Green Power Technology Update for June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm 1 comment

Just when you think that the various green, alternative power types are getting going we have a whole slew of bad news. There are serious potential issues affecting both wind and solar power’s affordability and overall return on investment.

The easiest to fix is the problem built into California’s net metering law that sunsets it once the amount being generated from alternative sources reaches 2.5% of the system peak grid load. The story on Cleantechnica (http://cleantechnica.com/2009/06/23/sunset-clause-to-dim-solar-in-california/) makes the point that we are already alomost there and we are just getting started. This problem is easily fixed but will probably get lost in my state’s annual budget fiasco.

Excerpt: “One of the key ways that solar is economical is through net metering. Because our utilities pay more for afternoon electrons, you can send electricity to the grid that sells for 40 cents in the afternoon, and use that generation as a credit towards the electricity you get back from the grid for 11 cents at night.

This lowering of utility bills is key to increasing home values. If a home saves $1,000 in a  year with solar then the value of the home goes up $20,000. This improvement is essential to getting mortgage financing for solar; so it’s all circular. Net metering down; savings down; bankers frown = energy brown.”

Next we have an unusual enemy for solar power, at least the solar tower/ heliostat type, the US Air Force.  Apparently these folks are not in favor of large areas near there installations that can potentially blind their pilots. The story is on Ecogeek (http://ecogeek.org/solar-power/2820-new-enemy-for-solar-tower-plants-the-air-force) has what details have been realeased.

Excerpt: “The Air Force, in fact, is not saying precisely why they don’t want the power plant. They say it could interfere with radar systems, but, more importantly, there are other reasons…all of which are classified. Col. Howard D. Belote, installation commander at Nellis said, “Because of the sensitivity [of information], I can’t tell them why. Unfortunately for them and us, there’s stuff on the Nevada testing range we don’t tell anyone about.”

We assume it has something to do with the aliens.

Too bad as this is prime area for installations such as these…..

Next there is concern over the problems Spain is having regarding wind power that might tarnish the technology’s reputation for affordability. Some think that the country’s investments in wind generation are causing potential insolvency issues.  The story is on Leonardo Energy (http://www.leonardo-energy.org/wind-energy-really-affordable) is from mu perspective brings up some very valid points.

Lastly tonight we have a little good news, if tightening or belts can be called that.  A new report put forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) says that by reducing unnecessary demand by up to 20% through demand use technologies.  The story is on Sustainable Business (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/18422) and it has all of the details if you are interested.

Personally I am more interested in continued development of alternative power generation as a means to get us out of our current mess, but I suppose that efficiency will always have its place.
As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Solar Power, Technology, Uncategorized, wind power. Tags: , , , .

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