NewEnergyNews: 11/01/2017 - 12/01/2017

NewEnergyNews

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

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-More Climate Change=Less Water=Less Sanitation=More Disease
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Global Energy Transition Moves Ahead
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-EU Leaders Approve 32% New Energy By 2030
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 15:

  • TTTA Thursday-Images Bring Climate Change Horror Home
  • TTTA Thursday-More States Doing More To Grow EVs
  • TTTA Thursday-Astonishing Things About New Energy, Part 2
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar has transformed into solar-plus-storage: What will net metering become?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Many Values Of Solar Power Plants
  • QUICK NEWS, November 13: This Is What It Looks Like; Astonishing Things About New Energy, Part 1
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Testing Grid Modernization State By State
  • QUICK NEWS, November 12: What Big Oil Is Doing About Climate Change; A Tale Of New Energy In Two States
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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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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      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.

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  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, November 17-18:

  • Does Anybody Know If This Lady Won?
  • From The Fire’s Front Lines
  • Now It’s Time For New Energy

    Thursday, November 30, 2017

    How The Rump’s Agencies Are Disappearing Climate Change

    Climate change is disappearing from government websites — and from research, too.

    Kate Yoder, November 29, 2017 (Grist)

    “The EPA’s climate change webpage was taken down for revisions in April to ‘reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt’…[and] 214 days later, the page [is still down. The archived version remains but] is missing pages, PDFs, and entire sections, such as the Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change…[Mentions of climate change have also] disappeared from government websites across the board…[And an] NPR report found that scientists have begun omitting the term ‘climate change’ from public summaries of their research. National Science Foundation grants on the topic have dropped 40 percent this year…[and] euphemisms like ‘extreme weather’ and ‘environmental change’ appear to be on the rise…Given President Trump’s open hostility to climate science, it’s not exactly surprising…[but] the pace and scale of that change over the past year is shocking.” click here for more

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    How Robots Will Make Wind And Solar Better

    Improving Solar and Wind Energy with Artificial Intelligence

    Benedette Cuffari, November 28, 2017 (AZO CleanTech)

    “…[Artificial intelligence (AI) is] the completely autonomous behavior of computer systems…AI systems have become a routine technology that is incorporated into almost every device that we use and operate each day…The renewable energy industry heavily relies upon sensor technology that is incorporated into solar and wind cells to inform individuals of any maintenance requirements during their active use [according to Artificial Intelligence boosts efficiency for solar and wind from DNV GL]…Over the next several years, the solar and wind energy industries expect to see AI systems applied…[as robotic] systems for daily inspection, maintenance and troubleshooting tasks and remote locations...[and as] robotics that can crawl into locations that humans could not otherwise reach or access safely…[Autonomous robots will also be] utilized in solar or wind farms [to optimize the deployment and use of] energy storage…Researchers are hopeful that AI systems will not only significantly reduce production costs, but will also improve the reliability of these energy systems…” click here for more

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    Missouri Says 'Show Me' More Wind

    More wind energy on the horizon for Ameren Missouri's corporate and municipal customers

    Eli Chen, November 27, 2017 (St. Louis Public Radio)

    “In a couple of years, Missouri cities and corporations could be receiving more electricity from wind power as Ameren Missouri ramps up its wind power facilities…[The utility filed a proposal with the Missouri Public Service Commission] to give its largest customers the opportunity to participate the Renewable Choice Program, which would supply them with electricity from wind power. Ameren Missouri generates 100 megawatts of its electricity supply from wind…[but starting by 2020, it] plans to add 700 more megawatts of wind to its portfolio — which is roughly equivalent to serving 200,000 homes…[It also] aims to cut its 2005 emission levels by 80 percent by the year 2050…Ameren is negotiating with potential contractors about building a wind generation facility…[The state of Missouri] requires all major utilities to generate 15 percent of its energy portfolio from renewable sources by 2021…” click here for more

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    More Schools Are Teaching Solar By Using Solar

    Solar energy use grows rapidly at K-12 schools, report says; New study says nearly 5,500 K-12 schools in the United States use solar power

    Mike Kennedy, November 29, 2017 (American School ands University)

