Tag Archive for clean energy

Let’s Just Destroy Clean Energy Research

URGENT UPDATE: March 23rd 2018

Congress stops cuts to clean energy research!!!!!! Trumpism denied

The White House has proposed to nearly eliminate clean energy research and weatherization programs in a proposed 2019 budget for the Energy Department. Of course. Why not?

clean energy conceptRather than utilize the most efficient means of reducing energy consumption, energy conservation, this administration is doubling down on the archaic notion that we should simply consume more energy.

This is yet another example of an administration that wants to do harm rather than do something to help people.

ARGH.

Read the full article:
White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels

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Clean Coal…One of the Worlds Greatest Oxymoronic Comments

clean-coalWell, it appears that the great (and dare I say to some of my followers) tax subsidized experiment in “clean coal” is not working. SaskPower’s experiment has “been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen short of its emissions targets, and faces a core problem with its core technology.” Well, Ian Austen of the times, a more succinct statement could not be made.

Of course, it has only cost about $1 billion so far…If this was a solar or wind installation, critics would be howling at the waste of money on dubious technology……

Clean coal is an illusion and coals use is simply a technology whose time has come and gone.

Read the full article:
Technology to Make Clean Energy From Coal Is Stumbling in Practice
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Commercial Businesses and the Clean Energy Fund

On December 20, NJ Spotlight reported that “NJ Firms Can Use Surcharge for Energy Efficiency Projects“. The report noted that after much effort and discussion, some of the Societal Benefits Charges (SBC) could now be used by business to establish a credit against their energy efficiency improvements.

The money for this will deplete the total amount of money that is available for use by others including those who rely on energy assistance as well as impact clean energy programs. The question is, does this make sense?

In part I agree that any program that encourages business to improve their energy conservation is a good idea. The problem with this program appears to be that we are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

First, the legislature and the governor’s office elect to raid the clean energy fund for general purposes. This was a bad idea then and remains a bad idea now. Secondly, we reduce the availability of that money for those whom it was originally intended to help.

The simple fact is, the clean energy program is a good idea. I have stated before that it may need some help in improving its efficiency (pardon the pun), but the money should be used for the purpose that it was intended for in the first place.

I suspect that if the fund had not been raided, there would be enough money in place to successfully implement both ideas. Unfortunately, now that has been made less certain.

However, it is certainly a good idea to help businesses improve their energy efficiency. Energy efficient businesses are more competitive can help to generate more economic growth and generally benefit the economy as a whole.

By providing a greater economic incentive to business, one of the key hurdles to energy improvements, cost, will be more easily overcome. The idea is sound. The devil is in the details.

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Cutting NJ Clean Energy Program Funding Hurts Homeowners and Businesses

NJ Spotlight recently reported that the state is considering cutting its funding for new energy efficiency and renewable energy projects almost in half. NJ Spotlight further reported that “In a draft proposal circulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities last week, the budget for the clean energy program would allocate $339 million in new spending, a sharp reduction from the $651 million proposed by the agency last December.”

The question is, does cutting this money have a real impact on New Jersey’s energy program? Well, yes it does. As is usually the case, we are looking at short-term convenience at the expense of long-term economic development and energy stability.

As to what elements of the clean energy program are sacrosanct, and which might represent a less than efficient use of subsidies, it appears that the really short-term ignorance of this move is the cutting of energy conservation funds for homeowners and businesses.

How can it benefit economic growth when we are taking away financial incentives to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses? Notwithstanding the operating inefficiency that many complain about regarding the Office of Clean Energy (OCE), taking money away from the energy program is not the solution.

If the argument is that the OCE is inefficient and did not distribute the money effectively, then change the office. Don’t simply take the money and use it to plug budget problems created by an inefficient legislature and Governor’s office.

Reasonable people are of the opinion that energy conservation is the best overall investment that we can make. So why are we taking the money away to plug a budget deficit?

Energy Conservation

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