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Archive for April, 2017

Tesla Halts SolarCity’s Door-to-Door Residential PV Sales to Focus on Retail and Online

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In order to support my baseball card habit as an adolescent in Brooklyn, I resorted to working as a door-to-door New York Times subscription salesperson.

Man, I hated that job.

Speaking of door-to-door sales, SolarCity had a company-wide meeting today, according to a source, and announced that door-knocking salespeople at SolarCity/Tesla are now a thing of the past.

We asked Tesla for a comment and here’s what they had to say:

“As part of the integration with SolarCity, we have decided to eliminate our door-to-door sales channel for our energy products. After careful consideration, we believe this decision reflects what most of our prospective customers prefer, and will result in a better experience for them. We have recently begun to expand our retail and online channels for energy products, and we expect the growth of these channels to end up more than offsetting the loss of door-to-door sales. The vast majority of affected employees will be reassigned or provided an opportunity to interview for other positions that will help support our expanded retail efforts, the overall success of the company, and the delivery of new solar and storage products across the country.”

This shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. A recent Tesla SEC filing included this: “We plan to reduce customer acquisition costs by cutting advertising spend and increasingly selling solar products in Tesla stores.” GTM stopped by a few Tesla stores last month and didn’t see a lot of solar offerings, but we’ll be checking back for an update.

A recent episode of The Energy Gang took on the topic of door-to-door sales. Stephen Lacey, gang leader noted, “It’s kind of the exact opposite of the software platform-based approach.”

GTM Solar Analyst Nicole Litvak, added some perspective: “A lot of companies spun out of Vivint. People left Vivint and decided to start their own door-to-door sales company. Some of them were just doing the origination and then selling those systems to other companies. There’s a company called Legacy Power that originates for Sunrun. Some of the other companies were actually doing the installs themselves, like Suncrest Solar. Since those original companies, no one else has really been able to scale nationally.”

Gang member Jigar Shah might be on the side of door-to-door, saying, “In the end I think this is going to have to use tried-and-true methods, right? Sort of old is new, like Avon or Amway or whatever.” He added, “In this business, I don’t think much has changed since people were selling encyclopedias door-to-door or vacuum cleaners or anything else. I think the Internet is great for data, but otherwise, this is really about just old is new business models.”

Attila Toth, CEO of PowerScout, an AI-driven marketplace for smart home improvement, recently wrote in GTM: “Residential solar customer acquisition costs are now twice as expensive as the actual solar panels, the most important component of the system. This is crazy.”

“Customer acquisition costs must be reduced by an order of magnitude,” he added. “Achieving this goal requires a fundamental shift in the way solar is sold.”

And today’s move by Tesla is certainly a fundamental change in the way solar is sold.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - April 30, 2017 at 6:11 am

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A Taxonomy of Building Energy Management Platforms, Gateways to the Grid Edge [GTM Squared]


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U.N. Risk Chief: Put a Price on Disasters

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Calculating the costs of natural disasters is a valuable way for governments to recognize and limit the potential for damage, especially as extreme weather linked to climate change occurs more often, the United Nations’ disaster prevention chief says.

Recent deadly landslides caused by floods in Peru and Colombia show the urgent need for governments to prepare better and invest more, said Robert Glasser, head of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

People cross a flooded street after a massive landslide and flood in the Huachipa district of Lima, Peru on March 17, 2017.
Credit: REUTERS/Guadalupe Pard

“It’s important to quantify the costs. As long as the costs of these disasters are invisible, it is very easy to ignore them, and it’s very hard to make the case to spend money on prevention,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview this week.

“It’s about tying climate risk together with disaster risk more broadly and quantifying the costs historically and projecting future costs,” he said.

The heavy human toll and economic damage of flooding were laid bare in Colombia this month when two landslides killed more than 330 people and left thousands of others homeless.

Flooding in Peru last month killed more than 100 people, while Hurricane Matthew in Haiti last year caused more than 600 deaths and $2.7 billion in economic losses.

“With climate change, we are seeing a marked increase in extreme weather,” Glasser said.

Global economic losses from disasters have reached an average of $250 billion to $300 billion annually, according to a 2015 report by UNISDR.

A yearly global investment of $6 billion would pay off in benefits of $360 billion in less damage and fewer economic losses in 15 years, the report said.

