Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Utility Sees Profit In The EPA Clean Power Plan

Excel Energy should be lauded for their fact based business decision regarding the most cost effective source of new energy.  The author states in the article  .. “What’s unique about this is you have got a major utility in a coal-intensive region … making decisions demonstrating that utilities can in fact cost-effectively invest in these technologies and transition themselves to a much lower carbon profile in a fairly quick fashion…Xcel should be touted for that.”

Which Energy Sector Employs The Most People?

Have you ever wondered how many jobs there are in the solar industry compared to the coal or oil and gas industries?  The results are in for 2015.  The solar industry employed 208,859 people while the oil and gas employment was 187,200 and coal mining was far behind at 67,929 jobs.  Whats more the only one of these sectors growing is the solar industry.  The complete article is here.

And now some politicians and utilities are trying to put the brakes on this economic growth with the upshot being job losses.

Some utilities are feeling their business models are in danger of being “Kodaked” and are fighting the 21st  century energy paradigm by claiming their customers with solar panels are not paying their fair share of the costs for the grid.  So what they are saying is, if customer “A” buys some solar panels to reduce their electric bill and customer “B” buys some new high efficiency appliances to reduce their electric bill then customer “A” isn’t paying their fair share and should pay additional fees on that bill.  It is easy to see that argument makes no sense and is just a smoke screen by the utilities to maintain their 20th century business model at the solar customers expense.

Ultimately it makes sense that the utilities / grid operators need to be fairly compensated by all customers for the grid operation and maintenance.  It also makes sense that the customers who ship some unused solar energy to the grid should be fairly compensated for the value of that energy and the value the grid operator derives from that shipment.  Today in most places net metering is used to determine that value for the customer.  Net metering is defined as a one for one credit for electricity shipped to the grid by the customer. That credit can be used at a later time without charge to the customer who generated it.

Ever wonder how climate models work?

Here is a link to a story about the NASA Center for Climate Simulation.  There is a very cool .. ‘er warm, video in the middle of the article.  Don’t forget to click on it and watch it play.

An article about oil and gas subsidies verses wind and solar.

Have you ever wondered what we taxpayers get as payment for use of our federal lands for energy development?  This article explains fees and points out the sweet deal that the oil and gas industry gets on federal lands.

What is a Solar Garden and what are the tax implications of joining?

A Solar Garden is simply a group of solar panel arrays at one location that is owned by multiple people or businesses located elsewhere.  It is called a Solar Garden because it is similar to a community vegetable garden where people share a large garden subdivided into smaller plots.  New York State has recently authorized “Solar Gardens” or community solar projects within the state.  The NYS term for a Solar Garden concept is Community Distributed Generation or simply Community DG.  Here is a link to the NYSERDA webinar materials regarding Community DG.

CDG Webinar

 In addition this next article starts to shed some light on the tax implications for the participants in Community DG.