Tag Archives: energy

Sun and wind are winning over fracked methane shale gas –Goldman Sachs

Solar PV, onshore wind, electric vehicles, and LED lighting will win for all of us and profit in the next five years, says Goldman Sachs, which just put $150 billion of its own money where its mouth is. How about you, world leaders gathered in Paris?

Chris Martin, BloombergBusiness, 30 November 2015, Wind, Solar Power to Supply More Energy Than Shale, Goldman Says,

New wind turbines and solar panels worldwide will provide more energy over the next five years than U.S. shale-oil production has over the past five, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Four Front Runners

The leading renewable-energy technologies will add the equivalent of 6.2 million barrels of oil a day to the global energy mix, exceeding the 5.7 million barrels a day pumped from U.S. shale oil wells since 2010, analysts including Brian Lee and Jaakko Kooroshy said in a research report Monday….

“Wind and solar are on track to exceed 100 gigawatts in new installations for the first time,” Continue reading

Valdosta budget with goals and accomplishments for each department

It’s too bad nobody came to Valdosta’s two public budget hearings, because the city prepared 183 slides with details for each department, including goals and accomplishments. On the LAKE website is that presentation sent on request by City Clerk Teresa Bolden, and converted to HTML by LAKE. Plus the actual budget. No open records requests were required. Oh, and Valdosta runs garbage collection on a balanced budget without any exclusive franchises.

Valdosta News PR 20 June 2013, City Delivers a Balanced Budget: No property tax increase proposed for citizens,

The Valdosta City Council approved the fiscal year 2014 budget for the City of Valdosta at the June 20 City Council meeting, after having the opportunity to hear the proposed budget at the hearings on June 11 and 12. City staff presented the council with a balanced budget, as required by the City Charter, possibly one of the most challenging and difficult budgets prepared in years.

City leaders decreased the overall city budget from $86.2 million to $77.3 million, a result of Continue reading

A billion people on solar: India

Figure 6: Solar Sheep (Concentrix Solar PV concentrator plant) Two professors in India have done the math and found that there’s plenty of available land in India (much of it on rooftops) to power its billion people on solar energy alone. And solar uses less water than nuclear or coal, also as we already knew for the U.S.

Today in The Hindu, India can meet energy needs sans N-power: Study,

According to their study, 4.1 per cent of the total uncultivable and Figure 3: 1GWh Land area per energy source waste land area in India is enough to meet the projected annual demand of 3,400 terawatt-hour (TWh) by 2070 by solar energy alone (1 terawatt-hour per year equals 114 megawatts). The land area required will be further reduced to 3.1 per cent “if we bring the other potential renewable energy sources of India into picture”, they claim. They conclude that land availability is not a limiting constraint for the solar source as believed. According to their study, 4.1 per cent of the total uncultivable and waste land area in India is enough to meet the projected annual demand of 3,400 terawatt-hour (TWh) by 2070 by solar energy alone (1 terawatt-hour per year equals 114 megawatts). The land area required will be further reduced to 3.1 per cent “if we bring the other potential renewable energy sources of India into picture”, they claim. They conclude that land availability is not a limiting constraint for the solar source as believed.

The graph above shows land occupation needed to generate 1 gigawatt hour (1GWh) for each of coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, and solar. It is Figure 3 from the actual study, Is land really a constraint for the utilitzation of solar energy in India? by H. Mitavachan and J. Srinivasan, Current Science, Vol. 103, No. 2, pp. 163-168, 25 July 2012. More from the Hindu article, with graphs from the journal article:

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IKEA building almost as much solar as Southern Company

IKEA has already deployed more solar power than Southern Company, and plans almost as much as SO’s total planned solar generation. Remind me, which one is the energy company? Maybe we need to elect people who will remind Southern Company and Georgia Power.

