Is a Texas Town the Future of Renewable Energy?

Is a Texas Town the Future of Renewable Energy?

Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, has a big smile, a big handshake and a big personality. In last year’s election, he won big, with 72 percent of the vote. The key to his success? “Without being too self-reflective,” he says, “I just like people.” He’s a Republican, and his priorities are party staples: go light on regulation, be tough on crime, keep taxes low. But the thing that is winning him international renown is straight out of the liberal playbook—green power. Thanks to his (big) advocacy, Georgetown (pop. 67,000) last year became the largest city in the United States to be powered entirely by renewable energy.

US utilities ask congressional leaders to lift cap on electric vehicle tax credit

More than three dozen US utilities this week asked congressional leaders to lift a cap on income tax credits for individuals who purchase electric vehicles, and industry observers differed Friday over whether the request should be granted.

Section 30D of the US Internal Revenue Code provides that beginning in 2010, for a purchase of a qualified plug-in electric vehicle with at least 5 kWh of capacity, an individual can receive a credit of at least $2,500. For each additional kWh of capacity in such a vehicle, an individual can receive an additional $417 tax credit, with a maximum tax credit of $7,500.

Steve Massengale talks Lubbock annexation and LP&L and ERCOT

Steve Massengale talks Lubbock annexation and LP&L and ERCOT

Friday on KFYO Mornings Lubbock City Councilman Steve Massengale joined Dave King and Matt Martin to discuss the previous nights city council meeting which included topics such as annexation, LP&L and ERCOT, and the Texas Tech Coliseum and Auditorium.

Many citizens came to the meeting to express their feelings and ask questions regarding the proposed annexations last night. Massengale said, "there was nobody there that spoke in support of annexations last night," going on to say, "there were a lot of legitimate questions." He talked about people's questions about taxes in these areas, whether they would be able to keep their animals, whether fireworks stands would be allowed, and more. However, Steve stressed that they were very vocal about the fact that they did not want to be annexed.

Fossil Fuels Squeezed by Plunge in Cost of Renewables, BNEF Says

Fossil Fuels Squeezed by Plunge in Cost of Renewables, BNEF Says

The economics of generating electricity from fossil fuels are deteriorating rapidly as renewable energy technology plunges in costs.

That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on the levelized cost of energy, a measure that takes into account the expenses from buying equipment, servicing debt and operating power plants using each technology. In most places, wind and solar will work cheaper than coal by 2023, the research group said Wednesday.

“Some existing coal and gas power stations, with sunk capital costs, will continue to have a role for many years, doing a combination of bulk generation and balancing,” said Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF. “But the economic case for building new coal and gas capacity is crumbling.”

Proposed Texas rule highlights storage's challenges in bridging competitive, regulated energy markets

Proposed Texas rule highlights storage's challenges in bridging competitive, regulated energy markets

Energy storage’s unique ability to act as both generation and load makes it a round peg in the square peg board of utility regulation.

That mismatch is destined to come into sharper relief as a rulemaking on energy storage in Texas moves forward, highlighting some of the contentious issues the technology raises in competitive power markets.

At the wholesale level, there is no problem installing an energy storage project in Texas. The state is already home to a number of storage projects, including the 2 MW Elbow Creek project deployed by NRG Energy and Toshiba in Howard County and the nearly 20 MW Texas Waves project near Roscoe that E.On brought online earlier this year.

 

Solar and smart homes converge in Texas

Solar and smart homes converge in Texas

Texas has made remarkable strides forward in recent months as a national leader in both solar energy adoption and smart home creation. The fifth annual Energy Thought Summit (ETS18) in Austin this month will gather industry, government and utility professionals to discuss not only these two technologies and their implementation, but also everything from the way autonomous vehicles will affect energy markets to how people will exist with artificial intelligence in an increasingly AI-driven world.

Solar energy adoption and smart home creation complement each other and together promise Texas homeowners added energy efficiency and new benefits in comfort, convenience, affordability and reliability.

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short

Some solar power critics seem to enjoy trying to point out that the energy payback time for solar power is too long, and therefore this form of renewable energy is not valid. Those critics have not kept up with the times or are simply lying to you.

Years ago, when solar cells were less efficient, there might have been some truth in questioning the energy payback of solar panels because they were most likely manufactured using electricity generated from coal, natural gas, or nuclear power and were less efficiently manufactured.

EDF Plans to Invest $10B in Energy Storage by 2035

EDF Plans to Invest $10B in Energy Storage by 2035

The French utility’s new Electricity Storage Plan also includes a target to double investments in energy storage R&D by 2020.

French utility EDF is angling to become the European leader in energy storage solutions.

The company unveiled a new Electricity Storage Plan last week with a goal to develop 10 gigawatts of energy storage around the world by 2035, on top of the 5 gigawatts it currently has in operation. EDF said the accelerated plan represents an investment of 8 billion euros — or just shy of $10 billion — between 2018 and 2035.

Omnibus spending bill rejects Trump EPA, DOE cuts

Omnibus spending bill rejects Trump EPA, DOE cuts

Domestic energy programs were targets for some of the steepest cuts in Trump's budget proposal.

At DOE, the proposal would have slashed funding for renewable energy and late-stage technology commercialization efforts at ARPA-E and the loans office. Though funding for the Office of Fossil Energy would have increased, the plan would cut spending for carbon capture and storage (CCS), instead focusing on the development of new coal technologies, like small modular plants. 

The omnibus spending bill would turn that proposal on its head, increasing funds for a number of offices Trump proposed to cut. 

Time is not on their side: Utilities ill-prepared for EV demand, SEPA finds

Time is not on their side: Utilities ill-prepared for EV demand, SEPA finds

It's always dangerous to make technology predictions, but right now this feels like a sure thing: Electric vehicles are going to become popular, mainstream, common. One day, even, the standard.

How and when these zero-emission vehicles are charged will be critical.

With the rise in EVs, your local electric utility could replace your local gas station. And some companies, like PG&E, are pursuing initial efforts to encourage charging when renewable energy generation is highest.

But new research shows utilities are generally ill-prepared for the influx of demand.