This article, originally published in Public Utilities Fortnightly's December 2009 issue, helps Investor-Owned Utilities understand the challenges associated with making rate-based investments in solar generation. In particular, the article addresses tax accounting rules that can place regulated IOUs at an economic disadvantage relative to independent power producers. The article describes the advantages that IOU investments in solar genearation offer to ratepayers, and describes how some utilities have touted these advantages to secure regulatory approval for rate-based investment in solar generation.
Offshore Wind Versus Solar in the Eastern US: An Unexpected Rivalry
Less than a decade ago, offshore wind energy and solar PV were similarly priced energy sources. Unsubsidized installed costs for both exceeded $5 per watt, or more than double that for land-based wind. Despite their cost, both technologies were seen as the best hopes for supplying urban centers with green power, especially in the BOSNYWASH (Boston-New York-Washington, DC) corridor of the eastern U.S. Retail energy prices in this corridor rank among the highest in North America, and lower cost energy from land-base...
Con Edison to pilot $15M virtual power plant project
New York utility Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) plans to launch a pilot virtual power plant (VPP) project in June to test out the business case for integrating aggregated fleets of residential solar-plus-storage systems into the grid, Jamie Brennan, director of demonstration projects at Con Edison, told Energy Storage Update. The project will link hundreds of solar and battery storage systems installed behind the meter at customers` homes that can be autonomously controlled through intelligent software...
Economics of tiny thermal power plants
Thermal power plants is the main source of energy and electricity in India and almost all countries of the world. Most of the giant thermal power plants have capacity of 500MW to 1000 MW. Investment in such giant thermal power plants is Rs 100 million per MW including transmission lines and distribution lines. ( 60 rupees = 1 US$, MW=1000KW). So 1000MW thermal power plant costs Rs 100 million/MW x 1000MW =Rs 100 billion. Now let us think about tiny thermal power plants. Mostly 10 HP power plant will be people`s...
The unconventional wisdom on renewable energy and investment
Over the summer, there has been a loud buzz in the media about the need for research and development that would lead to a breakthrough in the cost of clean energy technologies.Financial Timescommentator Martin Wolf called for a “moonshot to save the planet” building on the proposal of noted academics and senior industry executives for an “Apollo mission” to put the brakes on climate change. Recently, Bill Gates announced that he would be investing at least$2 billion over the next five...
What will it take to integrate renewables into the power grid? Ask a bicyclist.
When it comes to fitting into the current system, bike commuters and electrons have a lot in common. There’s nothing quite like biking down clogged city streets, weaving in and out of traffic. For short distances, it’s faster than driving. It’s liberating. It’s fun. It also makes it painfully clear that most roads aren’t made for bikes. Make one mistake, and you might end up dead. If you do everything right and the 4,000-pounder next to you makes a mistake, you still might end up...