in the same city as their original partner. In addition, importers paying the highest prices are the most likely to change their exporting partner. Guided by these empirical regularities, I propose and structurally estimate a dynamic discrete choice model of exporter choice, embedded in a heterogeneous firm model of international trade. In the model, importing firms choose a future partner using information for each choice, but are subject to partner and location-specific costs if they decide to switch their current partner. Structural estimates of switching costs are large, and heterogeneous across industries. For the random sample of 50 industries I use, halving switching costs shrinks the fraction of importers remaining with their partner from 57% to 18%, and this improvement in match efficiency leads to a 12.5% decrease in the U.S.-China Import Price Index.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy, the holding company owned by famed investor Warren Buffett, is weighing in on the debate over how to compensate distributed generation.
In a strategy document written by SVP Brent Gale for a legal conference in July, Berkshire Hathaway Energy outlined its position on net metering, saying it should be scrapped in favor of a system that recognizes utility fixed-grid costs and utilizes distributed generation at times when it’s needed most.