NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, November 20: U.S ELECTRICITY USE DOWN 3.5% IN 2012; BEHIND SUN NUMBERS, 2; WIND’S INCENTIVE PHASE OUT RUMORS

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  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind
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  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far
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  • Weekend Video: Al Gore Talks With Bill Maher
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    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 10:

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 17:

  • Is The White House Hiding DOE’s Grid Study?
  • Will The White House Hide The Climate Report?
  • Crucial Transmission Line For Wind Denied
  • Wind And Solar Are Saving Lives

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, November 20: U.S ELECTRICITY USE DOWN 3.5% IN 2012; BEHIND SUN NUMBERS, 2; WIND’S INCENTIVE PHASE OUT RUMORS

    U.S ELECTRICITY USE DOWN 3.5% IN 2012 Short-Term Energy Outlook

    November 6, 2012 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “Residential sales of electricity in the United States are projected to fall by 3.5 percent in 2012…[This] reflects the mild winter temperatures in the first quarter of this year, particularly in the south where many households heat using electricity. Residential electricity sales decline by 0.5 percent in 2013 as lower electricity demand for space cooling during the summer offsets the increase in first quarter consumption.

    “…[A]t least 8.5 million customers were without power at some point as a result of Hurricane Sandy…EIA expects outages caused by Hurricane Sandy will reduce October and November total retail sales of electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) by about 2 to 3 percent from their forecasted level absent disruptions caused by the storm…”

    “The shares of total U.S. electricity generation fueled by natural gas and coal during 2012 averaged 30.6 percent and 37.2 percent, respectively. EIA expects that prices for natural gas delivered to electric generators during 2013 will average 22 percent higher than during 2012, while the average cost of coal is just over 1 percent higher. The projected higher price of natural gas relative to coal contributes to a decline in the share of total generation fueled by natural gas 27.2 percent next year and an increase in the coal share to 40.1 percent…

    “EIA expects the nominal U.S. residential electricity price will rise by just 0.1 percent during 2012, which would be the smallest year-over-year increase in ten years. Residential prices during 2013 are projected to rise by 1.5 percent to an average of 11.98 cents per kilowatt-hour.”

    BEHIND SUN NUMBERS, 2 Delving Into The Numbers: Latest Solar Jobs Census Shows Strong Growth (continued from yesterday)

    15 November 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “The National Solar Jobs Census…[just released by The Solar Foundation (TSF)]…reveals positive growth once again in solar employment. Several of the business subsectors analyzed posted increases in their job numbers, and all indicators point to further good news in 2013…

    “[Among] the most important numbers [were]…20,000: The approximate number of new solar workers projected to be added over the next 12 months…The pace of job growth seen from 2011 to 2012 is expected to pick up even further over the next year. Based on its analysis, TSF predicts that solar-sector employment will increase by 17.2% over the next 12 months, netting approximately 20,000 additional workers…More than 44% of the solar firms that participated in the census said they expect to expand during this time.”

    “31%: The percentage of respondents who identified the decrease in system component prices as a positive factor for growth in the industry…

    “8,813: The number of solar installation companies in the U.S., according to the census…These firms represent the largest employment subsector in the industry, giving a total of 57,177 solar workers their jobs. Additionally, installers added the most new jobs over the past year…[Continued Wednesday]…”

    WIND’S INCENTIVE PHASE OUT RUMORS Multiyear Wind Energy PTC Phase-Out Getting Bipartisan Attention

    Laura DiMugno, 15 November 2012 (North American Windpower)

    “While a one-year extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) remains alive in an omnibus tax-extenders bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee in August, some policymakers say the incentive could ultimately be renewed in a different form…[S]ome members of Congress - including a handful of anti-renewables House conservatives - may seek to strip the provision from the legislation…[and] many Republican lawmakers would need to be assured that the incentive will eventually go away.

    “…[A] PTC phase-out…may be gaining some serious support…Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa…[and] a bipartisan group of governors - including Govs. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa; John Kitzhaber, D-Ore.; Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo. - emphasized the importance of extending the PTC, as well as the economic benefits it would provide.”

    “Because of the longer timeline needed to finance and build wind projects, the governors stressed, the industry might be better served by a multiyear phase-out than by a one-year extension…Brownback said he would like to see a three- or four-year phase-out of the tax credit but admitted that a one-year extension would probably be more realistic…Grassley said he also likes the idea and that he would be in favor of a gradual phase-out of about 20% per year.

    “Under the PTC-extension provision currently included in the tax-extenders bill, not only would the PTC be extended until Dec. 31, 2013, but the placed-in-service deadline would be changed to a start-of-construction deadline. In other words, projects would have to have started construction before Dec. 31, 2013, to receive the $0.022/kWh incentive…Ultimately, the fate of the PTC will depend on the priority given to the incentive as a part of measures taken to avoid the fiscal cliff…”

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