Tag Archives: Tom Fanning

Solar price drops setting invisible price limit for ever-dirtier fossil fuel extraction

A fairly insightful piece on the how oil price rises drive more fossil fuel production, currently fueled by debt because wages of most workers have been falling, still misses two big points: solar prices continually plumetting now undercut all fossil fuel prices, and dirtier fossil fuel extraction and its massive colonial invasion of pipelines are meeting resistance everywhere, including at the regulatory-captured puppet agencies like FERC.

“Tyler Durden”, ZeroHedge, 13 May 2016, Submitted by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, The Real Oil Limits Story – What Other Researchers Missed, Continue reading

Southern Company Annual Meeting @ SO 2016-05-25

Road trip to Callaway Gardens for the annual question time with Tom Fanning, questions provided by environmentalists and Southern Company (SO) stockholders from at least four states.

Energy Mix This figure from page ii of the meeting Notice illustrates both the problem and the solution for Southern Company. Natural gas has replaced coal as SO’s top energy source, and Nuclear is still in there. But renewables are up to 4%. And over on the right of the same page:

  • Growth in Renewables
    Approximately 3,800 megawatts of announced or added renewable capacity since 2012. This includes the development of what is expected to be the largest voluntary solar portfolio in the U.S. (at Georgia Power Company).

Interesting use of “voluntary”, but never mind that. If SO keeps that up, it will Continue reading

Wind and Solar are winning by 2 to 1 over gas and coal

Guess what’s really inevitable, pipeline companies? Solar and wind power.

Utility scare tactics that no coal means pipelines are so much hot air. Scare tactics that no pipelines would mean LNG trains are burnt up by solar power. Stop pipelnes or fracking and stop the other and LNG export along with it. And we’re winning!

Tom Randall, Bloomberg, 6 April 2016, Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels: Record clean energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1. Continue reading

Alabama Power wants more renewable energy due to corporate customer demand

Southern Company’s subsidiaries are all turning to the sun! Even that titanic ship is affected by the tugboats of its corporate customers.

Ari Phillips, ClimateProgress, 16 July 2015, This Massive Utility Wants More Renewable Energy Because Corporations Are Demanding It,

In June, Alabama Power, one of the country’s largest electricity providers, filed a petition with the state’s Public Service Commission to add up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy over the next six years. The utility, which serves over 1.4 million customers in Alabama, cited customer demand as a primary reason for adding all this renewable energy — specifically corporate customers.

“This program was driven by conversations with customers looking to meet renewable mandates pushed down from their headquarters,” said Tony Smoke, Alabama Power vice president of marketing, in a statement announcing the request. “As a service provider, our focus is to make sure we are providing customers access to choices they want.”

It’s like Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said in May Continue reading

Georgia Power starts selling rooftop solar tomorrow

For most of June, Georgia Power has had two ads rotating on the 300x225 Sunlight from Georgia Power, in Giving you the power to go solar, by Gretchen Quarterman, 10 June 2015 five LED billboards in Valdosta, saying

Giving you the power to go solar —Georgia Power

When? Tomorrow, July 1st, as Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said at the SO Stockholder meeting 27 May 2015. Why then? Because that’s when HB 57, aka the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015, goes into effect. As Tom Fanning has made his mantra since that meeting:

“If somebody wants to buy distributed generation, I want to sell it to ’em,”

Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive, 11 June 2015 Inside Georgia Power’s move into the residential solar market: The utility says it will offer solar through an unregulated business, but installers fear possible anticompetitive impacts, Continue reading

Shareholders demand Southern Company stop supporting climate change denial 2015-05-27

It’s not just us gnats anymore, Southern Company now has yellowflies giving it the business about converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. That’s smart business, since SO called out solar power in its own 2014 Annual Report for increased revenues in both 2013 and 2014. Tomorrow at Callaway Gardens, stockholders including me will vote.

Dave Williams, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 15 May 2015, Southern shareholders to consider ‘green’ vote, Continue reading

Tesla announces prices for home battery

Power generation for both traditional electricity uses and transportation is changing.

Michael Liedtke and Jonathan Fahey wrote for AP and Inc. 1 May 2015, Elon Musk Unveils Tesla’s Ambitious New Home Battery System: “Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” Musk told reporters gathered in Hawthorne, California.

The batteries are likely to become more useful if, as expected, more utilities and regulators allow Continue reading

Zero percent down solar installations for Georgia? Change a 1973 law first

Who would pass up cutting their monthly electric and transportation costs by 60%? Well, people in Georgia will get passed by unless we change an antique 1973 law.

Chris Mooney wrote for Washington Post 24 December 2014, How solar power and electric cars could make suburban living awesome again,

…the solar-EV combo may just be too good for suburbanites to pass up — no matter their political ideology. Strikingly, the new paper estimates that for a household that buys an electric vehicle and also owns a solar panel system generating enough power for both the home and the electric car, the monthly cost might be just $89 per month — compared with $255 per month for a household driving a regular car without any solar panels.

I’m no fan of sprawl, Continue reading

Southern Company downgraded to sell over Kemper coal and Vogtle nuclear

Time to break out of the utility death spiral by breaking away from cost overruns at Kemper “clean” Coal and the Plant Vogtle nuclear boondoggle and getting on with real renewable solar and wind power.

UBS wrote 5 May 2014, Southern Company: Kemper Tantrums; Reducing to Sell,

Reducing to Sell on continued delays for the Kemper IGCC project

With further delays and increased costs for the Kemper IGCC project resulting in yet another $380M of writedowns (further slippage costing $25M/month) and now the likely loss of $120M-$150M of bonus depreciation as well, we view the current premium P/E multiple as untenable. While the Vogtle nuclear project appears to be on track, the presence of two major risky projects, Continue reading

Utility-owned rooftop solar: Tom Fanning and Steven Chu agree

Tom Fanning is getting support for his idea of utility-owned rooftop solar. Can we see that tiger team report, Tom? And FPL, how about you get on with this, instead of trying to gouge an unneeded yard-wide methane pipeline through here? Sun, wind, and water can power each U.S. state, so how about FPL in the Sunshine State and Southern Company in the southeast get out in front and lead?

Jeff McMahon wrote for Forbes yesterday, Steven Chu Solves Utility Companies’ Death Spiral,

Utility companies have been looking for new regulations and higher connection charges to save them from a “death spiral” spurred by a surge in rooftop solar installations. Instead, says former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, they should get into the rooftop solar business.

Continue reading