Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Google News Alert for: hydrogen, wind, power
The Benefits of Being Clean and Green
Green Energy: The Belle of the Ball in 2010
The Ten Essential Renewable Energy Stories This Week
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I'm seeing readership up to 28 people per day average incoming site hits, and 31 feed subscribers for the GL Zephyr. Even the old site, which refers visitors here is getting an average of 29 hits per day.
These visitors come in from all over the world - I've seen visits from every continent, including South America, which has been rare for my other blogs. (I think that's due to the language barrier.)
It's good to know that at least some people value what I'm doing here, because it's strictly a one-person voluntary thing. I've never made a cent off this blog, but the news I share here gives me great hope, because I see POSITIVE environmental stories every day. People all over the world are working hard to make new technologies succeed, technologies that protect the environment AND preserve our technical capabilities and quality of life. I see a future where people all over the world live in relative abundance, have safe, clean transportation and homes, and sustainable places to work. It IS happening, and entrepreneurs from across the globe are doing it, despite all the naysayers and people invested in the status quo.
Speaking of positive news, I saw President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last night. To me it was filled with positive rhetoric and ideals. The things that he was saying are things that many Progressives and independents voted for. I only hope that he really makes the moves toward clean and sustainable infrastructure in the United States in a timely fashion. He will need steady hard pressure on the Congress to get those intiatives done.
To be honest, I've heard by far the widest support for the infrastructure upgrades he mentions. The rank-and-file out around the country really want to see that done. I think the overwhelming focus on health care reform, while necessary, has held up infrastructure work that has far more popular support. People really do understand that infrastructure investments pay huge long-term dividends.
Many people I've talked to would have loved to see the entire second half of the $1.4 trillion-dollar "stimulus package" go into infrastructure upgrades and education instead of banking. I think that if the President had made THAT his first priority, he would be running on the top of a wave of huge popular support with a great success at his back right now. Maybe even enough to help him plow into the mountain of resistance on health care reform.
My advice to the president, for what it's worth: Switch focus to infrastructure and education in a BIG way right away. People get it on this one. They will support you.
Still, the speech was candy to the ears seeking to hear fairness, understanding, and support from Washington in difficult times. The speech had all the trimmings of great leadership potential. But we're past wanting candy. We're hungry for steak and potatoes, Sir.
Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read my efforts.
Google News Alert for: hydrogen, wind, power
BC Transit celebrates hydrogen fleet, fuelling station
Revolutionary Ride--Honda's FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
The dream bus stops here
Green Technology Set to Lead The Way in 2010
The auto sleuth
WAKE UP AUSTRALIA: Rethink energy now
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
State & Stakeholder Newsletter
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Volume #9, Issue #2
Editor: Jane Pulaski
The IREC State & Stakeholder Newsletter is a foremost resource for current information on workforce training, credentialing programs, state activities and best practices on renewable energy and energy efficiency. This free newsletter is distributed semi-monthly to email subscribers and published on IREC's website.
If you want the best news about what's going on in the states and cities, read IREC's State & Stakeholder newsletter.
From the editor:
I'd like to be a fly on the wall of the DSIRE office. It's not that I want to snoop; I just want to see what a typical day at DSIRE looks like, if there is such a thing as a typical day at DSIRE. I imagine the accomplished team of seven, led by Rusty Haynes, poring over dozens of websites, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and newsletters, while fielding phone calls to track down information on more than 2,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. More than 200,000 unique visitors/month visit the site, looking for (and finding) comprehensive, up-to-date information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
I need to repeat those numbers: information on more than 2,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency programs; more than 200,000 unique visitors/month on its website.
For this issue of IREC's State & Stakeholder Newsletter, the DSIRE team sent news from 14 states. From Sacramento, where one week after launching a feed-in tariff, SMUD announced that applications exceeded the new program's aggregate capacity limit of 100 MW. In Puerto Rico, four new programs were launched, thanks to federal stimulus funds. Anecdotally, Puerto Rico's ongoing efforts to promote solar and wind are catching the attention of developers. High-fives to the State of Maine where shiny new interconnection standards are, according to Haynes, probably the best in the country. "IREC deserves a dozen lobsters worth of credit for playing a key role in working with the commission to establish the new standards" (a special shout out to the regulatory wizards, Keyes and Fox, for this). And earlier this month, an order from New York's Public Service Commission expanded the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirement for investor-owned utilities from 25% by 2013 to 30% by 2015. You won't find this kind of valuable, timely information anywhere else. I continue to be impressed with the quality (and quantity) of work from the DSIRE team.
