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22 December 2013 comprar levitra de 5 mg

By Nick Cunningham
OilPrice.Com

A new report from UBS finds that renewable energy and energy storage are together presenting a "perfect storm" for big utilities. The declining cost of solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle technologies threaten to upend centralized electricity generation, putting the utility business model in jeopardy. Grid parity has already been achieved in certain parts of the world where conventional electricity rates are high and renewable resources are plentiful.

Renewable energy is beginning to cut into the bottom line for U.S. utilities. The average price for solar PV modules declined by 80% between 2008 and 2012. Net metering policies and innovative financing schemes like SolarCity’s leasing model are making distributed generation – where consumers generate power on-site – much more financially viable. This leads to a utility "death spiral," in which utilities begin to lose customers, forcing them to jack up rates to cover lost revenue, which in turn pushes more people away. As of 2011, about three-quarters of U.S. utilities had a BBB credit rating or worse, indicating a striking lack of confidence in their financial future. In 2000, less than 40% of utilities earned such an abysmal grade. buy viagra online tescos

Related article: What China’s Energy Trajectory Says about Climate Change

This concept is not new, but UBS’ report suggests the trend is picking up steam, particularly in developed markets with flat electricity demand including parts of the United States, Europe, and Australia. Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that electricity sales have declined in four of the last five years in the U.S. While some of the drop off is attributable to the financial crisis and subsequent recession, energy efficiency and distributed generation are playing a key role. According to the EIA, "[g]rowing installed capacity of behind-the-meter sources of generation (largely from rooftop solar) is displacing some electricity sales that would otherwise occur." viagra generico on line italia

The latest UBS report finds that not only is solar PV eating into the utilities’ customer base, but it is also shaving off peak demand. Solar generates the most output during mid-afternoons, when demand is at its highest. With variable costs for renewables essentially nil, they beat out more expensive fossil fuel units. The result is leading to curtailed generation from big power plants along with lower peak electricity prices – a nightmare for utilities. viagra generic

The unfolding transition to cleaner energy will force utilities to respond in a few ways. Some are fighting incentives that promote clean energy, as seen in the brutal fight in Arizona over its net metering policy. Another approach is for utilities to get into the clean energy game, which many have been doing for some time. The latest example came on December 16 when Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy placed a $1 billion order for wind turbines in Iowa, as "a hedge for our customers going forward in an era of reduced coal generation," according to MidAmerican’s CEO Bill Fehrman.

Related article: Tasmania Seeking 100% Renewable Energy by 2020

Yet another approach is to scale back generation and embrace the bold new world of distributed generation. In Germany, several utilities have announced power plant closures and are considering transitioning into a model where they offer energy "services," such as trading and advice to customers, according to The Economist. Germany may be a harbinger of the future – in June 2013 prices actually went negative because of so much green power on the grid at one time. Germany’s two biggest utilities, E.On and RWE, have both seen their net income drop by one-third since 2010.

Earlier this year NRG CEO David Crane warned about the looming decline of the Big Utility, arguing that distributed generation poses a "mortal threat to the existing utility system." More telling was a January 2013 report from the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group for utilities, which concluded that distributed generation presents a "game changer" – strong words from an organization with an interest in preserving the confidence of investors. Add to the pile the latest UBS report, which concludes that utilities will not be able to survive in their current form.

By. Nick Cunningham

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This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Dec 04, 2013 viagra rx

Rick Barnett
EnergyBiz

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing has grown since its 2008 start as a solar financing tool, to include energy efficiency projects. PACE allows local government to administer efficiency loans using private capital and the jurisdiction’s property tax system. Local taxing agencies assume new responsibilities, in between private lenders and private property owners.

Also since 2008, the benefits of energy efficiency have been documented in numerous reports from a wide range of sources. For example, the often-mentioned "Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy" (July, 2009, McKinsey & Company) concludes: "Energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy, but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it". Efficiency is cast as a valuable resource, and a solution to "energy affordability, energy security, and greenhouse gas reduction". A summary of the McKinsey Report is available through the US Energy Information Agency: http://www.eia.gov/conference/2010/session9/granade.pdf bebidas energeticas y viagra

A more specific report about efficiency financing options was released by The Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank Group ("US Building Energy Retrofits", March, 2012). The Rockefeller-DB report states that "more than 3.3 million cumulative job years of employment could be created". can get levitra nhs

And in May, 2013, United Technologies (serving the global aerospace and building systems industries, www.utc.com ) produced "Unlocking American Efficiency". They concluded that, with existing technology and design practices, efficiency could generate "$65 billion dollars per year in savings, net of investment costs, for American households, businesses and government". The UTC report mentions PACE, but also notes that "utility efficiency programs deliver electricity demand reductions at an average cost of 5 cents per KWH, significantly below the cost of electricity supply in those areas".