    “Some 5,489 K-12 schools in the United States—4.4 percent of all public and private schools—use solar energy…[Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools attributes the sharp rise in solar energy use to a rapid decline in the cost of installing solar systems. The average price of a solar school installation has dropped 67 percent in the last 10 years, and 19 percent in 2016 alone…The study says that nearly 4 million students attend U.S. schools that employ solar power. The combined capacity of those systems—910 megawatts—is 86 percent greater that the capacity of school solar systems in 2014…In addition to lower installation costs, schools have more financing options that minimize up-front investment in solar systems, the study found. In recent years, most schools have paid for their solar installations through power purchase agreements, in which a third party finances, builds, owns and maintains the system. This enables schools and districts to buy solar with minimal initial cost…” click here for more

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    Wednesday, November 29, 2017

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The New Utility Planning Process That Gives Distributed Energy Respect

    SMUD's holistic DER planning process could set new standard for utilities; Even solar advocates are praising the distributed resource planning done by Sacramento's municipal utility

    Herman K. Trabish, June 16, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The clamor from the private sector for utilities to include DER in planning is growing louder.

    California’s Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) estimated customers and third-party developers spend from $150 million to $200 million annually on distributed energy resources (DERs) in its territory, which is more than the utility was investing in utility-scale renewables to meet the state’s 50% renewables by 2030 mandate. As DERs have proliferated, SMUD, the sixth-largest municipal utility in the nation, has been testing new planning methods to maintain reliability and control costs, incorporating five steps laid out in a 2016 white paper from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and consultancy Black & Veatch. In a follow-up study, SEPA and B&V summarized what SMUD gained from integrated DER planning, which includes combined heat and power, distributed photovoltaic solar, energy efficiency, behind-the-meter energy storage and electric vehicles.

    SMUD may be the first utility to have gone through such a comprehensive planning process, according to SEPA. Its analysis starts with a customer adoption forecast and then looks at how customers will use new technologies, and what their impacts on the grid and utility finances will be. It’s a planning procedure so comprehensive that even solar advocates are taking notice, arguing the process could provide lessons for utilities nationwide. The first step in the distribution system planning process was a comprehensive system assessment from the customer’s point of view. The second step was estimating the derived net load and impact of the DERs profile on the transmission and distribution systems. The third step was applying a similar analysis to the utility’s bulk power generation and transmission systems to get an understanding of what is coming at the distribution system. The fourth step was a comprehensive assessment of the utility’s financials, rates and regulatory responsibilities. And the fifth step was developing a DER strategy and putting that strategy into operation… click here for more

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    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why Utility Communications Are Showing Up On Customers Digital Devices

    Utility customer engagement goes digital; Utilities find the best engagement experience involves meeting customers where they are — online and on mobile devices

    Herman K. Trabish, June 19, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The emerging trend described in this piece is rapidly going mainstream.

    More utilities are discovering that going digital puts them where their customers are. Almost any commercial transaction consumers have today includes a digital, online, and/or mobile option. Customer satisfaction measurably rises with interactions that are personal, self-service, and available 24-7. Like the rest of the retail world, utilities are turning to digital to engage customers in these ways. Utilities are now competing for better ways to engage customers and it is paying off in more than just customer satisfaction. Regulators granted utilities in the bottom quartile of customer satisfaction ratings a lower percentage of their requested rate of return than utilities in the top quartile, according to an April 2015 study by PwC.

    In addition, customers who trust their utilities are less likely to turn to disruptive competitors. Successful customer engagement discourages customers from moving to an unknown and untried service provider. Successful customer engagement also helps utilities meet energy efficiency mandates, smooth peak loads, and implement new rate designs. But getting participation in programs is difficult when customers’ only interaction with the utility is a monthly bill. Digital access to customers gives utilities a “mobile front door” via smartphones and tablets and an “online front door” via a website. But digital portals, and especially apps, can be too complicated to be an effective digital customer engagement, though when it works, utilities can deliver new technologies customers want and build their own bottom lines… click here for more

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    Tuesday, November 28, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Progress Of New Energy In California

    California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard Annual Report

    November 2017 (California Public Utilities Commission)

    RPS Background

    In compliance with Senate Bill (SB) 1222 (Hertzberg, 2016; as codified in Public Utilities Code Section 913.41 ), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) reports to the Legislature each year on the progress of the RPS program. This report describes the progress of the State’s electrical retail sellers in complying with the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program and shows that:

    -California’s electrical corporations met the 25% RPS requirement for 2016, and in many cases, substantially exceeded this requirement.

    -The large investor-owned utilities (IOU) have executed renewable electricity contracts necessary to exceed 2020’s 33% RPS requirement.