Thanks, DSIRE, for all that you do for the rest of us.
ALASKA - Net Metering Policy Takes Effect
Alaska's new net metering policy took effect January 15, 2010. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska approved net-metering regulations in October 2009, but the lieutenant governor did not approve the regulations until January. Systems up to 25 kW in capacity are eligible, with an aggregate cap of 1.5% of each utility's retail sales from the previous year. Generally, utilities with annual retail sales of 5 million kWh or more are subject to the new regulations, although there are some exceptions.
ARIZONA - SRP Restructures PV Incentives
Salt River Project (SRP), and utility serving portions of Arizona, has made several changes to its EarthWise program for 2010. PV systems over 50 kW in capacity must now take a performance-based incentive, with different rates for 10-year and 20-year contracts. PV systems less than 50 kW may receive an up-front, capacity-based rebate. The utility has also developed a schedule under which its incentives will decline annually through 2015.
CALIFORNIA - SMUD FIT Applications Exceed Program Goal
One week after launching a feed-in tariff, SMUD announced that applications have exceeded the new program's aggregate capacity limit of 100 MW. However, SMUD is still accepting applications, which will be assigned an unreserved location in the queue. If a reserved project is canceled, an unreserved application may be accepted into the program.
CALIFORNIA - First Statewide Mandatory Green Building Code Adopted
The California Building Standards Commission (BSC) has adopted a final version of California's new building code, CALGreen, which includes requirements for water efficiency, indoor air quality, recycling of construction waste, and other green building principles. The new code, which takes effect January 1, 2011, is based on California's voluntary green building code, established in July 2008.
HAWAII - Solar Water Heater Rebates Decline
On February 1, 2010, rebate levels for Hawaii Energy's solar water heating incentive program will decrease from $1,000 to $750. On a related note, SB 644 of 2008 and HB 1464 of 2009 require new residential construction projects to install solar water heating systems, with some exceptions, beginning January 1, 2010. As a result of this legislation, rebates are no longer offered to new residential construction projects.
MAINE - New Interconnection Standards Embrace IREC Model
Maine's Public Utility Commission (PUC) has adopted strong interconnection standards for distributed generation. Maine's new standards very closely resemble IREC's model interconnection procedures, which espouse the best practices of state-level policies. With four levels of technical review, no required disconnect switch, and a clearly defined fee schedule and insurance schedule, Maine is sure to receive high marks in next year's edition of Freeing the Grid.
MASSACHUSETTS - Bay State Vies to Become Solar State
After much anticipation, Massachusetts has issued emergency regulations establishing a solar carve-out - consisting solely of in-state PV -- as part of the state's renewable portfolio standard. The solar carve-out for 2010 is 30 MW; the overall solar carve-out is 400 MW. Along with the accompanying Solar Credit Clearinghouse market, the new solar carve-out is expected to rapidly accelerate PV deployment in Massachusetts.
MISSOURI - KCP&L Unveils PV Rebate Program
In response to regulatory requirements put in place by Proposition C, the 2008 ballot initiative that created Missouri's renewable electricity standard, KCP&L is offering rebates of $2.00 per watt, up to $50,000, for the installation of net-metered PV systems. The net-metering requirement effectively limits system size to 100 kW, the maximum individual system size allowed under Missouri's net-metering law. Rebates are available to Missouri customers of both the KCP&L Company and the KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (formerly Aquila) that receive electric service on any generally available rate schedule.
NEW YORK - RPS Expanded to 30% by 2015
In a January 2010 order, the New York Public Service Commission expanded the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirement for investor-owned utilities from 25% by 2013 to 30% by 2015. This decision is expected to require only a modest increase in renewable energy generation compared to the original projections made in 2004 for the 25% standard, because the revised projections incorporate a 15% reduction in energy use by 2015 under the state's Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS). The future of New York's Customer-Sited Tier (CST) -- and the accompanying incentive program for CST systems -- was not addressed in the order, but the PSC anticipates taking further action on this aspect of the RPS in the coming months.