Yet spending on preparedness and resilience remains low. The U.N. has called on governments to spend at least 1 percent of development aid by 2020 on disaster preparation, but they currently spend just half that amount.

Residents cross a flooded street after rivers breached their banks due to torrential rains in Juarmey, Ancash, Peru on March 22, 2017.
Credit: REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

Experts plan to address ways of lessening the impact of disasters and boosting funding next month in Mexico at a major meeting to review progress on the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction that was adopted in Japan in 2015.

Protecting the Environment

Basic measures to reduce the impact of flooding include mapping flood-plain areas, modeling flood water flows and having early warning systems in place, including alerts on cell phones, to evacuate people in time, Glasser said.

Another key measure is preventing the building of settlements on precarious slopes and along river banks.

“There’s a huge return on investment with money spent on disaster risk reduction,” he said.

Reducing the impact of disasters is linked to efforts to protect environment, he added. 

By protecting mangroves that are cut down to make way for shrimp farms, islands can reduce the impact of storm surges. And stopping deforestation and soil erosion that reduce the ability of soil to retain water limits landslide damage, he said.

“There is a disconnect between environmental degradation and its impact on humans,” Glasser said.

In Colombia, about 40 percent of the country’s land  – 45 million hectares – shows high levels of soil erosion, according to recent academic research.

Nearly 12 million Colombians are at risk from disaster, according to Colombia’s environment minister, Luis Gilberto Murillo. Some 500 of Colombia’s municipalities are at medium or high alert for flood and landslide risks, he said earlier this week.

Reporting by Anastasia Moloney, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:03 am

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Sunnova CEO on $775 Million Raise, and the ‘New Stage’ of Residential Solar

Residential solar financier Sunnova Energy Corp. closed a new round of funding this week that includes a private placement by its subsidiary, Helios Issuer, of approximately $255 million of asset-backed notes.

Credit Suisse acted as the sole structuring agent and sole bookrunner. The deal also includes two warehouse credit facilities in an aggregate principal amount of $360 million. Combined, this represents a $615 million round of funding. It’s also Sunnova’s first asset-backed notes securitization, and one of the largest in the industry’s history.

A day after announcing the raise, Sunnova closed on the issuance of $80 million of senior secured notes, bringing the company’s total 2017 capital raise to $775 million.

Sunnova says it has now raised more than $2 billion in the past four years from various sources, including tax equity, debt and corporate equity, from private equity firms, institutional investors and major Wall Street banks.

The funding round was a bit of good news for the residential solar sector in the wake of Sungevity’s sudden bankruptcy, a looming solar trade dispute and shifts in the marketplace that have prompted large players like SolarCity and Vivint to reassess their business strategy. In recent months, the residential solar industry has also been questioned over misleading sales practices and consumer protection measures.

In an interview several months ago, Sunnova CEO John Berger predicted there would be a spate of residential solar company bankruptcies. Since that interview, Sungevity and Verengo Solar have gone bust, One Roof has started to sell off its assets, rumors have emerged of troubles at Spruce and several other solar industry players have had to make layoffs.

While there’s bound to be more turmoil ahead, Berger (who is speaking at the upcoming 10th Annual Solar Summit) said his outlook is much sunnier today. “There are a lot of positive things that are going on in the industry, but the industry clearly has changed and shifted into a new stage,” he said in an interview this week. “New leadership is emerging,” he said, as some companies fail to turn the corner with their business model.

“We continue to see that our industry is a power industry, and that residential solar is becoming conventional power, which is a good thing for all of what we’re trying to achieve as an industry,” Berger continued. “What really goes to the heart of it is if you manage a good financial ship, the investors will come, the lenders will come.”

Cleaning up the home solar industry’s act

Sunnova is currently registered to do business in 20 states and active in 15, working predominantly on the coasts with an emerging presence in Texas. The pure-play residential solar financier is the sixth largest residential financier in the country and the fifth largest third-party-ownership financier, according to GTM Research. Sunnova’s overall market share was 3 percent in 2016, down from 6 percent in 2015. 

Berger attests that business is healthy. Sunnova has been EBITDA positive for 14 straight months, and is approaching cash flow positive, he said. The company hasn’t done anything unique to get to this point, “we’re just doing things like the conventional power business,” he said. “That’s obviously a lot more of what investors want to see.”