    -The IOUs’ aggregated forecast project they will meet the 2030 RPS requirement of 50% by 2020.

    -Community Choice Aggregators (CCA) and the small and multi-jurisdictional utilities (SMJU) report compliance with current RPS requirements, and forecast that they will meet or exceed 2020’s 33% RPS requirement.

    -The RPS program has helped achieve large reductions in cost for renewable electricity: between 2008 and 2016, the price of utility scale solar contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 77%, and between 2007 and 2015 reported prices of wind contracts have gone down 47%...

    RPS Progress & Status through 2016

    This chapter uses historical data through December 31, 2016 from the Compliance Reports and the Procurement Plans from the large IOUs, SMJUs, CCAs, and ESPs to illustrate the state of the RPS program. The data presented in this chapter is used by the CPUC to evaluate aspects of RPS procurement, including:

    -Procurement progress towards the 50% RPS mandate;

    -Current renewable procurement status;

    -Renewable portfolio and technology mix;

    -Installed renewable capacity; and

    -RPS contracting activities.

    Large IOUs:

    Well-positioned to Meet RPS Requirements All electricity retail sellers were required to serve 25% of their load with RPS-eligible resources by December 31, 2016, as an interim target between compliance periods. The large IOUs surpassed this requirement…

    the large IOUs have individually met the 25% target. The IOUs may choose to apply eligible renewable electricity procured in 2016 that is in excess of the RPS requirement to meet their RPS requirements in future compliance periods, or they may sell RECs associated with the excess procurement to third parties.10 As further described in Chapter 3 under “Excess Procurement,” a variety of market conditions have caused the IOUs to be procured beyond their minimum RPS requirements, including the need to hedge against initial program experience with project failure and/or increasing departing load to CCAs.

    …the most current annual data to illustrate the actual and forecasted progress the large IOUs have made toward meeting the 50% RPS mandate on a risk-adjusted basis.11 The graph shows a forecasted surplus of renewable generation through 2020 and a deficit beginning in 2022.

    As reported in their Procurement Plans and Compliance Reports, the IOUs forecast that they will meet the 33% RPS requirement by 2020 (see Table 2). 14 The IOUs forecast that they can meet their RPS requirements by using banked RECs. Given the IOUs have significant excess eligible RPS procurement, they chose not to conduct annual RPS solicitations in 2016 or 2017, nor do they plan to undertake solicitations in 2018 (as described further in Chapter 3)

    Table 2 below depicts the large IOUs’ actual RPS procurement and forecasted procurement, and shows that the IOUs forecast that they will meet or exceed their 2020 RPS compliance period requirements, and meet the 2030 50% RPS requirement by 2020. The data is aggregated to provide a statewide view of progress and anticipated compliance.

    SMJUs:

    Demonstrate Need to Procure within the Next Five Years The SMJUs project that the will meet the current RPS targets for Compliance Period 2 (2014-2016), but have indicated they will need to procure additional resources to meet the post-2020 compliance targets. Table 3 data show an average of two SMJUs’ procurement percentages (Liberty and BVES), and does not reflect the procurement of the individual utilities. Both Liberty Utilities and Bear Valley Electric Service (BVES) included their forecasted RPS procurement percentages in their 2017 RPS Procurement Plan and compliance filings

    CCAs:

    Demonstrate Need to Procure within the Next Five Years RPS Compliance Reports submitted by Marin Clean Energy (MCE), Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and CleanPowerSF indicate the CCAs have met the current RPS targets. However, their preliminary compliance reports indicate they will need to procure renewable resources to meet the 50% RPS target by 2030. Table 4 provides an average of these CCA’s reported procurement percentages.

    The information provided above is based on the various operational statuses of the CCAs. From 2011 to 2013, Marin Clean Energy was the only CCA in operation. In 2014, Sonoma Clean Power started serving load, and Lancaster choice started serving load in 2015. Accordingly, the CPUC has collected robust data on the CCAs with the longest operational history, given that the other six certified CCAs have only recently begun serving customers. All certified CCAs, have begun executing contracts for new renewable energy projects that will come online within the next five years.

    ESPs:

    Procurement Assessment Unknown Due to Lack of Long-term Forecasting

    ESPs are non-utility electricity service providers which currently serve approximately 13% of California’s electricity load. Though California’s ESPs are required to file both Compliance Reports and Procurement Plans, they do not provide long-term forecasts on their renewable procurement. The forecasted renewable procurement percentages are not a required element of the Compliance Reports and most ESPs do not forecast beyond the current reporting year. Therefore, the CPUC is unable to provide data on the long-term RPS outlook of the ESPs.

