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Finance

The Reformation Begins: New York Utility Proposes Community Solar, Microgrids-as-a-Service

July 31, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

As the New York Public Service Commission debates a proposal to reform the state's distribution utilities, Central Hudson Gas & Electric is getting out in front of the coming changes. The utility filed a $46 million rate case with the PSC last week, packaged under the title "Value for our Valley."[read more]

New Jersey Creates Nation's First Energy Resilience Bank

July 31, 2014 by Lewis Milford

New Jersey recently created the first “Energy Resilience Bank (ERB).” Designed to address a repeat of the devastating impacts of SuperStorm Sandy, when over 8 million people lost electric power in the region, the ERB will provide $200 million for municipalities to finance clean resilient power solutions.[read more]

Japan's Energy Security: The Time is Now to Secure Closer Pragmatic Relations with Russia

July 31, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Japan and International Ties

On May 15, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the seventh meeting of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security in his long quest to advance the reinterpretation of its ‘Pacifist’ Constitution and to allow finally for the exercise of Japan’s right to collective self-defense.[read more]

SolarCity Quietly Moving to Loans and Customer-Owned Solar

July 30, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

Solar Business Change

Officially, SolarCity, Sunrun and Vivint do not offer loans for the residential photovoltaic systems that they help finance and install. Unofficially, it's another story. These market-leading firms make their money with residential solar leases and power-purchase agreements. And business is pretty good.[read more]

Solar Scams Alive and Kicking in Australia

July 30, 2014 by Nigel Morris

I don’t want you to think I think it’s all doom and gloom because it’s not; but with the current climate, one can be sure we are facing a deep dip in the solar coaster ride. We’ll get through it like we have before but only if we pay close attention to details and do solar intelligently.[read more]

Plug and Play Solar: A Framework to Dramatically Decrease Solar Soft Costs

July 29, 2014 by Brian Vieweger

Plug and Play Solar and Soft Cost Reduction

At Intersolar North America this year, one of the unexpectedly interesting talks I attended was entitled Plug and Play Systems for Residential Rooftops. This probably sounds to most people like a gimmick. Plug and play solar panels have been around for a long time but have never been widely used.[read more]

SolarWorld Wins Again: Big Anti-Dumping Tariffs in US-China Solar Panel Trade Case

July 28, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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The Department of Commerce has again found for the petitioner, SolarWorld, in its Chinese solar module trade case. The preliminary decision imposes significant tariffs on Chinese solar modules in the anti-dumping portion of this case.[read more]

Why VATs on Solar Energy Hinder Progress on Energy Poverty

July 28, 2014 by Justin Guay

Solar Taxes and Energy Poverty

What difference can a value added tax make to the lives of those living in energy poverty? A big one. Currently, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa apply a value added tax (VAT) to clean energy products like solar lanterns and solar home systems.[read more]

GE Tackles Fuel Cells, Google Issues 'Little Box' Challenge, and Smart Grid Drones Prepare for Takeoff

July 27, 2014 by Lexie Briggs
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GE, Google, and Drones

Energy giant and AEE member General Electric is expanding its advanced energy product line to include fuel cells. Google is looking to shrink inverters. And utility San Diego Gas & Electric is getting ready to launch drones to check on transmission lines.[read more]

Colorado Town to East Coast Anti-Fracking Activists: You're Wrong

July 27, 2014 by Simon Lomax

Local officials in Erie, Colorado, are pushing back hard against a national environmental group for misrepresenting the outcome of a failed “ban fracking” campaign in their town. The officials say the Massachusetts-based group has “ignored or misstated” the facts.[read more]

Con Ed Looks to Batteries, Microgrids, and Efficiency to Delay $1B Substation Build

July 26, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Consolidated Edison is taking a new approach to delivering reliable power that is as radical as the gentrification sweeping New York’s outer boroughs. Con Ed filed a proposal for a Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management Program, or BQDM, that it hopes can defer the cost of building a $1 billion substation.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On Major Oil Field Development Woes

July 26, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Oil Field Issues

The hits keep on coming for companies invested in the North Caspian Operating Company, the consortium developing Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil field. One of the world’s largest and most complex oil field development projects, Kashagan has been plagued by delays and cost overruns for years.[read more]

Here's What Utilities Really Think About Microgrids

July 25, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Microgrids and Utility Opinions

There is just over a gigawatt worth of microgrids scattered throughout the country. While many of those projects have proved their value during major storms or extended outages, they are largely custom-engineered and limited to public facilities like schools, hospitals and military bases.[read more]

What Will the 21st Century Grid Look Like?

July 25, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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It seems everyone involved with renewable energy and climate change is asking the same question these days. What will the 21st century grid look like? This is one of the key questions the Department of Energy is asking as part of the first “Quadrennial Energy Review.”[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Oil and Natural Gas Sales Accounted for 68% of Russia's Total Export Revenues in 2013

July 25, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Russia Fuel Sales

Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these kinds of fuels accounted for 68 percent of Russia's total export revenues in the year 2013, based on data from Russia's Federal Customs Service.[read more]