QUICK NEWS, July 27: MISCALCULATED SUBSIDIES; SUN PRICES UP, SALES SLOW; ADVANCES ON THE WAVES; THE FIGHT TO FIGHT EMISSIONS
EIA studies on energy incentives distort value of spending on wind energy
July 26, 2011 (American Wind Energy Association)
"The 2011 report on energy incentives from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), requested by Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD)…[is expected to use the flawed methodology of] analyzing only a single year of energy incentives…[This] is a poor way to judge the support afforded by the U.S. government to many kinds of energy sources for decades."
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"Consider a coal-fired power plant installed in 1965 and still generating electricity today. That power plant was subsidized when it was installed, and the mining and transportation of its fuel have been subsidized in the 45-plus years ever since then. If you look at the plant’s incentives in 2010, they are only a tiny slice of the total federal expenditure—the cost of the plant was amortized long ago."
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"Now consider a wind farm installed in 2008. The production tax credit it received in 2010 was part of the basis for financing its construction. Once that credit is used up (in 2017), it will receive no further incentives (because it uses no fuel). Comparing its incentives with those provided to a 45-year-old coal plant is comparing apples to oranges…Analyzing only a single year of energy incentives inevitably gives a misleading representation of the support afforded by the U.S. government to all kinds of energy sources…The steady and significant government support provided over the past 50 or more years has allowed generation from sources like nuclear, coal and even hydro to flourish and become major electricity sources…"
SUN PRICES UP, SALES SLOW
PV Prices Continue to Go up, but Momentum Slows
July 21, 2011 (Energy Trend)
"…[T]he polysilicon spot price continues to increase, and current trading price has stayed between $52/kg and $54/kg…[T]he trading price in the Chinese market is slightly higher than other markets ranging from $55/kg to $58/kg…
"…PV manufacturers [are expected to] take a wait-and-see attitude toward the market in 3Q11…[while watching] the order demand of 3Q11 to evaluate the market…[Most] PV spot prices went up [narrowly]…It might signal [that] end market demand is less than expected…[so that] the price trend of 3Q11 could reverse."
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"…[T]he average price of polysilicon has risen by 1.53% to $54.55/kg…[S]olar cell market demand is spurred by increasing clients’ need…[ D]emand for high conversion efficiency product remains [high but]…manufacturers are having difficulties raising the price of lower conversion efficiency products due to…lower demand…
"…[Overall,] the average price of solar cell has slightly increased by 2.3% to $0.802/Watt…Affected by market price in India, the thin film market price has decreased slightly by 0.3% to $1.000/Watt…"
ADVANCES ON THE WAVES
Aquamarine Power unveils next-generation Oyster wave energy device
July 15, 2011 (PennWell via HydroWorld)
"Scotland-based marine energy developer Aquamarine Power has unveiled the Oyster 800, which is the firm's [800-kW] next-generation wave energy converter…Aquamarine Power installed and grid-connected its first full-scale 315-kW Oyster at [the European Wind Energy center (EMEC)] in 2009. This first device operated through two winters and delivered over 6,000 operating hours."
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"The Oyster 800 operates in the same way as Oyster 1, but Aquamarine Power has used data and lessons learned from the first Oyster to significantly improve its power output, simplify installation and allow easier routine maintenance…The device shape has been modified and made wider to enable it to capture more wave energy. It is now mounted on two seabed piles, rather than four to simplify installation…The Oyster 800 will be the first of three devices to be installed at EMEC, with further Oysters to be deployed in 2012 and 2013. All three Oysters will be linked to an onshore hydroelectric plant to form a 2.4-MW array."
THE FIGHT TO FIGHT EMISSIONS
Amid opposition from conservatives, businesses defend greenhouse-gas accord
Andrew Restuccia, July 25, 2011 (The Hill)
"More than 200 businesses urged a handful of governors…to remain committed to a regional cap-and-trade program even as it comes under attack from conservative groups…The businesses — which include a slate of renewable energy companies — say the program, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), has delivered major benefits for state economies."
[Letter from 225 businesses to the governors of the RGGI states:] “We believe strong clean energy and clean air policies create jobs and stimulate economic growth. RGGI shows that market-based programs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting our economy…By reducing spending on out-of-region fossil fuels, RGGI improves energy security and economic competitiveness and frees up energy dollars for spending in other parts of our economies.”
click thru for the report on RGGI’s benefits
"…[C]onservative groups like Americans for Prosperity [are ramping] up their opposition to the program, which aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in 10 Northeastern states…New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said in May that he will pull out of the program…
"…[The businesses] say RGGI has delivered a return of between $4 and $6 for every dollar spent and created jobs in the clean energy sector…The businesses pressed the governors to make improvements to RGGI as part of an upcoming 2012 review of the program designed to evaluate its success…"