While PACE has found widespread acceptance, most PACE loans are for commercial properties. PACENow (www.pacenow.org ) is a clearinghouse for PACE programs across the country. Last summer, the national organization Carbon War Room announced a partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund to launch "Clean Energy Green Corridor", a PACE program in South Florida. And the Texas Association of Manufacturers recently announced their support for PACE through a public-private coalition.

In 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rejected the PACE mechanism, and effectively eliminated PACE from the residential sector. Without a financing tool, the documented potential of residential efficiency cannot be unlocked. Responding to the growing need for more efficiency, the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee invited testimony on 6/28/12, about "non-federal" financing options for "energy efficient building retrofits".

The Committee heard 6 industry leaders describe their respective approaches to efficiency financing. The 6 presentations are here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=c217c8fd-0d77-465f-be7d-a6a4573cb34c

At the Senate Hearing, David Sundstrom described the well-known PACE program in Sonoma County, California. The Sonoma program is administered by the County tax department, and payments are made as an assessment added to regular property taxes. Homeowners borrow money from the County to pay for clean energy projects, including efficiency. The PACE loan is secured by the value of the property through a mechanism that affects the property’s mortgage. The mortgage interface is a key element of the FHFA controversy.

Another program presented at the Senate Hearing provides efficiency financing more directly than PACE. Shari Borrelli of the United Illuminating Company (a Connecticut utility) described the company’s "Small Business Energy Advantage Program". Her 4 page testimony can be found at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=c2ef48af-369c-4528-b888-7b8584db035a

The United Illuminating Company energy retrofit program is operated by a private utility. The program does not include transactions between homeowners and public agencies: it simply connects building contractors to the company’s energy customers, and uses in-house, on-bill financing. Repayment is secured by the customer’s need for energy, rather than a complex, mortgage-based mechanism.

Based on their experience providing energy services, utilities can be expected to deliver more efficiency per dollar invested, and create even greater opportunities for efficiency businesses and investors. Utility financing also eliminates the risk, however assessed, of the stalled PACE option. With their ability to tie efficiency loans to the meter rather than the house or owner, utilities have the key to unlocking a vast economic opportunity.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

NEWS RELEASE
ACEEE

ACEEE State Scorecard
Top 10 States Ranked in Energy Efficiency Scorecard: MA, CA, NY, OR, CT, RI, VT, WA, MD, and IL
5 States Most Needing Improvement: ND, WY, SD, AK, MS
5 Most Improved States: MS, ME, KS, OH, and WV

WASHINGTON, D.C., (November 6, 2013): Energy efficiency measures are thriving in state capitals around the United States, with several states—including Mississippi, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia—taking major steps that moved them up the ranks in the seventh annual edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). For the first time in the history of the State Scorecard, the 2013 ranking of the states is being released with the participation of a U.S. Department of Energy secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, along with a top elected official of a state, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Available online at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, the State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois. Massachusetts retains the top spot for the third year in a row based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act. In California, requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have led it to identify several strategies for smart growth, keeping the state in a top position at #2. Connecticut is also closing the gap due to passage of a major energy bill in 2013, and Illinois is making its first appearance in the top 10 this year, reaping the benefits of increased energy savings called for in the state’s energy efficiency resource standard.

According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota; Wyoming; South Dakota; Alaska; and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component More Help. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were: Maine, Kansas, and Ohio.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz said: "Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth."

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said: "Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency because we have made the choice to shape our future, rather than leave it to chance. We will continue to focus on policies that create jobs, decrease dependence on imported energy sources and protect our environment by reducing emissions."

ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel said: "In every region we are seeing states embrace energy saving measures with growing enthusiasm. From Massachusetts, which continues to be the pacesetter in the race to cut down energy waste, to Mississippi, which is emerging as a regional star, state governments are proving that smart policy can still cross partisan divides."

California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister said: "California continues earning its reputation as an energy leader by instituting the nation’s most advanced energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, and for pushing the envelope on ratepayer-funded efficiency programs. Our standards alone have helped save ratepayers more than $75 billion since 1975, grown California’s economy with local jobs, and protected our climate by reducing carbon emissions. ACEEE is providing a valuable service by recognizing energy efficiency leaders that other states can follow. We are proud to be one of the leaders."

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner and Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Brandon Presley said: "Cutting down on energy waste has become an integral strategy for securing Mississippi’s energy future, and we are proud to become the most improved state in this year’s State Scorecard. Investing in energy efficiency helps utilities meet growing energy demand, provides reliable service for our customers, and produces economic benefits like energy cost savings. We look forward to seeing Mississippi emerge as a regional leader in tapping the vast economic benefits of energy efficiency."

