Archive for Business / Economics
Kemery Company, our newest business member, is having an all-day training program beginning at 8 am and continuing through lunch (included in the price) until 4:30. The location of this training will be the Jubilee Banquet Hall, 6700 jubilee Center Way, Knoxville TN 37912. The cost of the all day training is $90.00 per person. Two or more individuals registering together reduces the price of each reservation to $80. Attendees will get a binder with important information for installing PV systems. Reservations are limited so call Kemery Company at 865-933-6261 or go to the following website which contains more information on the training and the link to the reservation form.
U.S. photovoltaic installations in 2012 increased 76 percent over 2011 numbers to 3,313 MW, with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s “U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year In Review.”
Cumulative PV capacity operating at the end of 2012 was 7,221 MW. The U.S. accounted for 11 percent of all global PV installations in 2012. The report predicts the U.S. PV market will grow 30 percent in 2013 with 4.3 GW of new PV installations anticipated during 2013 across all market segments.
Installed prices dropped 27 percent last year and at least 13 percent in each market segment (residential, non-residential and utility).
California led the U.S. in 2011 and 2012 with 1,033 PV installations in 2012, compared to 577 in 2011. Arizona moved up one spot this year to No. 2 with 710 installations in 2012. New Jersey dropped from second in 2011 to third last year with 415 installations in 2012, Nevada jumped from tenth to fourth with 198 installations and North Carolina rounded out the top five with 132 installations.
The rising cost of construction of nuclear power plants, combined with the allure of cheap gas, has lawmakers in Georgia and Florida asking why ratepayers should be on the hook for expensive, over-budget, past-due projects, the Associated Press reports.
In Georgia, a coalition of tea party conservatives and consumer advocates have banded together in support of a proposal to cut into Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) profits to penalize the regulated monopoly for going over budget. “Conservatives do not believe in incentivizing failure,” a tea party activist recently told lawmakers, according to the AP. Currently Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co., earns about 11 percent in profits when investing its own money in power projects, reports the AP.
Reacting to the recent closure of the Crystal River nuclear plant, Florida lawmakers are considering proposals to prevent utilities from collecting consumer fees before electricity is ever produced on a project. “A lot of people are paying for something that they’ll never see any return on their money,” said a Republican legislator behind one proposal, according to the AP. A similar Democratic proposal is on the table as well.
Plant owner Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) stands to earn up to $50 million in profits on the $500 million collected from customers to pay for upgrades that ended up causing still greater damage to the facility and leading to its closure. Changes in the fee collection law could affect construction of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant, for which ratepayers have already paid $1.5 billion. Under current law, Duke could earn up to $150 million in profit even if the project is never completed.
Renewable energy – including wind, solar and biomass resources – accounted for all new generating capacity added in the U.S. in January, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update.
The 1.231 GW of new U.S. electrical generating capacity entering service in January represented nearly a threefold increase in new renewable energy generating capacity compared to January 2012, when wind, solar and biomass provided 431 MW of new capacity.
Wind energy accounted for the largest share of the new capacity in January, with six new units providing 958 MW, followed by 16 units of solar (267 MW) and six units of biomass (6 MW). No new generating capacity was reported for any fossil fuel (i.e., natural gas, coal, oil) or nuclear power sources.
Renewable sources now account for 15.66% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity, and wind energy represents 5.17% of the total. Other renewable resources include water (8.5%), biomass (1.29%), solar (0.38%) and geothermal (0.32%). In comparison, natural gas accounts for 42.37% of total operating generating capacity, followed by coal (29.04%), nuclear (9.23%) and oil (3.54%).
Solar Training – Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) in Knoxville Scheduled for April 8 thru 12th
Sustainable Future is excited to help with Solar Energy International (SEI) training in Knoxville April 8th, 2013 – April 12th, 2013. This five day course is great for those wanting to get into the solar industry or those that need to prepare for the NABCEP entry level test. Included in the course will be some “hands on” exercises at the Sustainable Future solar park, with class room work being held at a local hotel. This course will be taught by two very seasoned solar installers who have installed systems all over the country. This course will provide an overview of the three basic PV system applications, primarily focusing on grid-direct systems. The goal of the course is to create a fundamental understanding of the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including: system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning. The course will also cover the basics of sizing a residential grid-direct system, wire sizing, overcurrent protection, and grounding – all of which will be expanded upon in PV202.
Prerequisites: Before participating in the PV101 in-person workshop, students are required to complete the self-paced PV 101 PREP online component (included in price of PV101, you will automatically be enrolled in PV PREP Online at the time you register for PV101).
Date: April 8 through April 12, a five day course
Location: Knoxville, TN
Instructors: Joe Villacci, Kyle Bolger
The Carbon War Room (CWR), Homer Energy, and Reznick Think Energy, LLC (RTE) launched a request for proposals (RFP) today on behalf of Virgin Limited Edition for the provision of renewable energy and energy services on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, home of Sir Richard Branson.
The Request for Proposal has two phases of bids:
Phase 1: Engineering and design solutions for a 750 kW of solar PV in an open field, 8 kW of PV on the Great House, and Solar Carports.
Phase 2: Indicative bids sought for a wind turbine, significant load controls and batteries, and an overall energy supply and management contract.
Virgin Limited Edition will purchase all services and products from one party or multiple products and services from a variety of parties, and the selected bidders will have the ability to take advantage of significant marketing opportunities throughout the project’s lifecycle and beyond. All respondents will be able to access the entire RFP or sections of the RFP after signing a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) and paying an administration fee.
Interested parties should use the following link to learn more about the RFP: http://reznickthinkenergy.com/news-events
A commentary reported in this month’s Journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states a unique concept to provide an incentive for shareholders of energy generation industry stocks. Thought is was worth mentioning in our blog because of the what strikes at the hearts of investors: profit and accountability. S. Levy
An important task of contemporary academic research is the design of policy that promotes a sustainable energy transition. Dangerman and Schnellnhuber (1) (D&S hereafter) explain theoretically, and show empirically, that it is very difficult to move away from unsustainable technologies. The role of investment funds that go disproportionally to dominant, pollutive technologies is emphasized. The policy suggestion of D&S is modifying corporate law to make shareholders legally liable for environmental impacts of firms in which they invest. The resulting “legal negative feedback loop” to shareholders’ decisions will alter the allocation of capital investment in favor of cleaner “niche” technologies. According to D&S, this would “balance the shareholders’ zest for unrestricted expansion.” They add that it can have a precautionary effect by discouraging investment away from pollutive industries in an early development phase.
Studies on environmental policy tend to focus on changing the behavior of consumers and producers and give considerably less attention to investors. The D&S proposal is therefore a welcome addition to the literature. Investors receive more notice in research on “environmental innovation” and “sustainability transitions”. A central policy finding here is that a combination of environmental regulation and innovation support is needed to foster a sustainable energy transition . The first will change the costs and benefits of production and thus the profits in the positive feedback cycle of both the dominant and alternative technologies.