Saturday, July 21, 2018

"Powering America: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation's Electricity System." | Energy Central

For Sale: 2,600 MW of Renewable Energy Projects to focus on networks

BNEF: Micro-grids could ‘leapfrog’ the grids for universal power supply – pv magazine International

AP Mobile: AP FACT CHECK: Trump's week of unreal claims on Russia, NATO

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's week of unreal claims on Russia, NATO: https://apnews.com/aeb270a20665400d82467a2fd3f2afd9

Shared via AP Mobile. Download the app now:
iOS - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ap-mobile/id284901416?mt=8
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mnn.Android&referrer=utm_source=share_item&utm_medium=mail
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Friday, July 20, 2018

Reuters: Trump and the U.S. dollar, US debt heading to highest level since WW2

From Reuters News:

Trump and the U.S. dollar: Actions speak louder than words
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-dollar-analysis/trump-and-the-u-s-dollar-actions-speak-louder-than-words-idUSKBN1KA2KK

U.S. President Donald Trump may not be happy about the strength of the U.S. dollar, but the greenback's recent rally may partly be a product of his own making.

This service is not intended to encourage spam. The details provided have been used for the sole purpose of facilitating this email communication and have not been retained by Thomson Reuters.
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Incoming PREPA CEO, majority of board resign over executive pay | Utility Dive

Puerto Rico wont pay what it takes to get top exec talent to fix this worst run utility in the US. That's what leads to politicians and other unqualified shmucks taking the job for less and planning from the start to get their rewards from corruption and self dealing.


https://www.utilitydive.com/news/incoming-prepa-ceo-majority-of-board-resign-over-executive-pay/527669/
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Reuters: Trump's consumer watchdog pick signals open season (again) for finance industry pillage

From Reuters News:

Trump's consumer watchdog pick defends record in Senate hearing
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-kraninger/trumps-consumer-watchdog-pick-defends-record-in-senate-hearing-idUSKBN1K91A7

President Donald Trump's choice to lead the U.S. consumer watchdog survived aggressive questioning by lawmakers on Thursday and looked on track to secure a confirmation vote that could come as soon as this month.

This service is not intended to encourage spam. The details provided have been used for the sole purpose of facilitating this email communication and have not been retained by Thomson Reuters.
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Texas Smashes 1925 Heat Record as Power Prices Surge on Demand

Texas Smashes 1925 Heat Record as Power Prices Surge on Demand  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-19/texas-smashes-1925-heat-record-as-power-prices-surge-on-demand
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Endangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal

Free ride for air, land and water polluters and end of the ride for some plants, animals and natural wonders the next generations might want or need and will now will never see.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: The Washington Post <email@washingtonpost.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 2:14 PM
Subject: News Alert: Endangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>


The proposal, announced jointly by the Interior and Commerce Departments, which are charged with protecting endangered species, would end the practice of extending similar protections to species regardless of whether they are listed as endangered or threatened. If the proposal is approved, likely by year's end, protections for threatened plants and animals would be made on a case-by-case basis. In another rollback of a key provision, the administration wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to strike language that guides officials to ignore economic impacts when determining how wildlife should be protected. The law was enacted 45 years ago to keep plants and animals in decline from going extinct.
 
Democracy Dies in Darkness
 
 
News Alert Jul 19, 2:13 PM
 
 
Endangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal

The proposal, announced jointly by the Interior and Commerce Departments, which are charged with protecting endangered species, would end the practice of extending similar protections to species regardless of whether they are listed as endangered or threatened. If the proposal is approved, likely by year's end, protections for threatened plants and animals would be made on a case-by-case basis.

In another rollback of a key provision, the administration wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to strike language that guides officials to ignore economic impacts when determining how wildlife should be protected. The law was enacted 45 years ago to keep plants and animals in decline from going extinct.

Read more »
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EU Preparing to Hit Back if US Puts Tariffs on Car Imports

Auto Industry Cries Foul as Trump Moves Toward Car Tariffs

Same approach he has used to screw his suppliers, lenders and investors his whole life, leaving scorched earth, lawsuits and permanently burned relationships in its wake.


https://www.manufacturing.net/news/2018/07/auto-industry-cries-foul-trump-moves-toward-car-tariffs
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gas Peaker Plants enter the cross-hairs

Thanks to impressive price declines over the past few years, battery storage is beginning to be considered and deployed as a grid resource to meet system peak electricity demands – challenging the business case for traditional peaker plants for the first time.

