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

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YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Get The Stacked Values Of Battery Storage
  • QUICK NEWS, October 16: Worse Than ‘The New Normal’; New Energy To The Rescue; How Rooftop Solar Cuts Everybody’s Power Bills
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Bloomberg To Colbert – New Energy Is The Answer
  • Weekend Video: Global New Energy Keeps Coming On
  • Weekend Video: The Long Reach Of New Energy
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Why Geoengineering Has Comes With Big Risks
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Immense Potential Of Ocean Wind
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Best Place To Build New Energy Is China – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Japan’s Mitsubishi Sees EV Price Beating Gas Cars
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, October 12:

  • TTTA Thursday-Big Work Now Ahead On Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Ready To Take Over In The New South
  • TTTA Thursday-How The Ocean Can Store New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Indiana Nun Fights For Solar
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Hampshire Makes A New Energy Compromise That was ‘Worth It’
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Survey Shows Utilities Expect New Energy Expansion
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Why Big Buyers Buy New Energy
  • QUICK NEWS, October 10: Why Tariffs On Solar Will Backfire On The President; Private Sector Seizes Wind Opportunity; The EV Boom Needs 1000s More Plugs
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

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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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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, October 17:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Global Nuclear Now
  • QUICK NEWS, October 17: Top 5 Climate Change Solutions; EVs To Lead By 2030; Diversity In Solar

    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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