Moody’s Concludes: Mass Grid Defection Not Yet on the Horizon

Yes, solar power systems are getting cheaper and battery storage is improving. The combination has many folks worried (or elated) about the future prospects of grid-based electric utilities when consumers can get the power they want at home. (See Lynne’s post from last summer for background.) An analysis by Moody’s concludes that battery storage remains an … More Moody’s Concludes: Mass Grid Defection Not Yet on the Horizon

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

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

Better Red Than Dead, but Not Red Yet (on Solar Power)

In her New York Times Economix column Nancy Folbre recently said (“The Red Faces of the Solar Skeptics,” March 10, 2014): If the faces of renewable energy critics are not red yet, they soon will be. For years, these critics — of solar photovoltaics in particular — have called renewable energy a boutique fantasy. A recent Wall … More Better Red Than Dead, but Not Red Yet (on Solar Power)

Economist Debate on Solar Power

The Economist often runs debates on their website, and their current one will be of interest to the KP community: Can solar energy save the world? The debate is structured in a traditional manner, with a moderator and a proposer and a responder. Guest posts accompany the debate, and readers are invited to comment on … More Economist Debate on Solar Power

How Cool Was That? Not That Cool, It Turns Out.

Michael Giberson While digging through the KP archives looking for another old story, I can across a 10-year old post titled “How cool is this?” (Let me warn you now that there isn’t much more to this 2013 post other than to observe that not every cool-sounding technology in 2002 turned out to work. You … More How Cool Was That? Not That Cool, It Turns Out.

Is Iowa Solar Power Ruling a Camel’s Nose into Electric Utility’s Monopoly Tent?

Michael Giberson Eagle Point Solar, a for-profit solar power installer and operator, proposed to build a solar PV array on a Dubuque, Iowa municipal building under a long-term contract with the city. Under the contract, Eagle Point would own the solar array and sell power to the city in a “behind the meter” arrangement. The … More Is Iowa Solar Power Ruling a Camel’s Nose into Electric Utility’s Monopoly Tent?

Free Solar Power Tomorrow!

Michael Giberson Well, not free-free, but subsidy-free. Maybe. When I read a headline promising “Solar Power to Hit Cost Parity Next Year,” it reminds me of the sign above the bar promising “Free Beer Tomorrow.” Like tomorrow, “next year” is always approaching and never here. RP Siegel begins his Triple Pundit article, “Solar Power to Hit … More Free Solar Power Tomorrow!

How Does Solar Power Work?

Michael Giberson Many people are confused about how solar power works. Here is an illustrated explanation:   (HT to Nicole S. Thanks Nicole!)