Remember Southern Company bragged earlier this month about its first big solar project coming online, 1 megawatt in Upson? IKEA plans to install that much solar in Atlanta this year on top of its furniture store:

Atlanta, Georgia: With a store size of 366,000 square feet, ft2 (~34,000 square metres, m2) on 15 acres (~6 hectares), the solar program will use 129,800 ft2 (~12,060 m2) at 1,038 kilowatts (kW) with 4,326 solar panels generating 1,421,300kWh/year. This is equivalent to reducing 1,080 tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2), 192 cars’ emissions or powering 122 homes.

IKEA plans more than that in Savannah, 1.5 megawatts:

Savannah, Georgia Distribution Centre: With a size of 750,000 ft2 (~69,700 m2) on 115 acres (~46.5 hectares), the solar program will use 187,500 ft2 (~17,400 m2) at 1,500kW with 6,250 solar panels generating 2,029,500kWh/year. This is equivalent to reducing 1,542 tons of CO2, 274 cars’ emissions or powering 175 homes.

Sure, but Southern Company already did it first, right? Nope, IKEA already powered up a megawatt in Houston, and already had some in Frisco and Round Rock, Texas, making IKEA already the largest solar owner in Texas.

As Kirsty Hessman put it in Earth Techling 8 December 2011,

They don’t call it the Sunbelt for nothing, and Ikea plans to take full advantage of the salubrious solar situation down South.

That was when IKEA was planning the Houston, Frisco, and Round Rock, Texas solar installations. Half a year later, they’re up and running. When will your new nukes be finished (if ever), Southern Company?

But back to solar. According to IKEA PR 9 July 2012, IKEA plans 38 MW of solar:

Continue reading

Will electricity demand increase?

Back in April Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning gave yet another version of his stump speech that we saw at the shareholders’ meeting in May and that he’s video blogging on YouTube now. In April he emphasized a huge assumption with no evidence; an assumption that may just not be true.

National Energy Policy – Part 5 of 7 (30 April 2012)

This much we know: demand for electricity will increase. The Energy Information Administration projects an 18% increase in electricity demand nationally and in the southeast, we’re as expecting as much as a 25% increase over the next 20 years. So we know the need is real, immediate, and critical.

Really? Here’s recent electricity use and nearterm forcast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Sure looks to me like there was a big dip in 2009, and projected use in 2013 is no higher than in 2007. What was that about “immediate”?

Now you may say, of course, that’s a recession. But what about this?

Continue reading

Why Energy Matters to You —Thomas A. Fanning

Since our coverage of the Southern Company (SO) shareholders meeting in May, SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning has started his own YouTube video series, “Why Energy Matters to You”, in which he tries to head off a real energy policy by advocating SO’s nuclear and coal strategy instead.

SO PR 28 June 2012, Southern Company Chairman Launches CEO Social Media Video Series,

Southern Company SO today unveiled the first in a series of CEO Web videos examining issues critical to the electric utility industry. The video series, “Why Energy Matters to You,” is available on YouTube and features Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. Fanning announced the Web series during an appearance at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo.

Here are his two episodes so far. His theme:

“I believe that every American deserves a supply of clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy.”

Who could argue with that? It’s just SO’s ideas of how to do it that provoke some argument.

Here’s Part 1 of 2:

Why Energy Matters to You —Thomas A. Fanning Part 1 of 2

His question:

“How can better energy create more economic freedom for the American people?”

His answer is in Part 2 of 2:

Continue reading

Profits per Market Cap in the Forbes 2000: solar and wind still win

We saw that two out of three of the most profitable electric utilities in the world emphasize solar and wind energy: ENEL of Italy and Iberdrola of Spain, both of which operate in multiple countries, including Iberdrola claiming second most wind power in the U.S. Well, maybe those companies are small, so their profits are a fluke. Nope. We get similar results for profits divided by market cap:

ENEL of Italy is still number 1, with no nuclear and a lot of solar and wind energy. Iberdrola is #4 in profits/market instead of #3 in profits alone. However, Electricité de France (EDF) is #7 instead of #2, and Exelon is #9 instead of #4. Number 2 is Energias de Portugal (EDP), which is heavily into wind power including owning Horizon Wind Energy LLC:

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Electric Utility Profits in the Forbes Global 2000 from 2006 through 2012

Which are the most and least consistently profitable electric utilities in the world? Hint: the biggest losers all lost on nukes. But the biggest winners may surprise you.

