Rosalind Jackson at Vote Solar in San Francisco tells Etopia News that the hearing scheduled for 9:00 am PDT tomorrow in Room 2040 of the California State Capitol to consider AB 560, a bill by Berkeley Assemblymember Nancy Skinner to raise the net-metering cap from 2.5% to 10%, has been postponed until Thursday, July 2nd. The change in schedule was just confirmed by the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, which says the meeting will be held at the same time and place on the 2nd of July.
PG&E, one of California's three big investor-owned utilities (IOUs), is rapidly approaching the 2.5% level of net-metering, a system under which utility customers are able to reduce their energy bills by feeding green electricity generated on their premises back into the electrical grid from which they otherwise receive it. PG&E opposes AB 560.
Net-metering differs from "feed-in tariffs" (FITs) in that FITs require utilities to pay for all the electricity they receive from user-producers, while net-metering involves driving the electric meter backwards, up to the point where the customer has a zero bill, after which time any additional electricity provided by the customer to the utility is being given for free to the power company.
Statewide net-metering exists on account of provisions of the California Solar Initiative, SB1. As generally understood, that law stipulates that when a utility derives 2.5% of its sold power from net-metering, the net-metering provision will expire and the utility will no longer be required to offer the program to its customers. Accordingly, unless the net-metering limit is raised from its current level, the success of this program will mean its imminent demise, which some observers believe would deal a crushing blow to California's solar industry.
Accordingly, Assemblymember Skinner has authored AB560, which would raise the net-metering program cap to 10%, in order to maintain the existence of the program and the health of the state's solar industry.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Mike Antheil, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE), talks about the upcoming July 11, 2009, annual meeting of the organization, recorded from Florida on June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Etopia News anchor Marc Strassman reads a statement from Siemens AG outlining their support for the DESERTEC project to generate massive quantities of solar electricity in North Africa for export to Europe via high-voltage direct-current power lines, recorded in Los Angeles, California, on June 26, 2009
Cutting-edge projects and pioneering engineering achievements have always been typical Siemens merits – from intercontinental telegraph links to the Shannon project for the electrification of Ireland. “Desert power for Europe“ is again one such visionary project.
There is an enormous dormant energy potential in the desert regions on our Earth’s solar belt: There the sun is available for power generation for over 4800 hours a year, which is equivalent to more than three times the total annual insolation in Germany. Within 6 hours the Earth’s desert regions receive more energy from the sun than mankind consumes within a year. An area measuring 300 by 300 square kilometers fitted with parabolic mirrors would be sufficient to meet the world’s entire power demand.
Why shouldn’t we develop CO2-free power generation across continents in the 21st century, just like we developed intercontinental telecommunications in the 19th century. This unites sustainability, technological competence and visionary entrepreneurship. And precisely these aspects have been our focal areas for over 160 years.
The Desertec concept describes sustainable power supply for Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa based on renewable energy sources. The power is to be generated by solar thermal power plants primarily located in northern Africa and by wind farms off the coast of northern Africa and northern Europe.
Together with a number of renowned industrial companies Siemens has a commitment in the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Desertec II). The objective of this initiative is to develop over the mid-term a technical and economic concept for solar power from Africa. Work will also focus on the clarification of legal and political issues.
The technology for implementation of the Desertec concept is available. Solar thermal power plants have a track record spanning 20 years and will experience a boom that is currently still difficult to assess. Low-loss, long-distance transmission of large quantities of power is also technically feasible, and is already being successfully implemented in China and India.
Siemens is a world leader in offshore wind farms and steam turbines for solar-thermal power plants. Through its equity stake in the Italian company Archimede Solar Energy, Siemens can also offer solar receivers and thus a further key component for the construction of solar power plants. By combining these two technologies we will enhance the efficiency of these plants and further reduce solar power production costs.
Siemens is also a leading company in the field of high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission, which is essential for low-loss power transport over long distances to Europe’s load centers
A fundamental prerequisite for the successful implementation of such large-scale projects like Desertec is, however, common political will at international level.
Siemens is backing the concept with its solutions. Desertec could in the future make a contribution toward a clean power generation mix.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Satu Hassi, Green Member of the European Parliament, talks about the creation of a trans-Mediterranean and EU-wide electrical SuperGrid, feed-in tariffs, and the path to a renewable world, recorded from Brussels, Belgium, on June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Jared Huffman, California Assemblymember from the 6th District (Marin and Sonoma Counties), talks about AB 1106, which would create a California feed-in tariff, recorded from Sacramento, California, on June 16, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and Green Party energy spokesperson, talks about expanding the German feed-in tariff law to include green electricity from North Africa, part 4 of 4
Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and Green Party energy spokesperson, talks about expanding the German feed-in tariff law to include green electricity from North Africa, part 3 of 4
Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and Green Party energy spokesperson, talks about expanding the German feed-in tariff law to include green electricity from North Africa, part 1 of 4
Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and Green Party energy spokesperson, talks about expanding the German feed-in tariff law to include green electricity from North Africa, part 2 of 4
Monday, June 1, 2009
Benjamin Sovacool, Assistant Professor at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and Charmaine Watts, Founding Trustee of REFIT-NZ, talk about their article "Going Completely Renewable: Is It Possible (Let Alone Desirable)?," recorded from Brazil and near Auckland, New Zealand, on June 1/2, 2009