Where Sunnova differentiates itself is on customer care, the CEO said. “We want to make sure there’s the proper oversight involved in both the sales and certainly the installation process, and if something is not right there, that the company that did it — in this case us — makes it right,” he said.

Whether a customer wants a lease, a PPA, a levelized PPA, or a loan, Sunnova calls it a “solar service agreement.” A key part of these agreements is offering a robust operations and maintenance service. The notion that an installer can set and forget a solar project for 20 years is “ridiculous, and it frankly ought to be against the law,” Berger said.

There need to be proper protections for consumers, including quality assurance and quality control. “We need some cleanup going on in our industry or … we’re going to continue to see these negative stories,” he said, referring to a recent article on PACE loans in the Wall Street Journal.

Berger is wary of blending solar sales with energy efficiency, having sold both in the past. In his view, companies that try to sell solar and efficiency together can’t get profitable, and the better play is to have focus.

He said he’s also wary of some of the solar loan providers out there. If he had to call it, Berger predicted one or two more companies in the residential solar space will really struggle in the coming months. It may not be a bankruptcy, but there will be some kind of a “shakeout,” which could be triggered by a regulatory crackdown, he said.

Congress recently introduced a bill, for instance, that requires PACE issuers to make additional disclosures to potential residential solar customers. The PACE industry has said the legislation would effectively kill the sector.

“I think if you have enough of the regulatory authorities coming in, whether it’s the attorney-generals’ offices or the feds or whatever it may be, maybe joint agencies coming after [consumer protection], you can see enough big enough fines and lawsuits that certain firms would not be able to withstand that kind of financial pressure,” Berger said.

Berger didn’t name any company names, and he praised efforts by the PACE industry and others to improve customer protections. To that end, the Solar Energy Industries Association launched a nationwide consumer education campaign and “protection portal” last month. Solar transaction disclosures are now also available online.

The solar industry needs to clean up its act “or the government is going to step in and clean it up for us, and that would be unfortunate,” Berger said.

Customer choice and a new energy storage offering

Berger reiterated that the solar story is, overall, a positive one. And as shifts take place within the industry, they’re also taking place in the broader energy landscape in a way that’s beneficial for solar. Electricity markets are becoming more consumer-friendly, with major efforts led by New York, California and most recently Nevada. Texas is already thriving retail market and the Federal Energy Regulation Commission is looking at ways to expand access to wholesale energy markets.

“This is just unprecedented, the speed at which things are happening, in terms of becoming an open and free market that’s consumer-friendly, that promotes consumer choice,” Berger said. “That is something that has everything to do with solar, residential solar … which is very, very positive for our industry.”

As the customer choice conversation evolves, solar companies and utilities need to address how to better integrate rooftop solar with the centralized grid and create favorable policies surrounding that.

Berger said he could see the industry adopting some kind of minimum bill structure to ensure solar customers are paying their fair share to support the grid network. However, slapping solar customers with, say, a $50 monthly fee “is just abusive,” he said.

For Sunnova’s part, the company plans to enhance customer choice by starting to offer energy storage. Chief Marketing Officer Jordan Frugé said the company is currently packaging up storage with solar and a full O&M package to last for the duration of the customer’s lease.

The battery systems are designed primarily for rate arbitrage, and not for backup power. The company is in the process of signing up new customers in Hawaii, targeting the self-supply tariff. On the island of Oahu, Frugé said Sunnova is able to deliver 19-cent power with solar-plus-storage, where customers are currently paying the utility around 27 cents per kilowatt-hour. “It’s pretty significant savings to the customer, all with no money down,” he said.

As policies and markets continue to evolve, Berger said he hopes utilities will look to cooperate with solar companies for the benefit of the customers.

“I think our industry is very much in going in the right direction. We’ve got a few things that we need to clean up and do better, but I think we’ve entered a nice, good new stage of growth with a new leg up,” said Berger. “Like I said, the sun is rising, not setting.”


