NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, February 10: UTILTIES, NEW ENERGY, AND THE GRID; TO LEASE OR BUY, THAT’S THE SOLAR QUESTION; FEDS GET LOCAL INPUT ON CAROLINAS OCEAN WIND

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  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Join or die: How utilities are coping with 100% renewable energy goals
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  • There Is No ‘New Ice Age’
  • Talking Offshore Wind
  • The Stuff Of Tomorrow’s New Energy

    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, February 10: UTILTIES, NEW ENERGY, AND THE GRID; TO LEASE OR BUY, THAT’S THE SOLAR QUESTION; FEDS GET LOCAL INPUT ON CAROLINAS OCEAN WIND

    EVERYBODY NEEDS THE GRID As Customers Disconnect From Grid, Wind And Solar Energy Are Threatened

    Ken Silverstein, February 9, 2015 (Forbes)

    “…[If utility customers become less reliant on the grid, the potential economic impact is] between $18 billion and $48 billion in lost revenues by 2025…[C]onsumers who disconnect from the grid are challenging utilities to rethink their businesses… [But even rooftop solar customers] who ‘detach’ must still use the utility-provided power to buy electricity when the weather is not agreeable...Utilities, meantime, are trying to modernize and expand their infrastructures to conform to a 21st Century economy. They…collectively spend $25 billion a year maintaining their networks and they say that its upkeep is everyone’s responsibility — similar to how public education is financed…At issue is whether utilities will get overrun by the technological changes hitting the market place or whether they will help shape the eventual outcome…PJM Interconnection, which orders up power sources and schedules their delivery in a 13-state region in the eastern United States, says wind and solar energy can play a larger and more constructive role in its territory. To do so, though, investments in the electrical grid must be made: At a 20 percent penetration rate, 820 miles of wire would have to be installed for around $3.8 billion…Utilities are now in huddle formation figuring out the next play…” click here for more

    TO LEASE OR TO BUY, THAT IS THE SOLAR QUESTION The Great Solar Panel Debate: To Lease Or To Buy?

    Jeff Brady, February 10, 2015 (National Public Radio)

    “…More than 600,000 homes in the U.S. have solar panels today — up dramatically from just a few years ago, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Leasing programs that require little or no money up-front have played a key role in that growth [but leases aren't available everywhere]…John Farrell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis has studied the issue of leasing versus owning solar panels…[He favors ownership as the first choice] because it means keeping more of the dollars — over the lifetime of that solar panel — in the pocket of the owner…[By owning, a resident of Chicago…could save, over the 30-year life of a solar panel, about $6,200…Someone who leases panels would save about $4,000 off the cost of getting power from the local utility during that period…[B]oth are a good deal from the standpoint of saving money, but ownership is about a 50 percent better deal [Farrell said]…If you don't have the money to buy solar panels up front, Farrell says you can borrow it. Some companies offer special financing for solar panels. He plans to take out a home equity loan for a system on his house in Minnesota…” click here for more

    FEDS GET LOCAL INPUT ON CAROLINAS OCEAN WIND Government taking comments on Carolinas wind energy proposal

    February 9, 2015 (AP via WCTI-12 News)

    "The federal government [is holding three hearings] to get public comment on plans to lease hundreds of thousands of acres off the coast of the Carolinas for wind energy development…The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas in federal waters that could be leased for putting up wind turbines…One of the areas is off the Outer Banks. The other two are offshore south of Wilmington and east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina…The public has two more weeks to comment…” click here for more

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