    The Status of Current Renewable Portfolios

    To provide a more detailed view of the status of RPS portfolios, this section describes a variety of perspectives for retail sellers with available information, including renewable resource mix, installed renewable capacity, and contracting activities. Among the retail sellers in California:

    -The large IOUs have the most diverse renewable energy portfolio mix;

    -The CCAs have a moderately diverse renewable energy portfolio mix; and

    -SMJUs have the least diverse portfolio mixes.

    The large IOUs and CCAs have contracted with developers for new renewable facilities to add more capacity to reach the 50% RPS mandate. The SMJUs have been less active in contracting for renewables, but have secured the contracts needed to achieve the RPS requirements.

    Renewable Technology Mix

    Large IOUs Since the inception of the RPS program in 2002, the large IOUs have continuously added new renewable technologies to their portfolios in order to satisfy their RPS procurement requirements. The large IOUs contract with a wide range of renewable technologies. Figure 4 shows that as of December 2016, the IOUs have procured diverse renewable energy resources such as wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic (PV), geothermal, biopower, and hydroelectric facilities to meet the requirements of the RPS program.

    SMJUs

    With the exception of PacifiCorp, the renewable portfolio mixes of California’s SMJUs are not as diverse as those of the large IOUs or the CCAs. As Figure 5 shows, Bear Valley Electric Service and Liberty Utilities, respectively, procured one technology each - wind and geothermal - to meet their RPS requirements. In 2016, PacifiCorp had five technologies in its renewable energy portfolio, with the majority comprised of wind (44%) and biopower (23%).

    CCAs

    Figure 6 illustrates the renewable energy portfolio mixes of the five CCAs that operated in California in 2016. Marin Clean Energy (MCE), Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), and Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) have been in operation for six, three, and two years, respectively, and have more diverse resource mixes than Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and CleanPowerSF. Both PCE and CleanPowerSF began delivering energy in 2016. In 2016, wind energy resources comprised the majority of MCE, SCP, PCE and CleanPowerSF’s renewable portfolios at 60%, 86%, 100%, and 99%, respectively. The majority of LCE’s portfolio (74%) consisted of small hydroelectric and biopower facilities.

    Installed Renewable Capacity

    Since 2003, the three large IOUs have installed 15,193 MW of renewable capacity under the RPS program. As of October 2017, 344 MW of new renewable capacity came online. An additional 453 MW of renewable capacity is forecasted to achieve commercial operation in the next two years. The approved RPS capacity described in Figure 7 below includes both in-state and out-of-state facilities, with the majority of the facilities being in-state and solar PV being California’s largest in-state renewable resource.

    2016 Renewable Contracting Activities

    In 2016, the IOUs collectively executed five BioRAM contracts, three Request for Offer (RFO) contracts, fourteen ReMAT contracts, and four Qualifying Facilities (QF) contracts for a total of 209 MW of new RPS capacity. Table 5 below shows that PG&E executed twelve contracts, six of which were ReMAT contracts. PG&E signed six other contracts, half of which were from RFOs and half that were from QFs. Similarly, SCE executed twelve contracts where eight of them were under the ReMAT program, three were BioRAM, and one was a QF contract. SDG&E signed two contracts, both of which were to fulfill their BioRAM program requirement.

    2016 Power Purchase Agreement Diversity

    While the table above illustrates that BioRAM had the most RPS-eligible MWs procured, the table below shows that ReMAT had the largest proportion of executed contracts based on number of contracts. Table 6 shows that the majority (54%) of the IOUs’ executed contracts were from the ReMAT program. In addition, the data show that the smallest percentage (12%) of the RPS contracts originated through RFOs…

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    QUICK NEWS, November 28: Five Things To Remember While Explaining Climate Change; Ten Reasons To Back Solar; How The Tax Debate Misunderstands Wind

    Five Things To Remember While Explaining Climate Change How to persuade people that climate change is real