Join GTM for the 10th Annual Solar Summit & 2nd Annual S3 Solar Software Summit in Arizona May 16-18. We’ve got the biggest names in the solar industry confirmed to attend and speak. And we’ve got a packed agenda of topics including solar software, energy storage, finance, community solar, corporate procurement, balance of systems, and much more. Check out the event site here.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - April 29, 2017 at 6:50 am

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How the Internet of Things in Buildings, Manufacturing and Agriculture Will Differ From Each Other

Early in the internet of things (IOT) adoption cycle, it’s often assumed the technologies will permeate industries in roughly the same way.

But there will be differences across major sectors of the economy — and it’s helpful to understand how those differences will influence IOT adoption.

IOT adoption assumptions

Many believe that the core value proposition applies to different industries in the same way — more data from more sensors (things) combined with machine learning and predictive analytics will unlock significant value to tune operations. The industry-specific data is a detail that can be addressed with user interface tweaks.

There are many firms building multi-industry IOT platforms. These companies typically invest in a variety of platform components such as data sensors and hardware, data science algorithms, and a front-end user interface. This model has been successfully implemented in the past: Sales and marketing automation software solutions, among others, are designed for nearly all industries.

But there is an open question for IOT in general, and IOT for buildings specifically: Will platforms be industry-agnostic? With the IOT adoption curve in buildings mimic other industries? 

Looking at the opportunity for IOT solutions within factories, agricultural facilities, and buildings indicates that the adoption curves will be significantly different. On one hand, all three of these industries have assets that are geographically distributed, a fragmented vendor landscape, sales and customer support that is dependent on relationship-driven networks, and a reliance on third-party service contractors to deliver the full solution to end users.

An IOT solution can cut out the inefficiency and transform how end users perform their jobs in a new, more data-driven way, right? 

Maybe not. There are significant differences between these industries.

Understanding the differences between buildings, agriculture and manufacturing

Buildings, even without an IOT solution, already have a high level of current data about operations, based on extensive existing sensor networks (typically the building automation system, plus lighting control, energy metering, and others). Additionally, many buildings do not have clearly quantifiable and compelling value propositions for IOT solutions.

This is significantly different than agricultural sites, which typically have very little data about their operations. It also is different than factories, which can easily quantify a reduction in defects or an increase in assembly line productivity. Looking at these two metrics — current operational data visibility and quantifiable value — is a good way to understand the challenges that IOT solutions will have in buildings. 

Certain metrics make buildings look like a home run for IOT solutions. Most commercial buildings already have many sensors and systems that are disconnected from the cloud. Additionally, 30 percent of energy in buildings is wasted, which adds up for portfolio owners and enterprises with many locations. A recent McKinsey report on IOT estimates that connectivity can reduce energy in buildings by 20 percent and can lead to a nearly 20 percent increase in productivity. 

The 20 percent energy savings is a big number, but it is likely only a few percentage points of the total operating budget, given that energy typically is a smaller cost compared to total facility spend and workforce costs.

Productivity increases are compelling, but how can they be measured? If an employee can do 8 hours of work in 7 hours, what does that mean to his or her employer? There are good data to indicate that green buildings are more productive buildings and cut down on employee sick days, but it is hard to quantify this on a building-by-building basis.

Additionally, buildings already have very comprehensive data networks, called building automation systems (among other control and data networks). A complex domestic office building may have up to 10,000 BAS points. Over a year, if the BAS is trending (saving to a disk) the data every 15 minutes, there will be a total of 350 million time-stamped pieces of data that can be accessed by facility management professionals. Adding submeters as an IOT solution deployment will increase the level of data, but even 5 meters per floor of a 50-story building is a fractional increase in data. 

Connecting the data — BAS, submeter, or other — to the cloud, serving it up in a dashboard, and providing some analytics on this information does have value. But it is not a 10x improvement when much of the data already can be found in the on-premise BAS.

The IOT opportunity in factories tells a different story. Many industrial facilities do have advanced programmable logic controller (PLC) systems that provide good data visibility. But there is wide interest in improving the level of data collection.

A recent survey from PwC on IOT in manufacturing found that 35 percent of firms have implemented smart sensors to collect detailed operational data. Another 40 percent of firms plan to implement IOT solutions in the future. The paper also highlights specific factories that have installed up to 10,000 new sensors as part of an IOT deployment, comparable to a standard commercial building BAS. Similar to buildings, a lot of the data collected is not used. A recent Industrial Internet Consortium report found that 99 percent of factory data is discarded without being used to provide any insight.