NEW YORK - PV Systems No Longer Eligible for Energy $mart Loans
New York's Energy $mart Residential Loan Fund offers below-market financing to residential customers who make qualified energy-related home improvements, which formerly included the installation of PV systems and wind turbines supported by the Customer-Sited Tier incentive programs. Effective January 11, 2010, PV systems are no longer eligible for these loans, and the wind-energy incentive program is closed to new applications. In addition, the revised program in place for 2010 no longer offers loans for improvements made to commercial buildings.
OREGON - State Guidelines Issued for BETC Pass-Through Rate
Over the past few months, the Oregon Department of Energy has made changes to the state's Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC). BETC has a pass-through option that allows non-taxpaying entities and businesses without tax liability to take advantage of the tax credit. Under the pass-through option, a project owner may transfer a tax credit to a pass-through partner in return for a lump-sum cash payment upon completion of the project. The ODOE has issued guidelines, effective January 1, 2010, establishing a formula for the pass-through rate - the amount an individual or business pays to buy a tax credit. The new rate is based on five-year U.S. Treasury notes and the urban Consumer Price Index for the west region, and should result in more money going to renewable energy project developers rather than pass-through partners.
PENNSYLVANIA - State PV Rebate Levels Reduced for Small Businesses
The Pennsylvania Sunshine solar rebate program is structured so that rebate levels are automatically reduced when certain installed capacity milestones are reached. In January 2010, the small business PV portion of the program reached the second milestone in the program schedule, thereby triggering a rebate reduction of $0.50 per watt for all system sizes. The current rebate level is now $1.25 per watt for the first 10 kW, $1.00 per watt for the next 90 kW, and $0.75 per watt for the next 100 kW. Rebates for residential PV systems and for all types of solar thermal systems remain unchanged.
PUERTO RICO - Nuevos Incentivos para la Energía Renovable
Puerto Rico's State Energy Program has established four rebate programs to support renewable energy installations, using funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These rebates will be availableuntil September 30, 2010, or until funding is exhausted.
VERMONT - Small Renewables Incentive Program Gets Make-Over
Vermont's small renewables incentive program, which supports solar water heating, PV, wind and micro-hydro projects, has been suspended. Current program funding has been fully subscribed; however, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, additional incentives will become available in February under a revamped program. (Preliminary details on the program design are available, but changes are expected.
--NYSERDA releases PON 1685 for Consumer Education Program for Residential Energy Efficiency
PON 1685 seeks proposals for the implementation of a statewide, energy efficiency and renewable education program to raise awareness, educate the general public, and increase the adoption of energy efficiency behaviors and practices at home, at work, and within communities. Proposals due 2/24/10, 5 pm ET. Contact Lori Clark at (518) 862-1090, ext.3202.
-- Preliminary On-Line Registration Now Available for ASES 2010
Preliminary registration is now open and includes Conference, Solar Success and Public Day Registration. Additional registration options, such as workshops, tours and social events will be available mid-February. Register now and log back into your registration to add options.
-- RETECH 2010
Join ACORE for its renewable energy technology conference and exhibition February 3-5 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
-- Solar Leadership Summit April 21-22
SolarTech, in collaboration with partnering organizations like IREC, is holding its second annual summit in San Ramon, CA on April 21-22. The Summit is an interactive event bringing together experts across many disciplines of the solar industry. Registration opens January 15th.
--MREA announces 2010 online workshop schedule
For more information on workshops and schedules, visit the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's website.
--ASES accepting nominations for its Passive Pioneer Award
Since 1979, ASES has been honored those in the passive field who developed the theories, early research efforts, new concepts, and opportunities for later researchers to develop. Deadline to submit nominees is January 29th.
The State & Stakeholder Newsletter is published electronically on a semi-monthly basis by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. To subscribe to this newsletter, click here and follow the instructions. There is no fee for this newsletter. If you have comments or news items, please send them to Jane Pulaski.
Disclaimer. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.
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About IRECThe Interstate Renewable Energy Council is a non-profit organization that has been breaking down barriers to renewable energy since 1982.
IREC emphasizes education and outreach, stakeholder coordination, technical assistance, workforce development, the adoption and implementation of uniform guidelines and standards, consumer protection and building networks to share experiences and information.
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