Category Archives: solar power

Carbon Fee and Dividend In-Depth

From the Citizens Climate Lobby website:

The Basics of Carbon Fee and Dividend:
1. Place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas).
2. Give all of the revenue from the carbon fee back to households.
3. Use a border adjustment to discourage business relocation.
4. It’s good for the economy AND even better for the climate.

“…phased-in carbon fees on greenhouse gas emissions (1) are the most efficient, transparent, and enforceable mechanism to drive an effective and fair transition to a domestic-energy economy, (2) will stimulate investment in alternative-energy technologies, and (3) give all businesses powerful incentives to increase their energy-efficiency and reduce their carbon footprints in order to remain competitive…”

Read more.

Download Carbon Fee and Dividend, a full-text version of CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.

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1952: Smoke pouring from the New Farm Power House in Brisbane, Australia caused numerous complaints from residents. Source: Wikimedia Commons
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As solar becomes more cost-competitive, utilities look at how new technology affects their business models

This is occurring all over the country with respect to large utilities pushing back against the different forms of renewable energy, especially solar. It’s from the Al Jazeera America news site. This explains the issues quite well.

From  Al Jazeera America contributor, Renee Lewis:

States weigh rate changes for rooftop solar:

“Utilities don’t want to risk losing financial (compensation) for their investments in the grid to serve all customers, while rooftop solar developers don’t want to lose business opportunities if their potential customers are not compensated as highly by utilities when excess rooftop solar generation is sent back to the grid,” read a recent blog post by Pierre Bull, a policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Following Nevada’s decision, California’s new rules for solar customers showed there is a “better way,” Bull wrote.

California’s PUC decided last week to take a pause to look at grid impact and market analytics before making its decision.

In the meantime, “they have assured existing net metering customers that their generation will continue to be credited at the full retail rate, which is a good, reasonable approximation for the benefits they provide to the grid,” Bull wrote.

Last week, California’s PUC upheld net metering by 3-2, allowing solar customers to continue lowering their overall power bills — which assists them in paying off the investment in rooftop solar…

Read more.

solar installation
IMAGE: JOHN HARRINGTON / SUNRUN / AP

 

Everybody aboard the energy omnibus: House preparing comprehensive electricity bill

House officials are creating an “omnibus” energy bill, which may lead to one of the more interesting debates on Beacon Hill in years. House Speaker Robert DeLeo (pictured below) has been discussing this for some time, his approach being that when there are many debated yet related issues, the best thing is consolidate them into one bill and begin negotiating. The advantage is that it may be better to address the state’s energy issues in a way that’s not fragmented up into multiple bills.

From CommonWealth Magazine contributor, Bruce Mohl (January 14, 2016) —

A conference committee consisting of members from the House and Senate was appointed to resolve the different net metering approaches of the two branches, but there has been little progress. Many think net metering and the whole issue of solar incentives may be tossed into the omnibus pot.

One source said it will be interesting to see if the House pushes for special incentives for offshore wind at a time when it is trying to cut incentives for solar. Both renewable energy technologies hold the promise of developing new industries of the future, but both require, at least for now, heavy ratepayer incentives to work financially.

Read more.

rdeleo
Speaker of the Massachusetts House, Robert A. DeLeo (D Winthrop)
(from his official webpage)