MORE NEWS, 2-25 (SUN COSTS FALL; GOVS ASK PRES FOR WIND; 1,000 MW OF OCEAN ENERGY; U.S. TO MAKE CO2 $$ BY 2012)
SUN COSTS FALL
New Berkeley Lab Report Shows Significant Historical Reductions in the Installed Costs of Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the World
Alan Chen, February 19, 2009 (News Center/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
"A new study on the installed costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the U.S. shows that the average cost of these systems declined significantly from 1998 to 2007, but remained relatively flat during the last two years of this period.
"[Ryan Wiser, Galen Barbose, and Carla Peterman] at [the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of the] Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who conducted the study say that the overall decline in the installed cost of solar PV systems is mostly the result of decreases in nonmodule costs, such as the cost of labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and the balance of systems…"
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"[Tracking the Sun: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. from 1998–2007] examined 37,000 grid-connected PV systems installed between 1998 and 2007 in 12 states. It found that average installed costs, in terms of real 2007 dollars per installed watt, declined from $10.50 per watt in 1998 to $7.60 per watt in 2007, equivalent to an average annual reduction of 30 cents per watt or 3.5 percent per year in real dollars.
"…According to the report, this trend, along with a reduction in the number of higher-cost “outlier” installations, suggests that state and local PV-deployment policies have achieved some success in fostering competition within the industry and in spurring improvements in the cost structure and efficiency of the delivery infrastructure for solar power…"
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"Other information about differences in costs by region and by installation type emerged from the study. The cost reduction over time was largest for smaller PV systems…Also, installed costs show significant economies of scale…Installed costs were also found to vary widely across states…
"…[A]verage costs range from a low of $7.60 per watt in Arizona, followed by California and New Jersey, which had average installed costs of $8.10 per watt and $8.40 per watt respectively, to a high of $10.60 per watt in Maryland. Based on these data, and on installed-cost data from the sizable Japanese and German PV markets, the authors suggest that PV costs can be driven lower through sizable deployment programs. The study also found that the new construction market offers cost advantages for residential PV systems…"
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"…[D]irect cash incentives provided by state and local PV incentive programs declined over the 1998-2007 study period. Other sources of incentives, however, have become more significant, including federal incentive tax credits (ITCs). As a result…total after-tax incentives for commercial PV were $3.90 per watt in 2007, an all-time high…Total after-tax incentives for residential systems, on the other hand, averaged $3.1 per watt in 2007, their lowest level since 2001.
"Because incentives for residential PV systems declined…the net installed cost of residential PV has remained relatively flat…At the same time, the net installed cost of commercial PV has dropped…32 percent, thanks in large part to the federal ITC…"
GOVS ASK PRES FOR WIND
Dear Mr. President
Governor Chet Culver (D-IA) and Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), February 23, 2009 (Governors Wind Energy Coalition)
"…We write today to begin a partnership with your Administration to address some of the nation’s most pressing needs — jobs, energy, and climate —through the use of domestic renewable energy resources.
"As a bipartisan group of 23 governors from diverse regions of the nation, we share a common concern that our dependence on imported energy sources too greatly risks the nation’s energy and economic security. We offer our assistance…
"Wind energy is a clean, abundant, and affordable source of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, with the right policies and investments, the United States can generate 20 percent of our electricity demand through wind and other renewable sources by 2030…"
Costs & benefits of getting 20% of U.S. power from wind. (click to enlarge)
...There are a number of policy options that your new Administration and Congress should consider…including:
" Adoption of a National Renewable Electricity Standard…requiring utilities to provide a minimum of 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources…
" Support for the construction of New Interstate Electric Transmission Capacity… implementation of this policy will also substantially increase the overall reliability of the nation’s power system, reducing electricity costs to consumers.
" Expansion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Work with States and the Wind Industry to Accelerate Innovation…
" Adoption of a Long-Term Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit. This credit is currently the primary federal incentive for wind energy development and should be extended to provide a stable incentive…
"The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition stands ready to work with you…"
1,000 MW OF OCEAN ENERGY
Scottish & Southern in marine energy deal
Andrew Bolger, February 24, 2009 (Financial Times)
"Airtricity, the renewable energy arm of the Scottish and Southern Energy utility group, has signed an agreement aimed at developing sites capable of hosting 1,000MW of marine energy by 2020…with Aquamarine, the only UK marine energy company developing both wave and tidal power devices simultaneously, which has secured test berths for both technologies at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney."
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"Both companies will enter into a 50:50 joint venture to develop wave and tidal energy sites in the UK and Republic of Ireland. They aim to deploy Aquamarine’s Oyster wave energy converter and its Neptune tidal device…
"Airtricity was acquired by SSE last year for £1bn and the combined Airtricity/SSE team has developed 40 wind farms across Europe and North America, generating more than 1,500MW."
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"Edinburgh-based Aquamarine was founded in 2005, and is currently seeking to raise more than £50m of funding …
"Aitrtricity is currently developing two of the world’s largest windfarms, a 504 MW project at Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast, and a 456MW onshore wind farm, located in the Upper Clyde Valley."
U.S. TO MAKE CO2 $$ BY 2012
U.S. budget to have CO2 revenues by 2012 – White House
Jeff Mason (w/Doina Chiacu) 24 February 2009 (Reuters)
"U.S. President Barack Obama's budget accounts for revenues from an emissions trading system in 2012, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said…when asked whether a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases would be in place in time for revenues to be generated by 2012…
"During his presidential campaign Obama laid out plans for a trading system that would set limits on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and allow factories to trade permits to pollute more.
"The European Union is anxious for the United States to develop a trading system to hook up with its own established scheme."
November 17, 2008. From ChangeDotGov via YouTube.
"Obama has not released any details about his plans for such a system since taking office, while his administration focused on lifting the country out of recession and shoring up the banking system.
"The president has made clear, however, that investments in renewable energy would be part of the economic recovery process…
"The White House Web site says Obama plans to implement an 'economy-wide cap-and-trade program' to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050."