    Alexander Maki, November 28, 2017

    “…[The Trump administration has asked for $12 billion to help communities fight climate-change-related flooding…[W]e don’t know whether Trump has actually come to agree with the scientific consensus that humans have caused a drastic change in Earth’s climate…But the news prompts the question: What exactly does change minds about climate science? Research suggests that a variety of messages can influence people’s agreement with the scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are contributing to it. And different people may respond differently to different kinds of messages…[First, a] growing body of research on climate change communication…[shows that,] in general, matching messenger to audience leads to more effective messages…[Second,] tailoring messages to fit the audience’s values can make people more willing to believe climate science…[Third, educating] people about the science can make a difference…[but it is not clear that] metaphors or narratives can help…[Fourth, emphasizing] risk may spur people to action…[Much research] suggests that when people experience extreme weather or have noticed changes in the local weather, they are more likely to believe that climate change is occurring…[And] research suggests that when individuals and communities feel that they can help mitigate climate change, they’re more likely to act…” click here for more

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    Ten Reasons To Back Solar 10 Facts About Solar Energy That Might Surprise You

    Travis Hoium, November 26, 2017 (Motley Fool via Nasdaq)

    “…1. Solar power is the most abundant energy source on Earth…Every ounce of oil, every lump of coal, and every cubic foot of natural gas could be left in the ground if only we could capture one hour's worth of solar energy each year…2. Solar panel costs have fallen 99% since 1977…3. Solar Energy is cheaper than fossil fuels…4. Solar power plants can last 40 years or more…5. China is the world leader in solar energy ... by a lot…6. California is the U.S. star in solar…7. 39% of new electricity production capacity installed in 2016 was solar…8. Solar is the fastest energy source to deploy…9. There's probably a solar panel near you…Target (NYSE: TGT) is the largest corporate solar energy buyer, with 147.5 MW of solar generation, and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is second with 145.0 MW…10. Utilities are giving people solar options…The bottom line is that solar is booming around the world, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down…” click here for more

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    How The Tax Debate Misunderstands Wind Fact Check: What critics are getting wrong about wind power during the tax reform debate

    Greg Alvarez, November 21, 2017 (Into The Wind)

    “…[Skeptics of wind power are using the House tax reform proposal] to spread misleading information, especially about the Production Tax Credit (PTC) that has unleashed the private capital needed for wind to scale up…The reality is that tax credits for wind energy are already in the midst of an orderly phaseout and will be gone after 2019. In the meantime, this policy is achieving its goals: creating tens of thousands of new jobs, triggering massive investment in rural America, and generating affordable electricity…[But the House’s tax reform proposes] deep cuts in the value of the remaining tax credits…[and new retroactive rules] that companies cannot go back in time to comply with…[It threatens] projects already underway with cancellation…[and puts at risk] 60,000 U.S. jobs and $50 billion of private investment in new infrastructure…[Yet conservatives continue to spread] false and misleading information about wind…The Senate’s tax reforms do] by U.S. wind workers and all the rural Americans who are counting on this new cash crop to revitalize their communities…” click here for more

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    Monday, November 27, 2017

    TODAY’S STUDY: How Old Energy Undermines New Energy

    Blocking the Sun; Utilities and Fossil Fuel Interests That Are Undermining American Solar Power

    Hye-Jin Kim, Rachel J. Cross, Bret Fanshaw, November 2017 (Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center)

    Executive Summary

    Solar power is clean, affordable and popular with the American people. The amount of solar energy currently installed in the U.S. can power one in 14 American homes; that amount is expected to triple within the next five years.

    The growth of American solar energy in the past decade has been the result of smart solar-friendly state policies like net metering and tax incentives for solar infrastructure, putting clean energy within financial reach of millions more Americans. The recent appointment of officials favored by electric utilities and fossil fuel interests to key positions within the Department of Energy and other federal agencies makes the preservation of strong solar policies in the states more important than ever.

    In 2017, utilities continue to chip away at key state policies that put rooftop solar on the map in the United States, making it harder for Americans to invest in clean energy.

    This report documents 20 fossil fuel-backed groups and electric utilities running some of the nation’s most aggressive campaigns to slow the growth of solar energy in 12 states, including eight attempts to reduce net metering benefits and seven attempts to create demand charges for customers with solar power. Citizens and policy-makers must be aware of the tools that utilities are using to undermine solar energy across America and redouble their commitment to strong policies that move the nation toward a clean energy future.

    A national network of utility interest groups and fossil fuel-backed think tanks has provided the funding, model legislation and political cover to discourage the growth of rooftop solar power.