 

Unlike baseload power plants that are built to operate throughout the year, peaker plants are designed to be called on only when the demand for electricity spikes – during a summer heat wave when air conditioners are running full blast or a winter cold snap when electric heaters struggle to keep homes warm. There are more than 800 peaker plants in operation across the country, with another 20 gigawatts planned for development the next decade.

 

Due to their design and the way they're operated, peaker plants, which are often powered by natural gas, tend to emit hazardous pollutants at a higher rate than baseload gas plants. They also tend to be built closer to population centers and are disproportionately located in disadvantaged communities, contributing to poor air quality and threatening public health.

 

This webinar will present the case for battery storage, both standalone and paired with renewables, as an increasingly viable alternative to traditional fossil-fuel peaker plants.

Topics covered will include:

  • the economics of batteries versus peakers,
  • a look at solar and storage peaker projects in development,
  • an overview of the emissions and social equity impact of existing peaker plants; and
  • the story of how one proposed peaker plant was successfully challenged by advocates in California.


Presenters:

  • Seth Mullendore, Vice President and Project Director, Clean Energy Group
  • Elena Krieger, Clean Energy Program Director, Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy
  • Lucas Zucker, Policy and Communications Director, Central Coast Alliance for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

  

REGISTER HERE

            
This webinar is a presentation of Clean Energy Group's Resilient Power Project. For more information, please visit www.resilient-power.org.

 

 

       

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

Webinar Support
GoToWebinar Attendee Join Guide
Check your system compatibility here

 

This webinar is free, but registration is required

 


Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

NYSERDA Announces Redesign of NY-Sun’s Megawatt Block Program - NYSERDA

Enel inaugurates its new »Innovation Hub« | photon.info

Newly elected Ontario government will cancel 758 renewable energy contracts | photon.info

Florida's GDP hits $1 trillion mark: As a country, it'd rank 17th in world - Orlando Sentinel

Friday, July 13, 2018

RE: Pennsylvania lays out a plan for 11 GW of solar by 2030

I hope it goes somewhere in this shell gas and coal state. If it does, we might see you in PA more often as it would be growing opportunities for Arcstar with most of that capacity coming from utility scale solar

 

Regards

Marcelo

 

Marcelo J. Rouco

CEO/Founder/Chairman

Cell: (267) 397-1048  |  www.ecosaveinc.com

People  Planet  Profit

 

From: Monty Bannerman <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2018 4:37 PM
To: mbannerman1.watts <mbannerman1.watts@blogger.com>
Subject: Pennsylvania lays out a plan for 11 GW of solar by 2030

 

Pennsylvania lays out a plan for 11 GW of solar by 2030

Thursday, July 12, 2018

‘Very stable’ Trump? European leaders beg to differ. Conclude No Evidence of a Strategy Whatsoever

Total: French Oil Giant States Renewable Energy To Be Their Growth Engine - TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT) |

Fwd: How Long a Bridge Left for Natural Gas Peaking Plants? - RMI Report says they are the Walking Dead

California Meets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal Years Early

US: Impact of proposed new Trump Section 301 tariffs on inverter makers – pv magazine International

Bill to Take California to 100 Percent Clean Electricity Gains Traction - Renewable Energy World

Duke Energy is seeking 680 MW of new renewable energy capacity in the Carolinas | photon.info

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump administration wants welfare for coal and nuclear power | Energy Central

Xcel Energy Buys Wind Project From NextEra, Expands in Texas | Energy Central

UK Infrastructure leaders call time-out on nuclear construction | Construction Enquirer

HyperSolar Reaches Significant Milestone | Energy Central

U.S.-based nuclear power company commits $5M to operations and research in N.B. - New Brunswick | Globalnews.ca

Monday, July 9, 2018

Oldest US nuke plant, near Jersey shore, closing Sept. 17 | Energy Central

Chinese Premier Praises EU, Says Free Trade Must Be Upheld - stepping into the vacuum created by the Moron in Chief

Fwd: Microgrids and Energy Storage Move Puerto Rico Forward in Energy 2.0


"We Want Microgrids Everywhere," says Puerto Rico's Gov. Rosselló

"We want microgrids everywhere," said Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in a recent discussion of his Energy 2.0 plan and a future that allows citizens to choose whether they want to stay on the grid or leave it.

microgrids

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, Courtesy of FEMA, Photo by Eduardo Martinez

Part of his "New Vision for Puerto Rico" speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival June 26, Rosselló's remarks signaled the continued push to modernize the island's electric grid with microgrids, renewable energy and energy storage.

