Tag Archive for renewable energy

XCel Energy sees the Future and it is Wind and Solar

In this recent Times post, Xcel Energy is highlighted for its proposal to replace two coal fired power plants with renewable energy supplemented by natural gas. Why?

Based on the bids received by the company, the company will be able to operate the new plants for less than it would have cost them to keep running old coal burning plants. They now realize that the future is not in fossil fuels but in renewable energy.

Ok, let’s be clear, I know that there are subsidies for renewables and some of the let’s support fossil fuel crowd are crying foul…but as I have noted too many times, fossil fuels have had subsidies for more than a century…and even a panel of Trump appointees voted down new coal subsidies by a 5-0 vote.

There is hope…hope that the arcane thinkers who have been appointed to important posts by this administration with the goal of taking the Country backwards will be thwarted by the very principles they espouse but don’t follow…capitalism.

Read the full article:
Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Apple Becomes a Green Energy Supplier

When she still worked in New Jersey, I had the pleasure of working with Lisa Jackson of Apple from time to time. Lisa was, and remains, a person who can take complex environmental issues and turn them into ideas that make sense.

Green Energy SupplierNow we see that Apple, where Lisa ended up after her stint at EPA…has implemented a solar and renewable energy program where they not only generate electrical power that they need, but buy it as well. To my mind, that has always been one of the potential beauties of solar power. Become your own power producer.

The most impressive element of this program is not that Apple is actually listening to an expert in sustainability from within, but that they have taken this concept and made it in the context of a business decision. Specifically, by becoming a green energy supplier, they are going to save money as well as generate clean power.

The decision means that they can continue to do well while doing some good.

Read the full article:
Apple Becomes a Green Energy Supplier, With Itself as Customer
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


The Cost of Fossil Fuels

The Cost of Fossil FuelsI cannot blame the utility company for looking at renewable energy and the lower profits caused by the availability of cheap fossil fuels. But of course, the cost of fossil fuels is not real.

We still, and I know that I have been on my soapbox about this for some time, provide obscene levels of subsidy to fossil fuels. Thus the price for these fuels is already artificially low.

We will never move forward unless we either:

  1. Take those subsidies away from fossil fuels.
  2. Charge for their true cost in terms of environmental and ecosystem cost.
  3. Provide the same subsidies to alternative power sources at the same level.

Read the full article:
In Britain, a Green Utility Company Sees Winds of Change
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Renewable Energy

renewable-energy-cubeThe New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has taken a step forward in solving a major concern with regard to renewable energy. Storage = consistency of power. As we move forward in the area of energy storage, we continue to allow for our evolution away from fossil fuels.

The grants are a great step forward.

One thing that we must do with this research, and something on which I see little written, is be certain that we design storage systems with end of life design in mind. Storage and renewable energy will have less meaning if the technologies result in additional pollution or end of life waste.

I hope that the grants are taking this into account.

Read the full article:
State Invests in Backup Storage for Solar Power and Wind Energy Systems