The “utility death spiral”: The utility as a regulatory creation

Unless you follow the electricity industry you may not be aware of the past year’s discussion of the impending “utility death spiral”, ably summarized in this Clean Energy Group post: There have been several reports out recently predicting that solar + storage systems will soon reach cost parity with grid-purchased electricity, thus presenting the first … More The “utility death spiral”: The utility as a regulatory creation

Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

A couple of years ago, I was transfixed by the research from Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie highlighted in their TedX video on the future of nuclear power.   A recent IEEE Spectrum article highlights what Dewan and Massie have been up to since then, which is founding a startup called Transatomic Power in partnership … More Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

The spin on wind, or, an example of bullshit in the field of energy policy

The Wall Street Journal recently opined against President Obama’s nominee for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman, Norman Bay, and in the process took a modest swipe at subsidies for wind energy. The context here is Bay’s action while leading FERC’s enforcement division, and in particular his prosecution of electric power market participants who manage to run afoul … More The spin on wind, or, an example of bullshit in the field of energy policy

AWEA brags about wind energy’s mediocre performance

On May 2 The Hill published a column by AWEA data spinner Michael Goggin, “Wind energy protects consumers,” in which the reader is regaled by tales of great service and low, low prices provided by the wind energy industry. Sorting through the claims led me back to the AWEA blog, where among other things Goggin … More AWEA brags about wind energy’s mediocre performance

Easy to dream big when you can spend other people’s money, and really, why else would you build solar power in Michigan?

Crain’s Detroit Business reports: A solar power work group in Michigan is making progress discussing the possibility of expanding the current utility-sponsored solar incentive program …. But the real question is whether DTE and Consumers will voluntarily expand their programs — as environmentalists, manufacturers and solar installers have been asking the state to require for job … More Easy to dream big when you can spend other people’s money, and really, why else would you build solar power in Michigan?

Looking for renewable policy certainty in all the wrong places

From EnergyWire comes the headline, “In Missouri, industry wants off the ‘solar coaster’.” (link here via Midwest Energy News). A utility rebate program authorized by voters in 2008 is making Missouri into a solar leader in the Midwest. But $175 million set aside to subsidize solar installations is [nearly] fully subscribed … and the same small … More Looking for renewable policy certainty in all the wrong places