    -The Edison Electric Institute, the trade group that represents U.S. investor-owned electric utilities, launched the current wave of attacks on solar in 2012. Since then, EEI has worked with the American Legislative Exchange Council to create model legislation to repeal state renewable electricity standards and attack net metering.

    -The American Legislative Exchange Council also provides utility and fossil fuel interests with access to state legislators, and its anti-net metering policy resolution has inspired legislation in states like Washington and Utah.

    -The Koch brothers have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits. The Koch-funded campaign organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has carried out anti-solar organizing efforts.

    -The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is a Houston-based front group for the utility and fossil fuel industry, representing companies like Florida Power and Light, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell Oil. CEA has spent resources and shipped representatives across the country to help utilities fight their battles in states like Florida, Indiana, Maine and Utah.

    -The state industry group Indiana Energy Association successfully lobbied on behalf of the state’s biggest electric utilities to end net metering, replacing it instead with a new solar policy that limits consumer compensation for generating rooftop power.

    At the state level, electric utilities have used the support provided by national anti-solar interests, as well as their own ample resources, to attack key solar energy policies.

    -In Florida, Florida Power and Light, Gulf Power Electric, Tampa Electric Company and Duke Energy, the largest utility in the U.S., spent millions of dollars funding the front group, Consumers for Smart Solar, which was the primary backer of a failed 2016 ballot initiative that would have restricted rooftop solar growth. In 2017, Florida Power and Light drafted language for a new bill to restrict solar growth in Florida.

    -Two major Arizona utilities – Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project – have successfully pushed for anti-rooftop solar policies. Arizona Public Service, the biggest utility in Arizona, has also been accused of improperly cultivating influence with the state commission that regulates utilities and funneling dark money into recent commissioner elections.

    -In Utah, Rocky Mountain Power tried once again to eliminate net metering and charge additional fees to its 20,000 customers that generate rooftop power. Public outcry from ratepayers and the solar industry forced Rocky Mountain Power to settle, grandfathering all current solar customers into net metering.

    -In Texas, El Paso Electric renewed its past attempt to create a separate, and more expensive, rate class for solar customers. In 2015, the utility spent $3.1 million on filing and negotiating fees, an amount ultimately charged to ratepayers, before dropping the proposal, only to pick it up again this year.

    -In 2015, Nevada Energy successfully campaigned the Nevada utilities commission to eliminate net metering, a move that effectively halted the growth of rooftop solar in its service territory for two years. After widespread public protest, state legislators effectively reinstated net metering in 2017.

    As of mid-2017, there were at least 90 ongoing policy actions in U.S. states with the potential to affect the growth of rooftop generation, such as limits on net metering or new utility fees that make solar power less affordable.

    State decision-makers should resist utility and fossil fuel industry influence, and reject policies such as

    -Elimination of, restrictions on, or unfair caps on net metering;

    -Discriminatory surcharges or tariffs for solar customers;

    -Utility rate designs that discourage solar adoption;

    -Unnecessary regulatory burdens on solar energy; and

    -Rollbacks of renewable electricity standards.

    In addition, state leaders should embrace ambitious goals for solar energy and adopt policies that will help meet them, including:

    -Considering the benefits of distributed solar energy to the grid, to ratepayers and to society in any rate making or policy decisions about solar energy;

    -Implementing strong net metering and interconnection standards, which enable many customers to meet their own electricity needs with solar power;

    -Encouraging community shared solar projects and virtual net metering, which can expand solar access to more customers;

    -Enacting or expanding solar or distributed renewable carve-outs and renewable electricity standards;

    -Enabling financing mechanisms to allow for greater solar access to businesses and residents;

    -Allowing companies other than utilities to sell or lease solar to residents and businesses; and

    -Making smart investments to move toward a more intelligent electric grid that will enable distributed sources of energy such as solar power to play a larger role.

    Policymakers should also uphold our country’s commitment to reduce carbon pollution. Solar power will play a major role in any strategy to reduce global warming pollution and the carbon footprint of the energy we generate and consume.

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    QUICK NEWS, November 27: The Climate Change-Child Bride Linkage; Smart Home Mrkt To Boom 10X In 10 Years; Pace Of EV Boom Steps Up

    The Climate Change-Child Bride Linkage Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides; As global warming exacerbates drought and floods, farmers’ incomes plunge – and girls as young as 13 are given away to stave off poverty

    Gethin Chambelain, 26 November 2017 (UK Guardian)

    Editor’s note: This lengthy and detailed piece of superb reporting deserves more space than the NewEnergyNews format can give it. Click through and read it.