In the seventh edition of the State Scorecard, ACEEE ranks states on their energy efficiency policy and program efforts, and provides recommendations for ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in a variety of policy areas. The State Scorecard report serves as a benchmark for state efforts on energy efficiency policies and programs each year, encouraging states to strengthen their efficiency commitments as a pragmatic and effective strategy for promoting economic growth, securing environmental benefits, and increasing their communities’ resilience in the face of uncertain energy costs and supplies.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

Facing uncertain economic times, states are continuing to use energy efficiency as a key strategy to generate cost-savings, promote technological innovation, and stimulate growth. The ACEEE Scorecard documents the following trends:

  • Several states have made concentrated efforts related to energy efficiency. Arkansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania continue to reap the benefits of their energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), leading to substantially greater electricity efficiency investments and savings compared to what ACEEE reported in the 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
  • A total of 20 states fell in the rankings in the 2013 State Scorecard report, due to both changes in the report’s methodology and substantive changes in their performance. Idaho fell the furthest, by nine spots, largely because it did not keep up with peer states in utility efficiency spending and savings. Wisconsin dropped six spots, due to a significant drop in energy savings realized by the state’s efficiency program.
  • Connecticut passed a major energy bill in June 2013, calling for the benchmarking of state buildings, expanding combined heat and power programs, and doubling funding for energy efficiency programs.
  • The leading states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies are Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. All three of these states have long records of success and continue to raise the bar on the delivery of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and policies.
  • The leading states in building energy codes and compliance are California, Washington, and Rhode Island. During the past year, seven states adopted the latest iteration of building energy codes.

METHODOLOGY

The 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides a broad assessment of policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries, and transportation systems. The State Scorecard examines the six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency: utility and "public benefits" programs and policies; transportation polices; building energy codes and compliance; combined heat and power policies; appliance and equipment standards; and state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency.

ABOUT ACEEE

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit http://aceee.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell at (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com; and Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, an electronic copy of the ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report and a high-resolution image of the ACEEE "logo" will be made available upon request on November 6, 2013.


ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard:

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

September 5, 2013

Dave Fehling
StateImpact

Big Brown power plant in Freestone County

Big Brown power plant in Freestone County

As the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) considers changing the electricity market so there’s more money to build new power plants, a mystery has popped up: why aren’t Texans using as much electricity as predicted?

"There’s something that’s been going on recently with the forecasts, which affects a lot of things," said PUC commissioner Kenneth Anderson at the commission’s open meeting last week.

Who Turned the Lights Out?

Anderson said forecasts from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had predicted electricity demand would increase in 2013 by 2.1 percent.
In reality?

"It’s been barely one percent, if it’s even hit one percent," Anderson said.

Over at ERCOT where there’s a mission-control-style room used to monitor the flow of electricity around the state moment-by-moment, analysts are scratching their heads trying to figure out why they can’t make more accurate predictions year-to-year.

"It’s really hard to piece out, we don’t have that analysis done yet," said Warren Lasher, head of ERCOT’s systems planning.

Lasher said usually the non-farm employment numbers are a reliable indicator of how much more power will be used in homes, offices and factories. Employment in Texas is up by 2.7 percent compared to one year ago.

ERCOT's grid center in Taylor where controllers make daily forecasts of the next day's electric demand and supply down to every five minutes.

ERCOT’s grid center in Taylor where controllers make daily forecasts of the next day’s electric demand and supply down to every five minutes.

What’s more, oil and gas exploration and production is surging, gobbling up so much electricity that there are price spikes in West Texas. In homes, there are more big screen TVs, computers, and maybe even a car plugged-in to charge overnight.

And yet, the state’s power useage has increased only half what was predicted.

It’s quite the conundrum for ERCOT’s analysts.

"There’s a lot of different things going on," said Lasher. He said demand may have been decreased by fewer 100 degree days, higher peak prices for electricity, and customers utilizing "demand response" measures like curtailing energy use during peak times.

Lasher said ERCOT is updating its forecasting models.

"I think you’ll see those improvements when the next load forecast is released," said Lasher.

Why Forecasting Matters

Forecasting future demand for electricity is one factor in play as Texas considers whether it’s energy market that was "deregulated" in 2002 is failing to attract enough investment in new power plants.

Mike Hogan, former power company executive.

Mike Hogan, former power company executive.

