Charles Cotton never gave much thought to the fact that he owns a piece of Jackson Energy Cooperative, the utility that delivers power to his home in Berea, Ky. But last November, Cotton’s membership paid off in a way he hadn’t expected: The cooperative gave him an energy upgrade, installing a plastic moisture barrier underneath his house and replacing his old furnace with an efficient heat pump. Jackson Energy’s status as a cooperative led directly to Cotton’s retrofit. It is one of four rural electric cooperatives participating in a pilot program called How$martKY, run by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). The program will let Cotton slowly pay back the cost of the retrofit: His bill is smaller than before, but he’s actually paying a bit more than the cost of the electricity he uses. The extra charge is how he repays the cost of the retrofit. It’s a scheme called on-bill financing—a way for people of all financial backgrounds to reap the benefits of energy efficiency without a big up-front cost.
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Energy analysts at global investment bank Citigroup suggest that the cost of solar PV modules could fall beyond most expectations in coming years – and reach a cost of just 25c a watt by 2020. The US Department of Energy, for instance, says its Solar Sunshot program aims to get the cost of solar PV down to $1/watt by 2020 (50c/W for the modules, the rest in balance of systems costs) – a situation that would deliver energy at a levelised cost of around $60/MWh, making it cheaper than new coal and gas-fired generation.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance makes a similar forecast. Greentech Media recently lowered its forecast for solar modules to 42c/W by 2015. On the other hand, Australia’s official government forecaster, The Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics, suggests that the starting point is higher than most current estimates, and predicts solar PV will not fall much below $140/MWh by 2020, and then make little progress over the following decade.
Citigroup’s report paints a very different picture in the two scenarios painted by the Citi team led by Jason Channell.
The Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant & Guaranteed Loan Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published this morning. The program sets up an April 30, 2013 deadline for submission of REAP Grants and July 15, 2013 deadline for submission of REAP Guaranteed Loan.
Complete applications should be submitted to the Business Programs Specialist in the Area Office serving the County in which the project is located. A map of our Area Offices and their respective areas can be found at the following link, click on the map of Tennessee to find the applicable office:
Application material may be found online at the following link:
The NOFA is attached in this email and indicates that the program will have $10.4 Million available Nationally for REAP Grants and $43.4 Million for REAP Guaranteed Loans. At this time we do not know what Tennessee’s allocation level will be.
Competition will be very intense with limited funds this year. Please contact the Business Programs Specialist in the applicable Area Office for further information. Please share this
e-mail with any interested parties.
Will Dodson | Energy Coordinator
Business & Energy Programs
Rural Development – Tennessee State Office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
3322 West End Avenue, Ste. 300 | Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-783-1350 | Fax: 615-783-1395
Every new housing development must average 1 kilowatt per house. Not here, but in California. California is a light-year ahead of Tennessee and most of the country when it comes to solar acceptance.
The Lancaster, California City Council unanimously approved changes to the city’s zoning code that require housing developers to install solar with every new home they build.
This is the latest piece in what Republican Mayor R. Rex Parris described at the City Council meeting as a plan to make Lancaster “the solar capital of the universe.”
Lancaster’s now official Residential Zones Update specifies, along with a range of green building provisions, that new single family homes meet minimum solar system requirements in the same way that they must meet minimum parking space requirements.
“The purpose of the solar energy system standards,” it reads, “is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City.” It is further intended “to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”
Residential homes on lots of 7,000 square feet or more must have a solar system of 1.0 kilowatts to 1.5 kilowatts. Rural residential homes of up to 100,000 square feet must have a system of at least 1.5 kilowatts.
personal note: I would have never guessed that our U.S. Senators would oppose the nomination of one of this country’s most outstanding expert in the area of money saving energy efficiency. Why?? I ask each of our readers to let their two senators hear their opinion as the Brown nomination
Our Tennessee senators don’t like whom our president is trying to reappoint to the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors: an expert on energy issues. Dr. Marilyn Brown, a Georgia Tech professor and former research administrator at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a long list of work and research mostly ending in “energy efficiency,” has been re-nominated by President Obama to a term on the TVA board after she’d been vetoed here at home back in January.
The nomination, sent to Capitol Hill Thursday night, comes more than two months after Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker used Senate procedures to block Obama’s previous attempt to appoint her to a six-year term.
Brown, who came to the board in 2010 to fill out the a vacated term and served through the end of 2012, is widely recognized for her expertise in energy efficiency and other “sustainable” energy policies. She teaches in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy after formerly working for the Department of Energy at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“This is another example of the Obama White House not listening,” Alexander said in a statement Friday.
“I told the White House in advance that the TVA board needs a nominee with a better understanding of the relationship between low electricity rates and better jobs in the Tennessee Valley. The Senate now has the responsibility to exercise its constitutional role of advice and consent on the nominee.”
Corker was even more critical.
“TVA needs leaders who enthusiastically support the mission of producing economical electricity and have an abiding appreciation of its important economic development role and impact on the well-being of Valley residents,” he said.
“Unfortunately, during my discussions with Dr. Brown, it was clear she does not share that point of view.”
Home Depot expands its solar service offerings to the East Coast by partnering with two other fast-growing providers, Sunrun and Clean Power Finance.
The experience of Roof Diagnostics Solar — a leading contractor partnering with Sunrun, Clean Power Finance, and Home Depot on the East Coast — offers a window into how these arrangements are boosting solar sales.
A year and a half ago, Roof Diagnostics participated in a Home Depot pilot program with one other company in fourteen New Jersey stores. It set out a kiosk with a laptop, 40-inch television, and a solar specialist who could do a simple assessment of a home from the store.
The immediate reaction was “explosive,” said Pegler Jr., with 68 sales coming in the first 60 days. A couple weeks later, they were given twenty-one stores. And the company will be offering solar in 100 locations by the end of the year in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts — with most of those kiosks located in the first aisle of the stores.
Four out of every ten people who visit the Home Depot kiosk sign up for a solar lease or power purchase agreement with Roof Diagnostics. Pegler Jr. believes it’s a sign that the Northeastern solar market is maturing. Because states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts have strong solar programs, consumers generally know about the opportunity. But seeing a kiosk in a Home Depot store can be the difference between someone thinking about solar and actually taking action.
Judging by the recent layoffs at Hemlock, it would seem that the Chinese clean energy industry is an unstoppable juggernaut.
However, a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that US companies held a $1.6 billion dollar surplus in clean energy trade with China in 2011.
While the layoffs are disheartening, statistics show America’s clean energy market is stronger than ever. In fact, Tennessee is at the forefront of the clean energy economy in the United States.
Examples in Tennessee range from electric vehicle manufacturing at Nissan North America Headquarters to the recent launch of a solar farm at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.
As more companies tap in to the clean energy economy, it is vital that our elected officials promote laws to help America stay in the lead.
Investments in research and innovation, encouraging domestic demand and supporting overseas sales are all vital to success. Now, more than ever, it is up to Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander to lead to promote clean energy measures for our state and our nation.
America cannot afford to come in second place.
originally published by Leaf Chronicle
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.