    “It was the flood that ensured that Ntonya Sande’s first year as a teenager would also be the first year of her married life. Up to the moment the water swept away her parents’ field in Kachaso in the Nsanje district of Malawi, they had been scraping a living…Afterwards they were reduced to scavenging for bits of firewood to sell…So when a young man came to their door and asked for the 13-year old’s hand in marriage, the couple didn’t think about it for too long, lest he look elsewhere. Ntonya begged them to change their minds. She was too young, she pleaded. She didn’t want to leave. But it was to no avail. Her parents sat her down and spelled it out for her: the weather had changed and taken everything from them. There was not enough food to go around. They couldn’t afford another mouth at the table…That night she lay down in bed for the first time with the man she had never seen before and followed the instructions of her aunt, who had coached her on the important matter of sex. Ten months later, she gave birth to their first daughter…Everyone has their own idea of what climate change looks like…But for more and more girls across Africa, the most palpable manifestation of climate change is the baby in their arms as they sit watching their friends walk to school…” click here for more

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    Smart Home Mrkt To Boom 10X In 10 Years The Smart Home; Integrated Hardware, Software, and Service Platforms for the Smart Home: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2017 (Navigant Research)

    “…Homes that act intuitively and intelligently through an ecosystem of communicating devices, software, and services can enrich consumers’ lives by fostering increased comfort, awareness, convenience, and cost and energy savings…The automation and data stemming from smart technologies [into the cloud] can enable the home to become a dynamic grid asset that helps shift and shed load, generate clean energy, and contribute to grid reliability…[M]any challenges must be overcome…[because fragmented standards and protocols create] interoperability issues…[But the smart home concept] is gaining traction, and smart home solutions likely represent the future of the residential Internet of Things (IoT) and a vital component of the digital grid. According to Navigant Research, global smart home platform revenue is expected to increase from $4.2 billion in 2017 to $39.5 billion in 2026…” click here for more

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    Pace Of EV Boom Steps Up Global Electric Car Sales Jump 63 Percent

    Anna Hirtenstein, November 20, 2017 (Bloomberg News)

    “…Sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids exceeded 287,000 units in the three months ended in September, 63 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago and up 23 percent from the second quarter…China accounted for more than half of global sales as its market for electric cars doubled amid government efforts to curb pollution…[Bloomberg New Energy Finance] expects global EV sales to surpass 1 million units this year for the first time. The market for electrified transport is starting to pick up speed as charging infrastructure becomes more accessible and manufacturers roll out models with longer driving ranges. In 2017, many established carmakers from Jaguar Land Rover to Volvo Cars announced plans to bring electric versions of their vehicles to market in the next few years…Several governments have also announced targets for cleaner transport…France and the U.K. said they will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel-burning cars by 2040, while the Netherlands is targeting that all new cars sold by 2030 will be emissions-free. China -- the world’s largest auto market -- is mulling its own ban, and even California is considering following suit…” click here for more

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    Saturday, November 25, 2017

    Will 2018 Be The Year Of The EV?

    In 2018, the total cost of EV ownership is expected to fall below the total cost of owning a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. That is the game changer. From The Economist via YouTube

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    How To Build Offshore Wind

    Look what people can do when they get in the game! This is an engineering marvel. From U.S. Department of Energy via YouTube

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    Where Climate Science Funding Really Goes

    Anybody who thinks climate scientists are making big money from climate change is uninformed. Here are the facts. From Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe via YouTube

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    Friday, November 24, 2017

    The 10 Must-Knows On Climate

    Worse climate change in the offing; The prospect of the Earth overheating dangerously has come closer, with scientists warning that worse climate change will soon affect the planet.

