Tag Archives: Denmark

Denmark beats Georgia Power’s 20 year plan

As anticipated, Georgia Power released that 20-year energy plan Thursday, because they have file one every three years with the PSC. It includes far less solar power than tiny little far-north-of-here Denmark is busily deploying.

The good news: Georgia Power is closing a bunch of coal plants. And this plan makes a nod towards "demand response programs, energy efficiency programs, pricing tariffs and other activities".

The bad news: they're replacing those coal plants with natural gas, and of course "two new state-of-the-art nuclear facilities at Plant Vogtle"; you know, the two Georgia Power has been charging customers for since 2009 while they deliver no electricity. Georgia Power can't even seem to deliver the reactor containment vessels.

But what about renewable energy? Continue reading

Financing solar energy: Georgia’s special problem

In most states, financing solar energy is largely a matter of learning all the local ropes. In Georgia, there’s a bigger problem.

Michael Mendelsohn wrote for RMI 5 December 2012, How Do We Lower Solar Installation Costs and Open the Market to Securitized Portfolios: Standardize and Harmonize,

Soft costs can be pretty tough. The cost of solar installations can be generally separated into “hard” costs — representing primary components such as modules, racking, inverters — and soft costs including legal, permitting, and financing. While the former group — particularly modules — have dropped dramatically over the last several years, the latter have not. According to a recent NREL analysis, these costs represent roughly 30% of both residential and utility installations (slightly less for commercial-host systems). See Figure 1.

In fact, soft costs are so critical to the overall success of solar adoption, their reduction is a primary focus of the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to make solar energy cost-competitive. In order to reduce the cost of financing, NREL recently completed and continues to work on various efforts to tap public capital markets and enable other vehicles that securitize project portfolios.

We’ll come back to tapping public capital markets and the like, because that’s the key to what Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU) is trying to do. But there’s a special problem in Georgia, buried in the next paragraph:

Continue reading

Denmark reaches 200 MW solar goal 8 years ahead of schedule

If tiny Denmark, farther north than Edmonton, Alberta, has already deployed 200 MW of solar capacity, why can't Georgia Power do it? We know why: Southern Company's three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture stool is too profitable for SO and Georgia Power.

Molly Cotter wrote for Inhabitant 15 October 2012, Denmark Hits 200 Megawatt Solar Capacity Goal 8 Years Ahead of Schedule,

Lets face it — its rare we see a government goal reached on time, let alone early. Not too long ago, the Danish Government announced an ambitious goal to reach 200 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020, and as of last week, they have already met it! The country is currently installing an average of 36 megawatts of solar panels each month. At this rate, their resulting capacity by 2020 will be over five times the original goal. Denmark's power is currently 20% supplied by renewable sources, and the nation has set a goal of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Solar Megawatts 2012-10-16 So Denmark has already deployed four times as much solar capacity as GA PSC required of Georgia Power, and almost as much solar capacity as Georgia Power has just asked GA PSC to approve. While deploying more per month than Southern Company's largest solar farms anywhere.

Maybe it's time to elect Georgia Public Service Commissioners to represent you.


Europe has clean incinerators; why can’t we?

Elisabeth Rosenthal write in the NY Times about Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags:
Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Dozens of filters catch pollutants, from mercury to dioxin, that would have emerged from its smokestack only a decade ago.
Here’s the catch:
Denmark now has 29 such plants, serving 98 municipalities in a country of 5.5 million people, and 10 more are planned or under construction. Across Europe, there are about 400 plants, with Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands leading the pack in expanding them and building new ones.

By contrast, no new waste-to-energy plants are being planned or built in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says — even though the federal government and 24 states now classify waste that is burned this way for energy as a renewable fuel, in many cases eligible for subsidies. There are only 87 trash-burning power plants in the United States, a country of more than 300 million people, and almost all were built at least 15 years ago.

That means the biomass plant proposed for Valdosta is not that kind of clean incinerator.