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Comments by Silvio Marcacci Subscribe

On Which States Win And Which States Lose On The Production Tax Credit?

On the whole, I agree with AWEA's position on the IER study and the fact that it comes from a biased point of view, as noted in my post.

However, I think that by rebutting the study instead of using it to your advantage, the wind industry misses a good opportunity. The four biggest "winners" in this study are Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and North Dakota - why not use the IER findings that the PTC was a net benefit to build supprt for PTC renewal among those states' Members of Congress? The two biggest "losers" were California and New York, and I don't think IER's report will undercut support for clean energy policy in those two states.

Wind energy's positive economic and environmental benefits are clear - why not use this report as a way to define them for skeptical legislators?

December 16, 2013    View Comment    

On Analysis: 50 Percent Reduction In Renewable Energy Cost Since 2008

Thanks for flagging, Willem. While I wasn't saying Lazard's analysis is the definitive measure, the differences between the two are notable. Without knowing all the factors that went into each report, it's tough to say which is more accurate.

September 27, 2013    View Comment    

On Analysis: 50 Percent Reduction In Renewable Energy Cost Since 2008

In just about every instance, clean coal scrubbers or carbon capture and sequestration push coal power past the point of competition with all other sources of energy except for new nuclear. And that doesn't include the external costs of climate change, sick populations from air pollution, or environmental impacts like mining or mercury pollution. You can't ignore those factors if you ignore LCOE for renewables. 

September 27, 2013    View Comment    

On Dazzling Dozen US States Illuminate Path To Solar Energy Future

I think it's a bit naive to say natural gas is an effective option for those seeking to avoid boom-bust price cycles. Just a decade ago the US natgas price market was incredibly volatile and expensive. True, shale gas has changed all that, but the price of natgas is already on the upswing and coal is elbowing back into the mix. Add to that expected increases in domestic demand through the current generation buildout/transportation use, and international demand through LNG exports, and prices will almost certainly rise. 

Multiple reports predict grid parity for solar in the very near future, and obviously there's zero cost of the commodity once installed. True, government subsidies are helping drive installations, but the shale revolution was also funded by government research grants and loans. This is just the evolution of energy generation, and Arizona is getting left behind in an industry it should be leading.

July 31, 2013    View Comment    

On California Smashes Solar Energy Record

Willem,

Cal-ISO's press release didn't say how long the peak generation period lasted, only that it hit peak just before 1:00 p.m. - just around the time typical peak demand starts to hit.

June 13, 2013    View Comment    

On Costs and Hazards of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction

Thanks for including us in your post, Rod. We're dedicated to exploring America's energy challenges and potential solutions, and felt shale gas was an important topic to cover. As you mention, we recieved our start-up funding from ACSF, and this is an important segment in demonstrating our editorial integrity. Our goal in this segment was to take a balanced look at both sides of the issue, discussing natural gas' role in the U.S. economy while bringing some of the serious health concerns of fracking to light. From your commentary, it seems we succeeded. 

July 29, 2011    View Comment    

On The U.S. Military Targets Fossil Fuel Addiction

Thanks for watching the clip and for your comment, Rick.

You're right that increased procurement by the military definitely represents a large market, and increased stability, for biofuels and renewables. Secretary Mabus alluded to this potential during the segment. While it may not be enough to fill the void left by comprehensive federal policy toward renewables, it could help establish a realistic market for clean fuels to plan against.

It's interesting to note the U.S. Agriculture Department recently predicted ethanol plants will overtake livestock farmers as the biggest domestic consumers of corn for the first time in 2011. http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFN1E76B08320110712

Perhaps this is the start of a larger trend?

 

July 19, 2011    View Comment