Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today is the day for Solar

Let’s talk Seriously now. North Carolina has a standard, a mandate and while some of it has been challenging to implement, solar is on time and under price on all original estimates, period!

We have invested 150yrs worth of infrastructure and private and government support around fossil fuel. Fossil fuel was all worthwhile but to say solar can’t compete is not telling the whole story.
SC Senator Glenn Reese who taught physics for 15yrs recently captured it best when he said “..the good Lord may be laughing at us, he gave us an infinite energy source right there in the sky..”

Today’s solar is 300% more efficient than 1958’s solar. I’d like to hear from leaders how we plan to transition away from finite fuel sources. Tomorrow’s solar is closer than we think.
Today we can feasibly put 20% generation from wind and solar and NOT require more base-load capacity.
Today we can put people back to work.
Today solar could easily grow by 35% a year with incentives and renewable energy goals in place from the legislature.
Today our utilities are making strides to do renewable energy and clean power production. SCE&G, Duke and Progress all have programs in place that are leaps and bounds from where they were 3 years ago. The Co-ops are leading the nation in an efficiency program they just need to initiate it. As leaders in business in the state and the region they have some of the brightest minds in the nation working for them. Ironically a few people still say they don’t see any customer benefit with renewables. NC has implemented 20MW of solar (and counting) for, at most, 83c a month per customer. 1000’s of people work in renewable energy in NC. New Coal costs $2.50 per month to build and fuel costs are subject to rise ad infinitum. Nuclear can meet our base load demand and we can build out renewable sources as they become more and more competitive. As business people and South Carolinians we ask the leaders of SC to figure out how can we create a renewable industry that protects rate payers, rewards utilities for a job well done and employs 100’s or 1000’s of South Carolinians so that they are paying into the state we live in. Incentives in 2011 and Goals for Renewable Energy before 2012 is the economic development we need. We are surrounded by states that have already improved their economies this way. Today is the day for solar.

Monday, January 3, 2011

SC lags in all areas of solar development

States Drive Renewable Energy
14 December 2010

States continue to drive renewable energy according to the 2010 edition of the policy guide looking at net metering and interconnection procedures across the states, Freeing the Grid.
"Electricity rules and regulations can be incredibly complex and difficult to get right, particularly in the pioneering territory of renewables and self-generation. Freeing the Grid is intended to help states understand how their policies currently rank and how to improve them to achieve real renewable energy market and job growth," says Kyle Rabin, Director of the Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC).

"The tremendous progress we’ve seen over the four short years of the report’s publication leaves no doubt that states are able and willing to tackle these tough issues and advance our clean energy economy."

Freeing the Grid 2010 Highlights:
Net metering rules: In 2010, 37 states received A or B grades for their net metering policies, up from 13 states in 2007;
Interconnection procedures: In 2010, 20 states received A or B grades for good interconnection practices, a tremendous improvement over the solitary B grade awarded in 2007;
Head of the Class: Massachusetts and Utah received exceptional ‘A’ grades in both interconnection and net metering. This is the first time in the report’s history that any state has achieved ‘A’ grades in both categories;
Most Likely to Succeed: Colorado’s use of proven best practices and new policy models earned it the top score in net metering. Colorado allows many customer types and systems sizes to benefit from net metering, enabling broad participation in the state’s renewable energy economy. In 2010, the state also took pioneering steps to allow shared, community solar energy systems to receive net metering credits through Community Solar Gardens.
"I am proud that Colorado is leading the way on distributed renewable energy," says Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.

"We have worked hard to diversify our energy supplies and create jobs, while also trying to make distributed renewable energy affordable for our commercial and residential sectors. This is smart, forward-thinking policy that other states can, and should, follow."

Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar, adds: "With gridlock at the Federal level, state and local leaders have been busy expanding opportunities for Americans to invest in our new energy economy. These states are to be applauded for their leadership and vision in driving real renewable energy progress and job growth.

“In combination with policies that grow wholesale renewable generation for the utility sector, these state-level policies for customer self-generation are building robust and sustainable renewable energy markets across the country.”

Community Solar Programs
"One of the most exciting developments graded for the first time this year’s Freeing the Grid is the state-wide community solar programs that are moving forward in a number of places throughout the country. Community solar allows renters, customers with shaded roofs, and others who were formerly unable to participate solar energy to do so which supports green jobs in their local communities while simultaneously expanding markets for renewable energy," comments Joseph Wiedman, Partner at Keyes and Fox, LLP which represents IREC.

Freeing the Grid is produced annually by NNEC in partnership with Vote Solar, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the North Carolina Solar Center.