The Big Shift in Energy is Not What You Think

The energy business cycle has always been dominated by boom and bust cycles.  Through changes in technology, economic conditions and regulation nothing has altered that cyclical pattern.  We have, however, seen driving forces of change affect the energy business cycle both for the good and not so good. The Big Shift in energy today is Read more about The Big Shift in Energy is Not What You Think[…]

Natural Gas is Cleaner, Cheaper, Easier and Riskier

There is much to like in the growth of natural gas as the marginal fuel of choice for power generation.  Clean, cheap, easier to site, quicker to build, fewer regulatory or environmental hassles—-and it cuts emissions 40% compared to coal. A new study by Professor Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell University, recently published in the journal Read more about Natural Gas is Cleaner, Cheaper, Easier and Riskier[…]

Putting Competition to the Test in Renewable Energy

One of the solar’s largest trade shows is being held in San Francisco July 9-12, 2012.  The Intersolar North America exhibition and conference for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities in the U.S. solar market may turn into a large job fair.  The problem is like the solar industry itself there may Read more about Putting Competition to the Test in Renewable Energy[…]

Debt Deal Warnings for Energy Subsidies

The drama that produced the deal to raise the national debt ceiling without increasing taxes is sending warning shots across the bow for many industries.  The message for energy subsidies including the tax credits and treasury tax grants for wind and solar as well as tax credits for oil and gas companies could not be Read more about Debt Deal Warnings for Energy Subsidies[…]

California Races to the Solar Stimulus Finish Line

In order to qualify for Federal stimulus money renewable energy projects must be approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies and meet other requirements by December 31, 2010—or else.  The California Energy Commission is in a race to finish its work on as many projects as possible in order to leave no potential funding behind. The Read more about California Races to the Solar Stimulus Finish Line[…]

No More Grid Excuses Get with the Renewables Program

That was the not so subtle message from the recently released NREL Western Wind and Solar Integration Study[1] confirmed what many have been saying for years—there are no significant impediments to integrating wind and solar renewable energy into the power grid.  The NREL study went further saying that it is operationally possible to add up Read more about No More Grid Excuses Get with the Renewables Program[…]

Germany: Another FiT Bites the Dust

As widely expected Germany reduced its solar photovoltaic feed-in-tariff (FiT) by 17% effective April 1. 2010 following the earlier lead of Spain which took the same action last year.  This cut is deeper than expected and comes at least a quarter sooner than once thought likely and is on top of the 10 percent already Read more about Germany: Another FiT Bites the Dust[…]

Don't Take Grid Reliability for Granted

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has released in long Term Reliability Assessment report highlighting the needs for the transmission grid. [1] “The economic recession has essentially bought us a few years to address capacity and resource concerns across North America,” commented Mark Lauby, Director of Reliability Assessments and Performance Analysis at NERC. “But Read more about Don't Take Grid Reliability for Granted[…]

The Race for Global Renewable Energy Market Share

I come not to curse the Chinese but to praise them for unleashing the forces of global competition in the solar power sector by using the dynamic equilibrium of subsidies and incentives to shake-up and shake-out the solar industry.  The result is that the global competition for market share is a wide open race and Read more about The Race for Global Renewable Energy Market Share[…]