Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Is New Hampshire on the verge of battery energy storage history?

Is New Hampshire on the verge of battery energy storage history?

The only question left to be settled is a big one: Should utilities own behind-the-meter batteries?

A small investor-owned utility in New Hampshire may be on the verge of regulatory approval for one of the most ambitious U.S. tests yet of utility-owned, customer-sited battery energy storage systems.

In the process, regulators and stakeholders of the DE 17-189 proceeding are wrestling with a question of vital interest to the rest of the 3,000-plus U.S. utilities: Should a utility own customer-sited storage or is it a distributed energy resource (DER) that should be left to private sector providers?

Utilities have already seen the benefits that large-scale battery energy storage offers in shaving peak demand, providing grid services, and making systems more flexible. There is a clear opportunity to use customer-sited battery storage in the same way. But the question of how far utilities can intrude into markets so far served by private sector vendors must first be answered.

Vermont goes first

The only major U.S. utility-owned, behind-the-meter (BTM) battery storage is the Green Mountain Power (GMP) pilot project, according to GTM Research Energy Storage Analyst Brett Simon. GMP, the dominant Vermont electricity provider, is installing 2,000 behind-the-meter Tesla Powerwalls that will provide dispatchable energy and other grid services to New England’s wholesale electricity markets. Customers pay a one-time $1,300 fee or a monthly $15 fee to participate.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Financing the blue economy

A Caribbean Development Opportunity


At least one-fifth of the population of the Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) remains in poverty; and one out of every 10 persons is considered “food poor” or indigent. Tackling poverty is one of our Region’s biggest challenges.

Caribbean countries have joined other members of the United Nations in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

The obligations under this global initiative closely align with CDB’s ongoing commitment, embedded in our Strategic Plan 2015-19, to help our BMCs to identify and exploit opportunities for achieving inclusive and sustainable growth and development. Being a catalyst for development resources and targeting the systematic reduction of poverty in our BMCs through social and economic development is the mission of CDB.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Berkeley Unanimously Declares Climate Emergency!

On Tuesday night, Bay Area mobilizers made history.

As a result of local organizers’ tireless work, the Berkeley City Council faced the truth of the climate and ecological crises and committed to protecting its residents and all life on Earth by unanimously declaring a climate emergency and endorsing a just citywide climate mobilization effort to end greenhouse gas emissions emissions as quickly as possible!
The resolution called for Berkeley to become a carbon sink by 2030, which the energy commission will study. It also called on all other governments to address the crisis at the speed and scale required, setting in motion a nine-county Bay Area climate emergency town hall this summer aimed at catalyzing local, regional, state, national and global mass mobilizations to restore a safe climate and a collaborative regional mobilization effort. You can read the full text of the resolution here.

In the same hearing, the council took a critical first step in realizing the mobilization by voting to refer a Fossil Free Fast resolution to the city’s energy commission. Under this resolution, Berkeley would actively oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure, making it the first municipality in California and the second in the nation to move forward such a sweeping block. You can read the full text of the resolution here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How solar power could become a victim of its own success

Solar plant in Bavaria, Germany

Solar is the world’s fastest growing source of new energy, outpacing growth in all other forms of renewable energy, according to research by the International Energy Agency (IEA) published in November. Renewables overall accounted for two thirds of new power added to the world’s grids in 2016, and solar even overtook coal in terms of net growth. This enormous boost has come about thanks in part to the plummeting costs of getting rigged up to wind and solar, as well as massive growth in China and India.

Good times, then, for the Earth’s long-term prospects of continuing to power itself, and taper the consumption of fossil fuels. At the end of April, 85 per cent of German electricity came from renewable sources, establishing a new national record for the country, with breezy, warm and sunny weather combining to create a renewable whammy of unseen proportions.

Last week, solar overtook biomass to become the third source of renewable energy in the US, and renewables in the country now provide 17 per cent of overall electricity, marking good progress, though there is still a way to go with solar only constituting one per cent. Read More

Hawaii just passed a law to make the state carbon neutral by 2045

In a little less than three decades, Hawaii plans to be carbon neutral–the most ambitious climate goal in the United States. Governor David Ige signed a bill today committing to make the state fully carbon neutral by 2045, along with a second bill that will use carbon offsets to help fund planting trees throughout Hawaii. A third bill requires new building projects to consider how high sea levels will rise in their engineering decisions.

The state is especially vulnerable to climate change–sea level rise, for example, threatens to cause $19 billion in economic losses–and that’s one of the reasons that the new laws had support. “We’re on the forefront of climate change impacts,” says Scott Glenn, who leads the state’s environmental quality office. “We experience it directly and we’re a small island. People feel the trade wind days becoming less. They notice the changes in rain. They feel it getting hotter. Because we are directly exposed to this, there’s no denying it.” The state’s political leaders, he says, are “unified in acknowledging that climate change is real and that we do need to do something about it.” Read More

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Solar power plant deal signed

A massive solar power plant is to be built on a vacant runway at the airport.

Saturn Solar Bermuda 1, a part of Canadian-based Saturn Power, will develop the six-megawatt power plant on “the finger”, a runway and munitions pier when the airport was run by the US Navy as a Naval Air Station.

The generating plant will be the first large-scale renewable energy resource on the island.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Out of nine candidates, six being Bermudian, Saturn Power came in as the lowest bidder at 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour.


Why Solar Power Needs to Get Better:

Elon Musk

9 Experts on the Improvements Solar Technology Needs Today - Interesting Engineering

Solar is just one of many sustainable energies that could lead the way to a green power revolution. Though solar power is becoming more and more viable every day, there are still issues to overcome before entire countries can depend on the sun as a source of energy.
If we're to finally phase out fossil fuels for good, solar power needs to get better. Here are just some of the issues that experts are trying to address in the fight to make the world a greener place.

1. Elon Musk: Solar Power Needs to be Integrated
Elon Musk's vision of a solar-powered future doesn't stop at solar panels on roofs - he wants entire integrated systems to dominate homes and businesses all over the world. He imagines a future where solar roofing tiles feed into power walls, which in turn power electric cars.
Speaking in 2016, Musk said, "The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated." His point is clear - if solar power is to become a dominant power source, there has to be integrated infrastructure both privately and publicly to support that generation of energy. Read More