Sign up | Login with →

Comments by Jim Pierobon Subscribe

On New Study: America's Data Centers Consuming, and Wasting, Growing Amounts of Energy

Excellent post Pierre. Where can I learn about the concentration of data centers in Loudoun County, VA, about 30 miles west of Washington, DC.? If data centers there could power at least a portion of their electricity with solar and/or wind, those companies could save a significant amount of money.

August 30, 2014    View Comment    

On Utility Clean Energy Deployment: Do Enough Customers and Stakeholders Care in Virginia?

A Siegel,

Thank you for your inputs. Here is how Dominion spokesman David Botkins replied to my request for their information. I think we're missing an apples-to-apples comparison. I believe Dominion does have lower rates and bills but I hope to flesh out the relevant data.

Botkins: "My guess is that is a compiled average of all the utilities in Virginia, which also includes some co-opts…NOVa Electric Co-Op is considerably higher than us.  The latest 2014 rate numbers for Dominion Virginia Power are here: https://www.dom.com/dominion-virginia-power/customer-service/rates-and-tariffs/pdf/residential-rate-comparison.pdf"

August 6, 2014    View Comment    

On Here is One Forward-Looking and Very Ambitious Clean Energy Plan for Virginia

Robert, 

You nailed it about the absence of standardized nuclear, which I have written about previously (e.g. using thorium). BUT, the nuclear establishment in this country doesn't buy it. And thus it's not going to happen. Who can break through this mental logjam?

 

July 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Here is One Forward-Looking and Very Ambitious Clean Energy Plan for Virginia

M. van Dorp:


Thank you for your thoughts. If you've seen an objective, fact-based, study on markets for clean energy in the states, please do share.

About nuclear: also do share how you think the entrenched approach to nuclear in the U.S., vis a vis other approaches globally, can possibly be justified without huge taxpayer subsidies?

 

 

 

July 16, 2014    View Comment    

On EPA Rules Paving the Way for Energy Storage Technologies

Matt and/or fellow readers: Bravo for connecting all of these dots. In addition to the California energy storage mandate and EPA's draft 111(d) carbon rules now up for comment, what other policy or technology developments with the most potential to boost storage should we watch for over the next 2 years or so?
June 5, 2014    View Comment    

On 10 Key Questions for Assessing EPA's Proposed Carbon Rules Under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act

Rick,


Where do you think biomass can make the biggest difference? Among the states I would watch is Virginia, where the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is quick to brag about its biomass plant.

 

June 3, 2014    View Comment    

On 10 Key Questions for Assessing EPA's Proposed Carbon Rules Under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act

John,

These are all excellent questions the answers to which will contribute to the success or failure of EPA's proposed rules, especially since it will likely require a Democratic president from 2017 - 2020 to defend them.

The most important question of yours is #15: World carbon emissions are bound to increase regardless of what the U.S. does, at least for the foreseeable future. Which begs this question: How much will Germany's, and the United States' leadership, serve as an example to follow?

 

June 3, 2014    View Comment    

On Winds of Change for Cleaner Energy and More Efficiency in Virginia, How Steep is the Uphill Struggle?

Okay, so you believe in the century+ old regulated utility model. I'll get that; so we're not likely to agree on much.

As someone who learned in MD, PA, NJ and DE how solar is creating new jobs, creating new tax revenues for states and local jurisdications AND helping homeowners and businesses reduce their peak power costs with their own solar systems, I say there should be a market that makes solar a realistic option. In Virginia it's not yet.

Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power are wary of how attractive that option may soon be because they're working to pass or raise "standby" charges on solar system owners, with no consideration how especially peak weekday stress on the grid is reduced by solar.

If Dominion gets its way with its latest request to raise rates 4% due to their growing exposure to natural gas fuel costs, that rate advantage might not be such a good deal. Of course, there is no such risk with solar, whose costs will continue to decline.

If we deleted all the tax benefits of fossil fuels and scrapped those for renewables sources of power, choices in the marketplace would align with both a state's and the nation's economic and environmental goals.

What is it that you do for a living? Are you a utility ratepayer in Virginia (as I am)? Have you communicated with lawmakers in the VA General Assembly about solar (as I have)? Have you testified before the State Corporation Commission (as many of my colleagues have)? If so, please share any live links. 

May 14, 2014    View Comment    

On Winds of Change for Cleaner Energy and More Efficiency in Virginia, How Steep is the Uphill Struggle?

Bob,

Thank you for chiming in. I fully acknowledge how Dominion Virginia Power's rates are relatively low. I'm simply making the case that electricity users, as in most markets, would benefit by enabling competition which often introduces significant innovations. Maybe those rates climb up a bit, maybe they decline. I trust market forces rather than a single provider. And that provider in each service territory has what many believe is way too much influence in both the General Assembly and the State Corporation Commission.

Do you trust the traditional utility model and a single provider more than free market forces?

 

May 14, 2014    View Comment    

On Sixth Graders in Charlottesville, Virginia Step Up To Urge Dominion Virginia Power Toward Renewables, No More Nuclear

M Nadir:

Many thanks for the articulate defense of nuclear energy. Seeing the role and value of next generation nuclear seems to be no huge lift outside the U.S. Here in the states, it's mostly a PR problem -- provided someone can solve the permanent waste challenge. That's what most of the students focused on. Some acknowledged the absence of harmful carbon emissions so they aren't totally opposed to it. The opposition to a third reactor at North Anna is based primarily on the fact it sits on an active fault line -- as we were reminded here in VA in August 2011 with that 5.8 quake.

How would you propose to turn the tide back in favor of nuclear in the U.S.? And how can next gen reactors be financed without huge government subsidies and payments by ratepayers before those reactors start operating (e.g. the way Georgia Power customers are paying for the reactor under construction at Vogtle?

 

May 8, 2014    View Comment    

On Sixth Graders in Charlottesville, Virginia Step Up To Urge Dominion Virginia Power Toward Renewables, No More Nuclear

Nicholas,

You should contact the front office at Sutherland Middle School in Albemarle County and ask to speak to either of the teachers, Kathleen Haan or Rachel Benham. 434-975-0599.

May 7, 2014    View Comment    

On Sixth Graders in Charlottesville, Virginia Step Up To Urge Dominion Virginia Power Toward Renewables, No More Nuclear

Nate,


These students are the real deal. It took guts to stand up to the three commissioners who are widely viewed to cede the future of energy in Virginia to the state's monopoly utilities.


I asked two of the eight students if they were interested in energy and the environment and both quickly replied yes. Too bad they'll leave the state becasue Virginia is no friend to renewables and energy efficiency. See my column on that slated for next week.

May 7, 2014    View Comment