Following up on Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning’s brag that “We are a great, big company from an energy production standpoint,” I looked in the Forbes Global 2000 to see which are the biggest electricities in the world. Indeed, Southern Company (SO) is the biggest in the U.S. and number 6 in the world for 2012. But what about the rest, and what about previous years? Here’s a graph of profits for the top 40 electric utilities from 2006 through 2012. SO is the blue line muddling along in the middle:

Profits

Profits
Graph by John S. Quarterman from

What’s that dark red line dropping way below the rest? Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), owner of the Fukushima nuclear plants. And the red line starting at the top and ending up near the bottom? E.ON, the company that owns most of Germany’s nuclear plants, as Germany shifts away from nuclear energy, after Cheronobyl and now Fukushima. The blue line that ends up as low as E.ON? Korea Electric Power (KEP), also an owner of nuclear plants. All the big losers are nuke owners.

What about the winners? The light green line ending up second by profits is Electricité de France (EDF), also an owner of nuclear plants, but one which has not yet had a major accident.

But what’s that purple line that starts near the top and ends up at the top?

Continue reading

Net Metering in California: Megawatts and jobs

Net metering of solar energy works fine in California, where it increasingly provides electricity to meet peak demand. Georgia has a 2001 law that requires power utilities to do a version of net metering, but it’s a weak version and there’s a low cap on how much you can sell back to the utility.

The Georgia version, according to GEFA:

Net metering is the process whereby an energy consumer produces energy and then sells some or all of this energy to the “grid”, or major energy producers in the state. Under Georgia’s net metering laws, state residents and businesses can purchase and operate green energy capital, including photovoltaics, wind energy and fuel cells, and use this energy on-site. These residents and businesses may then sell any un-used, additional energy produced on-site to their energy provider. There is a maximum of 10 kilowatts (kW) for residential applications and up to 100 kW for commercial applications.
As you can see by GEFA’s pie chart, solar energy was too small to chart as a source of energy in Georgia as of 2004. With solar, we can burn less coal and uranium.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has a report, Solar Net Metering in California,

Protecting Net energy metering (NEM) is the top policy priority of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for California in 2012. NEM is a billing arrangement that allows utility customers to offset some or all of their energy use (up to 1 MW) with selfgenerated renewable energy.
The definition sounds the same, except for the cap: 1 megawatt is 1000 kilowatts, so California’s current cap is 100 times the Georgia residential cap and 10 times the Georgia commercial cap, with apparently no distinction between residential and commercial.

The result is this: Continue reading

Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan

Georgia can do this if it wants to, Final Comprehensive Energy Plan 2011
The Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) addresses Vermont’s energy future for electricity, thermal energy, transportation, and land use. This document represents the efforts of numerous state agencies and departments, and input from stakeholders and citizens who shared their insights and knowledge on energy issues over the past ten months. The plan can be downloaded from this website or may be viewed at the Department of Public Service, 112 State Street, Montpelier during regular business hours.
More about those public comments:
The release of the Final CEP 2011 includes the CEP Public Involvement Report II (above). This document summarizes the written comments received during the second public comment period, between the release of the CEP Public Review Draft (CEP) on September 13, 2011 and the close of the public comment period on November 4, 2011. Over 1,380 written comments were received via email, the Comprehensive Energy Plan website, and hard copy between July 15 and November 4. Approximately 350 stakeholder groups, including municipal, business, and non-profit entities, submitted comments. Over 830 form-letter comments were signed and submitted by members of at least three different organizations. Over 200 comments were submitted by individual members of the general public.
Real input from the entire state. Imagine that!

Vermont’s population is about 622,000, or the size of a single Congressional district, so maybe it’s easier for them than for Georgia. On the other hand, maybe a regional south Georgia energy policy, or even a county policy, would be possible.

-jsq