As factories begin to use the data they have, or collect more from new sensors, they will realize a significant increase in data visibility. This has a compelling and quantifiable benefit.

The organization IoT Analytics reports that the average factory runs at 60-70 percent overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and “world class” factories are just 85 percent OEE. Increasing equipment use has a direct impact on the top line of manufacturing facilities.

The McKinsey report notes that while the total economic impact of IOT by 2025 in offices is between $70 and $150 billion, it is between $1.2 and $3.7 trillion in factories. (This is the largest sector by total economic impact in the McKinsey report.) 

Agricultural sites like farms also have been focused on IOT solutions, because the value can be quantified clearly and in a compelling way. Additionally, many farms are starting at a very “data-light” position. Specifically, OnFarm, an agtech vendor, estimates that the average farm will generate 4.1 million data points per day by 2050, up from 190,000 in 2014.

Additionally, farms can quantify the value of agtech solutions because they lead to higher yields, another top-line benefit. A 2016 Deloitte report on agriculture quantified two areas of growth driven by agtech — a 30 percent potential increase in yield and a 33 percent reduction in value chain losses. The report conveys a sense that the vendor landscape and range of technology and service offerings will only grow in the future.

The agriculture industry of the future may look very much like the robust set of technologies, services and vendors that currently serve buildings. This growth will support a 10x benefit in the way farms are run.   

A 2015 Andreessen Horowitz podcast about agtech noted that many people working in farming have little business experience — most are family-run businesses. A data-driven view of operations can have dramatic positive impact. For example, sensing the water flow in plants (called the plant’s “blood flow” by the podcast guests) can help optimize harvest dates. This enables a farm to harvest everything on one particular day, rather than over multiple days (which raises costs). The value proposition of using data to optimize operations is particularly clear when, as a podcast guest noted, “You have one chance a year to make a profit.”

Buildings, factories and agricultural sites present different IOT opportunities. Buildings appear to lag behind in two metrics: 1) the increase in operational data that IOT enables; and 2) the compelling and quantifiable benefit of this data.

However, the overall size of each market also will dictate the future prospects of IOT solutions. The more advanced technology posture of many facilities may make scaling IOT solutions more streamlined than in factories and agricultural sites.


Joseph Aamidor is a senior product management consultant focused on smart buildings, IOT and energy. He helps startups and established industry players understand the smart buildings market, develop competitive strategy and forge partnerships. He previously served in senior product management roles at Lucid and Johnson Controls.  


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:40 am

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Energy Stats: Solar Trade War II, It’s On [GTM Squared]


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Trump Orders Review of Obama Offshore Drilling Plan

President Trump on Friday called for the review of a five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing that the Obama administration put in place to keep large swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic off-limits to fossil fuel development.

Trump signed an executive order calling for the review during a ceremony at the White House. It comes just before the symbolic 100-day mark of his administration and instructs the Commerce Department to also review all marine sanctuaries created or expanded in the past 10 years. The order echoes another signed earlier this week for a review of all large national monuments established since 1996 and recommending ways for Congress to shrink or abolish them.

The Ocean Star offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: Katie Haugland Bowen/flickr

The latest order is part of a concerted effort to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations — such as the Clean Power Plan and a moratorium on federal coal leasing — put in place in part to curb the greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. Those emissions are raising global temperatures and sea levels, as well as impacting weather patterns and the health of ecosystems.

Trump and officials in his administration, many of whom have connections to the oil and gas industry, have decried those regulations as “job killing” and preventing economic growth. They have also cited them as a threat to national security. Trump promised during his campaign to roll them back and bolster America’s declining coal industry as well as fully exploit the country’s fossil fuel reserves.

“This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job-creating, energy exploration,” Trump said in remarks before the signing. “It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and directs Secretary Zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our treasury and jobs to our workers.”

The new order “puts us on track for American energy independence,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters Thursday evening.


Zinke is charged with carrying out the review of the current five-year offshore leasing plan over the next couple of years. In the meantime, that plan “remains in existence; there is no immediate change,” Zinke said.

