More Americans are installing rooftop solar and buying less electricity from their utilities | PV Buzz : PV Buzz

But utilities see things differently. As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels up on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have “net metering” laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.

That’s a genuine problem for utilities. All these solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that, without policy changes, this trend could soon put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent.

Solar thermal magazine

PetersenDean announced today that the Solar4America campaign will begin offering electricity to consumers nationwide at under six cents per kilowatt hour. The program has already been launched in Arizona and California and will roll out to Texas in October, with four other states to follow in the first quarter of 2015.

U.S. regulators approve Canada-NYC power line | Crain’s New York Business

Federal regulators have given final approval for construction of a 330-mile electric transmission line to bring lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City.
Just the other day while riding around I notice the number of new construction projects with Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner. All of this new development – Multifamily, is going to put an enormous strain on the cities electrical grid. The utilities know it, the city administration is aware of it and consumers need to be concerned about having to pay for it.

You can read about the Champlain Hudson Power Express here: One feature that I find interesting is that they’ll be using HVDC transmission lines.

ALEC, climate change: A fight over rooftop solar panels could decide America’s energy future.

“ALEC and its allies are currently lobbying state lawmakers and regulatory commissioners to rewrite industry rules regarding solar panels. The apparent goal: to ensure that customers with rooftop panels pay more each month and to make would-be adopters think twice about paying the upfront cost of installation. ALEC’s anti-solar attacks have drawn friendly fire from self-identified Tea Party groups who see the effort as anything but free-market friendly. Groups like Barry Goldwater Jr.’s TUSK America say that a user fee is just a new tax aimed at limiting consumer choice—exactly the type of argument you’d normally hear from a conservative firm like ALEC. Liberals and other solar proponents, meanwhile, see the push as the latest example of utilities and fossil fuel producers doing whatever it takes to protect their bottom lines. And no matter what side you’re on, it’s clearly counterproductive to make solar energy less attractive given the prevalence of big-dollar federal and state initiatives currently aimed at making the cost of solar competitive with that of fossil fuels.”

New Zealanders warming to solar power

Dr Ford says the report showed that of the participants surveyed only 30 percent were happy with getting electricity from their power company, and almost 60 percent would like to generate some or all of their own electricity and would be willing to purchase PV in the future.

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New York Grid Regulation and Change | The Energy Collective

“New York’s Public Service Commission has provided some of the first details of how it plans to transform the state’s electric grid and energy markets, with proposals to turn the state’s utilities into distributed system platform providers, identify use cases for replacing grid upgrades with distributed generation, and create open markets for third-party competition.

Those are some of the highlights of the straw proposal (PDF) for New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, released late last month. The 81-page report is the first big step in a processlaunched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April to create distribution grid planning, utility ratemaking and competitive energy markets that brings distributed energy resources to the forefront.”

Japan’s anniversary – a year of nuclear-free, and with renewable energy increasing


Japan-happythe people’s dedication to energy efficiency – the cheapest and quickest way to reduce costs and carbon emissions – has led to a reduction in electricity demand equal to 13 nuclear reactors. At the same time, citizens are installing thousands of micro solar PV every month.

 Happy nuclear free birthday to the people of Japan  by Kendra Ulrich – 15 September, 2014 Every birthday is special – but today Japan is celebrating something unique. Japan has been nuclear-free for one year.

Nuclear-free – a phrase that in its simplicity carries a devastating message for the worldwide nuclear industry, and an inspiring lesson for people across the globe. The future can indeed be free of the threat of another Fukushima disaster.

One year ago today, the last commercial nuclear reactor operating in Japan was shutdown. It joined the other 47 nuclear reactors that had been idled for most…

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Push To Impose Extra Fees On Solar Customers Draws Outrage In Wisconsin | ThinkProgress

” A recent move by Wisconsin utility We Energies to not only raise electricity rates on all consumers but also to add an additional charge on those who produce their own energy and sell it back to the grid has sparked outrage within the state and beyond. The plan would raise the “fixed charge” on all customers’ electric bills from $9 to $16 a month, as well as reduce net metering — a policy that enables customers with solar panels or other forms of distributed generation to sell their excess electricity back to the grid — and add a new charge on these electricity-generating customers.

The result of such a policy, said Matt Neumann, owner of Wisconsin-based SunVest, would be dramatic: “It would not only end solar but remove the economic viability for any renewable energy in Wisconsin.” Neuman, whose company is the largest solar installer in the state, said the demand charge of $3.80 per kilowatt (kW) per month works out to about $220 per year for a 5 kW system, a deterrent for potential solar customers and an unfair penalty for those who have already chosen to go solar.”

WE Energies – Path to Renewable Energy Fairness


Advance Of Three China Solar Stocks Breaks Tradition –

In the past, makers of photo-voltaic power systems have tended to rise when oil prices rise, as alternatives to pricier oil and gas gain favor, and fall when oil prices drop. But since late June, as the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate price has moved 15% downslope, a broad contingent of solar manufacturers have advanced, particularly those based in China.

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