"It’s way too soon to say the Texas market has been a failure. It’s probably too soon to say it’s been a success. But certainly a lot of eyes of the world are on Texas right now to see what Texas is going to do in this situation because it’s a big question that a lot of people are struggling with," said Mike Hogan, a former power company executive now with RAP (Regulatory Assistance Project), a non-profit group that does global energy consulting.

Hogan said that Texas might not actually need to move to what’s called a "capacity market" in which fees are artificially imposed on the price of power to fund additonal generation.

"(A capacity market) is kind of like Obamacare for electricity. It’s forcing people to buy insurance they wouldn’t otherwise buy for themselves," said Hogan in an interview with StateImpact.

He says another utility market, ISO New England, has used the capaity market concept.

"Guess what, they didn’t need new capacity. They thought they did. That’s the problem with regulators and generators. Generators always think you need more generation than you do," said Hogan. "We might just find out Texas actually doesn’t need any new capacity, at least not right now."

Hogan advocates what’s called a "capability market" that he describes as a capacity market that values more than just raw power generation.

The PUC has scheduled a workshop meeting October 8th to hear more from experts about ways to maintain enough generation capacity to cover the state’s expected electricity needs but at "economically optimal" cost.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

September 4, 2013

BY CASEY MURPHY
Tyler Morning Telegraph

Energy experts from across Texas converged Tuesday on Tyler for the inaugural Energy Innovation Conference.

Austin-based Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, or SEED, and Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association sponsored the conference, put on by Clean Energy Coops and attended by about 65 people at the Tyler Rose Garden, organizers said.

Alison Silverstein, president of The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, was the keynote speaker at the all-day event. She is a consultant, lecturer and writer on electric transmission and reliability, infrastructure security, energy efficiency, smart grid, renewable energy and technology adoption issues.

Ms. Silverstein replaced Tyler native Pat Wood, chairman of the board for Dynegy Inc., as keynote speaker after Wood was called by Gov. Rick Perry to help Brandy Marty, newly appointed Public Utility Commissioner.

Ms. Silverstein worked as senior policy advisor to Wood when he was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2001to 2004 and as his advisor when he was chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas for six years.

Ms. Silverstein discussed the electricity situation in Texas; capability versus capacity energy markets; energy efficiency and demand; energy and water; and cooperatives and the future of utilities good weight loss supplements.

She said 23 percent of consumption within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is coal, 57 percent is natural gas, 6 percent is nuclear and 13 percent is wind.

In the past year, energy use for appliances and electronics has increased for the first time. In the past, it has been heating and cooling homes that affected utility bills the most. But now with more than 25 devices, not counting appliances, in the average home, the net usage of electricity is increasing even though the devices are becoming more efficient, she said.

Consumers can do their part by installing energy efficient air conditioners and appliances, windows and other things for their homes, which start paying off immediately in energy costs, Ms. Silverstein said, adding they are seeing 10 percent to 30 percent in energy savings from those technologies. She said it creates lower energy bills, increases business competiveness and bill savings are usually pumped back into the local economy.

"There are absolute benefits with almost no risk," she said.

Ms. Silverstein said there is a huge amount of energy embedded in water, as well as water in energy.

The average household in Texas uses 267 gallons of water per day, but the No. 1 way to save water is to use less electricity, she said, adding that so much water is embedded in electricity, it is more than people use in their showers or on their lawns.

"Saving water is the only way we can solve the water availability problem and the drought problem," she said.

Other ways to save water, in addition to conserving electricity, include xeriscaping lawns, buying water-efficient appliances and fixing leaking water and wastewater pipes.

She said the members and owners of coops are its customers and they should help them find, install and finance energy efficient solutions to help them save energy and money to invest back into the community.

"Here in East Texas you have a lot of opportunities that individually are small but are huge in terms of benefits they create," she said. She asked the audience to think through the rifts, benefits and costs and consider the tradeoffs when making decisions.

Karen Hadden, executive director of SEED, said some local businesses are in the early stages of providing energy services, such as retrofitting houses to make them more efficient, putting in better lighting, windows and insulation. But, she said, there is room for more work in the solar and renewable energy realm, as well as geothermal, heat pumps for houses and buildings and small scale wind.

They chose Tyler for their first conference because, "There are a lot of people who have already started down this path in Tyler. It’s a great regional center."

Speakers from Tyler included Gary Bristow, senior vice president of Estes, McClure and Associates Inc.; and Phil Parks, president of Texas Responsible Energy and Efficiency, or TREE, in Tyler.

Ray Beavers also was one of the lead speakers. He is the general manager/CEO of United Services Cooperative, a utilities company based in Cleburne. Additional panelists included experts working for cooperatives, businesses and organizations Ms. Hadden said the discussions will be posted at www.CleanEnergyCoops.org.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.