    Alex Kirby, November 24, 2017 (Climate News Network via Environmental Research Web)

    “…[T]he Earth’s climate has been remarkably stable since before the dawn of civilisation, but this stability is now at risk [according to the just-released The 10 Science ‘Must Knows’ on Climate Change from Future Earth]. Crossing the critical ‘tipping points’ the planet is now approaching [may human security with] abrupt and possibly irreversible shifts in the workings of the Arctic, Amazon, and other parts of the globe…The record-breaking 2017 Atlantic hurricane season offers a glimpse of the increased risks of extreme weather which may lie ahead. Examples include severe flooding, heat waves and droughts. The oceans too are changing fast, with accelerating sea-level rise and acidification…The economic costs of climate change are already being felt, and some of the world’s poorest nations are bearing the heaviest burden. Climate change will have a profound impact on human health by placing new pressures on food and water security in nations around the world…It is likely to intensify migration, civil unrest and even conflict…” click here for more

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    World’s Storage To Boom Through 2030

    Global Storage Market to Double Six Times by 2030

    November 20, 2017 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

    “…[New research forecasts energy storage investment of $103 billion globally through 2030. The market will double six times and the U.S. will deploy a fourth of the] 125 GW/305 GWh capacity. This is a similar trajectory to the remarkable expansion that the solar industry went through from 2000 to 2015, in which the share of photovoltaics as a percentage of total generation doubled seven times. Eight countries will lead the market, with 70 percent of capacity to be installed in the U.S., China, Japan, India, Germany, U.K., Australia and South Korea. Energy storage, both utility-scale and behind-the-meter, will be a crucial source of flexibility throughout this period and will be essential to integrating increasing levels of renewable energy.” click here for more

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    New Energy To Bring 330,000 Jobs To India Through 2022

    Renewable energy sector may generate over 330,000 jobs in five years: report The report stressed that India’s clean energy initiatives can help address poverty in rural areas by providing steady incomes, skill-building opportunities to unskilled and semi-skilled worker

    Mayank Aggarwal, 24 November 2017 (LiveMint)

    “India’s renewable energy sector is expected to generate more than 330,000 new jobs over the next five years (2017-2022)…[Growth of New Energy is also expected to] improve energy security, enhance energy access and help mitigate climate change...The [just-released Can renewable energy jobs help reduce poverty in India? from the World Resources Institute] stressed that India’s clean energy initiatives can also help address poverty in rural communities by providing steady incomes, healthcare benefits and skill-building opportunities to unskilled and semi-skilled workers…It emphasized that these opportunities can support India’s rural poor by offering an alternative to subsistence farming…[India’s government has targeted] 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable power by 2022 of which 100GW will be from solar power and 60GW from wind power…The report stated that [unskilled, semi-skilled, and female] workers in rural areas face entry barriers to clean energy employment and training programmes have failed to address such issues…[It] recommended that private sector leaders should build [labor force capacity] to ensure sustainability of renewable energy projects and give rural communities a sense of ownership in off-grid projects…” click here for more

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    Aussies Can Get 50% New Energy By 2030

    Australia’s energy market: New report backs Labor’s 50 per cent renewable target; MALCOLM Turnbull’s description of a 50 per cent ¬renewables target as a ‘road to ruin’ has been contradicted by Australia’s chief scientist.

    November 20, 2017 (News.Co.Au)

    “…[Australia’s Labor Party plan to get to 50% New Energy by 2030] will not lead to major blackouts despite the government’s claims that the ‘huge renewable target’ is irresponsible…[and] electricity costs will continue to rise and electricity supply will become less reliable unless there is proper planning and investment in energy storage…[The Role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix from] the Australian Council of Learned Academies, shows batteries in households with rooftop solar power would be enough to secure Australia’s entire energy reliability requirement by 2030…It also shows Australia would only see major power reliability issues, and would require massive investments in storage capacity to head them off, if the amount of renewables in the market rose to 75 per cent…[The study concluded that] a major challenge would be to change consumer attitudes about batteries for home energy storage…” click here for more

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    Thursday, November 23, 2017

    The Turkey Song

    NewEnergyNews is so grateful to so many…beginning with the Marks family foundation… the blessed cowgirls of Carousel Ranch… the enduring Randolph and the Scott clan… the always inspiring guys of Akbar…the inimitable Frenchie and her Juliette…the Cowboy Country and Cowboy Palace dancers…the yellow rose of Teri…the staff at Utility Dive…the mystery of Jessica…

    Can’t forget the hard working people who regulate and run utilities and grid systems and keep the lights on…or the innovators and builders working to harvest the power of this good earth’s wind, sun, deep heat, and flowing waters who took the time to share themselves and their stories from the front lines of the fight to build a New Energy world…And, of course, the especially astute readers who keep clicking on this page…

    May you always count your blessings and may a kind fate lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…

    Video from David Lundgren via YouTube

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    The Real Story Of Thanksgiving

    From the “truth hurts” files: History is always as much truth as its readers can face. From DNYCEisBackAgain via YouTube

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