NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 12: COMING FROM UTILITIES NEXT YEAR; SOLAR LABOR COST V. QUALITY FIGHT; BIGGER BETTER BLADES FOR MORE CHEAPER WIND

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: ARE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF TEXAS' POWER GRID?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: COULD FERC PUT A PRICE ON CARBON?
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, December 12: COMING FROM UTILITIES NEXT YEAR; SOLAR LABOR COST V. QUALITY FIGHT; BIGGER BETTER BLADES FOR MORE CHEAPER WIND

    COMING FROM UTILITIES NEXT YEAR …Top 10 List: What Utilities Should Expect In 2013

    10 December 2012 (Renew Grid)

    “…[IDC Energy Insights’] top 10 predictions for the North American utility industry in 2013…[were]…1. Utilities will make outage prevention, readiness and response a top priority in 2013…2. Smart meter shipments will fall below 9 million units…

    “…3. In the next five years, consumer spending will transform home energy management…4. By 2017, 70% of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems will integrate to a distribution control system…5…[U]tility incentives will drive $160 million in smart building technologies, ensuring energy efficiency is here to stay…”

    “…6. Utilities have breathing room to plan, as plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) penetration [at just under 650,000 by 2015] is lower than expected…7. Utility chief information officers' (CIO) security practices…will center on risk management…

    “…8. CIOs’ agenda…will focus on bringing business efficiencies through information technology (IT) initiatives… 9…[M]arketing and customer operations will increase efforts in the social business space…10. North American IT spending will increase at a 4.92% compound annual growth rate over the five years from 2010 to 2015.”

    SOLAR LABOR COST V. QUALITY FIGHT Behind The Controversy Over Unlicensed Workers At Mass. Solar Site

    Jessica Lillian, 5 December 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “…Massachusetts has seen growing controversy over PV installation staffing - particularly at large-scale, ground-mounted commercial solar farm sites…[A]nyone who installs ‘wires, conduits, apparatus, devices, fixtures or other appliances for carrying or using electricity for light, heat, power, fire warning or security system purposes’ must be a licensed electrician…[M]any other states may require only that a licensed electrician supervise…or allow the contractor to hold a general license.

    “Some PV developers and integrators report that the higher costs associated with using strictly licensed electricians keeps them out of the Massachusetts solar market altogether. Other solar companies operating in Massachusetts have found themselves under investigation by the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL)…”

    “…Patriot Solar and EPG Solar…[own the land on which an investigated] project is being developed…Michael Borkowski, managing partner at EPG Solar…maintained that non-electricians can, in fact, legally perform racking installations and similar duties, per the outcome of…the Carroll case, centered on the role of non-licensed general contractors in building PV installations in Massachusetts…[The case found that] installation of racks and rails does qualify as electrical work, while drilling holes in a roof as part of array prep work, for instance, is considered non-electrical…

    “…[Some say the] complaints stem from hostility over [union] own members' failure to win the installation job rather than actual safety concerns…[The union says the investigations represent] a larger trend of solar contractors that take labor shortcuts. Earlier this year, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Boston division, Local 103, waged a public campaign against [another Massachusetts project]…”

    BIGGER BETTER BLADES FOR MORE CHEAPER WIND Wind Blades: The “Fabric” of Our Clean Energy Future; GE, Virginia Tech, and NREL begin project that could change how wind blades are designed, manufactured, and installed.

    December 2, 2012 9Today’s Energy Solutions)

    “…[M]ost of the cost of electricity for wind [is] in the initial capital investments made in the wind turbines…[A new blade design from a GE, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) $5.6M ARPA-E three-year research project could change the way wind blades are designed, manufactured, and installed and] substantially lower the cost of wind energy…[The] new blade design could reduce blade costs 25% to 40%, making wind energy as economical as fossil fuels without government subsidies…

    “GE’s research will focus on the use of architectural fabrics, which would be wrapped around a metal spaceframe, resembling a fishbone. Fabric would be tensioned around ribs which run the length of the blade and specially designed to meet the demands of wind blade operations. Conventional wind blades are constructed out of fiberglass, which is heavier and more labor and time-intensive to manufacture.”

    “Advancements in blade technology will help spur the development of larger, lighter turbines that can capture more wind at lower wind speeds. Current technology doesn’t easily allow for construction of turbines that have rotor diameters exceeding 120 meters because of design, manufacturing, assembly, and transportation [costs and] constraints…GE’s new fabric-based technology…components could be built and assembled on site…

    “…[T]o achieve the national goal of 20% wind power in the U.S., wind blades would need to grow by 50%...Lighter fabric blades could make this goal attainable…The use of fabrics to reduce weight and provide a cost-effective cover dates back to the World War I era, when it was used on airplanes…GE has already begun using [an advanced, more rugged and reliable] spaceframe/tension fabric design in the construction of wind towers for better aesthetics, cost, and protection…GE’s blade architecture will be built to achieve a 20 year life with no regular maintenance to tension fabrics required.”

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