Under the current leasing plan, 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic and 115 million acres of the Arctic under U.S. jurisdiction are placed off-limits for leasing. Offshore leasing accounts for about 16 percent of U.S. oil production and 5 percent of natural gas production, with about 97 percent of that activity occurring in the western Gulf of Mexico. The plan did allow for leasing in 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea off of Alaska.

President Obama announced the areas under a leasing ban in December in concert with Canada, which also placed its Arctic waters indefinitely off limits to future offshore oil and gas development. Obama used a 1953 law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect the areas under the ban.

At the time, Trump vowed to undo as many of the restrictions placed on oil and gas development as possible once he was in office. An executive order he signed in March called for federal agencies to flag any regulations that place an “undue” burden on fossil fuel and nuclear energy development and recommend plans for rescinding them.

Another order signed on Wednesday directed Zinke to review all national monuments of 100,000 acres or larger within 45 days; monument status limits the amount of fossil fuel development and logging that can take place on public lands.

The provision to review marine monuments in the new order is interrelated with that order, Deborah Sivas, a professor of environmental law at Stanford Law School said in an email, as many of these monuments would need to be “rolled back before new leases could be issued lawfully.”

President Trump displays an executive order on “Offshore Energy Strategy” at the White House on April 28, 2017.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In combination, these orders could make it difficult for the U.S. to meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement. That pact calls for nations to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep global temperature rise under 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

While Trump vowed to pull the U.S. out of the agreement during his campaign, the administration has not yet signaled whether it plans to do so. In an interview Thursday, Trump said a decision on that score would come “in about two weeks.” Some, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, have advocated staying in the agreement and trying to renegotiate it.

The review of the leasing plan will take time and will have to involve public comment and any changes would likely be subject to legal wrangling, experts said.

“Much of this EO stuff is for show in the short term. But if the administration actually keeps at it, there could be changes a year or two down the line,” Sivas said. “Then, of course, there is no question in my mind that litigation will challenge whatever the outcome.”

“The existing plan has extensive scientific, economic, and other information supporting the federal government’s offshore leasing framework,” Jayni Hein, policy director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law said in an email. The existing plan protecting certain areas is “an imminently sensible choice given the environmental and social risks of leasing in these areas,” she said.

One reason for the ban in Atlantic waters was opposition from local communities; Zinke said that such views would be taken into account in his review.

“I’m going to take in the state and local voices,” whether for or against drilling, he said.

“There’s no set goal” of the review, Zinke added, but if support for drilling exists within local communities and industry and the resources are available, he would include that recommendation in the next five-year plan.

Zinke said that offshore wind energy would also be included in the review and environmental issues, such as concerns for vulnerable marine life, would be taken into account.



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - at 6:20 am

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GE to deliver more efficient gas engines to German market

As Germany transitions to greater energy efficiency through its Energy Transition plan, it looks to increase the use of natural gas to enable renewable energy and reduce emissions


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South African court strikes down Russian nuclear power deal

South Africa currently has two nuclear reactors that generate about 5 percent of the country’s electricity


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France’s Presidential Election Could Yield Two Different Futures for Nuclear and Renewables

To many, France’s ongoing elections are the latest showdown between the liberal world order and a new brand of right-wing populism. That narrative follows a similar path in energy.

France’s elections are pitting nuclear versus renewables, closed markets versus open, and disruption versus protectionism.

France is going through a quite radical revaluation of its electricity mix. It gets about 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear. However, in 2015, President François Holland set a policy that would phase out aging nuclear plants, and reduce nuclear generation to 50 percent by 2025. He wants to fill in the gap with more renewables and efficiency.

Now the two presidential candidates — Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen — are sparring over what to do with nuclear. It’s part of a broader debate over nationalizing the energy giant EDF, expanding or limiting energy trading with the E.U., and mixing variable renewables with a really high nuclear grid.

On this week’s podcast: As we near the May 7 run-off election between Macron and Le Pen, we consider the future of the world’s leading nuclear energy power during a time of political volatility and electricity market transformation.

Then, are we at the start of a new solar trade war between America and the rest of the world? We’ll discuss Suniva’s wide-ranging trade complaint to the government.

Finally, the U.K. recently went coal-free for a day. We place its significance.

This podcast is sponsored by KACO New Energy, a leading solar inverter company with superior engineering and unmatched customer service.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Editor - April 28, 2017 at 6:45 am

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