Aptly, the government also issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for energy storage around the same time.

Microgrids part of bigger plan

In his speech, Rosselló noted that 98 percent of the island's energy comes from fossil fuels and that he wants to transition to 40-45 percent renewable energy.

"This is an opportunity to leapfrog into the future and create an Energy 2.0 model," he said, noting that the island is in a unique position to change its energy infrastructure. Its electric grid is being rebuilt after massive destruction from last September's Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico can use some of its recovery funds, invite private partners to participate, and create a "robust"regulatory framework that provides for the best possible prices, he said.

The island wants to stop using fuels that are damaging its environment and create a system that's more resilient and reliable, he said.

Energy prices in Puerto Rico are now about 35 cents/kWh, said the governor. "We want to lower the costs. This is a major driver of economic growth," said Rosselló. "We want distributed generation. We want microgrids everywhere within the island, different alternatives."

New energy storage RFQ for Puerto Rico

The energy storage RFQ, issued by the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority, along with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), said that PREPA faces financial challenges, an outdated system and the problem of generation located on the south side of the island, while the north side has the biggest load.

"PREPA is facing a fundamental challenge as it looks to remain financially sustainable for the long term. In addition to financial challenges, PREPA's electric system remains fragile and relatively unreliable in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria," said the RFQ.

PREPA's goals include diversifying its energy sources and taking advantage of advanced technologies, said the RFQ.

The RFQ seeks a 20 MW/20 MWh system with the flexibility and modularity to expand to 40 MW/160 MWh. The energy storage system should be capable of providing ancillary services, including voltage and frequency control and regulation. And the project should help PREPA meet load variations related to the intermittency of renewable generation, according to the RFQ.

The chosen private developer will finance, design, construct, and maintain an energy storage system connected to PREPA's distribution system.

Free Resource from Microgrid Knowledge White Paper Library

The agencies hope to use funds provided under the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act, saying this project could spur sustainable economic development.

Respondents to the RFQ must show they have the technical, financial, and operational experience to install and operate the storage system for a 10- to 30-year term.

PREPA expects to pay the supplier for capacity on an annual basis, and the supplier will be responsible for guaranteeing the system's performance. The authority will control the system and be responsible for the energy needed to charge the storage system.

Advances public private partnerships

"Governor Rosselló has taken unequivocal steps for improving the public-private partnerships (PPP) framework and advancing bankable projects," said the RFQ.

In January and August 2017, the governor created amendments to the PPP program that allow for unsolicited proposals, pre-development agreements and facilitation of the approval procedures for projects under the PPP legislation.

"This project forms an integral part of the government's and PREPA's fiscal plan, which, among its many objectives, seeks to advance PPPs as a way to revitalize infrastructure and spur economic development," said the RFQ.

RFQ submissions are due August 3, and the agencies plan to select their shortlist on August 17. The selected applicants will then be invited to participate in a request for proposals.

The RFQ is available for download from the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority.

"What I'm really excited about is giving consumers control and making our system customer-centric," said the governor in his speech. "The people of Puerto Rico will be able to choose if they stay within the grid or if they opt out. We can make micro or nanogrids," said Rosselló .

Track news about microgrids in Puerto Rico. Subscribe to the free Microgrid Knowledge newsletter.



Nick D'Aloia
President
Powerhouse Partners LLC
Mobile: 602-317-2499




--
Jeb Seder
President
CJLF

+1650 797 9841
+33611243555

Energy Matters, 15.4



---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: American Energy Society <ejvettel@energysociety.org>
Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2018, 8:13 AM
Subject: Complimentary copy of Energy Matters, 15.4 - and membership offer
To: <ddguest@arcstarenergy.com>


The trusted source for sound-bite summaries of the energy news you need to know.

Volume 15(4)
July 9, 2018

The energy news you need to know
Published twice each month


The official e-newsletter of ...
News from the Society

You are receiving this issue of Energy Matters as a courtesy, compliments of the American Energy Society. However, as you will soon see, active links are reserved for Members of AES. Please consider joining the Society - membership in AES has many benefits, including access to restricted content and primary source material.

Even though the summer membership campaign is over, you (and/or your colleagues) can still join the Society as a Premium Member:

more information about the benefits of membership.

Please contact us if you think you've received this message in error.
Headline News

Conventional
OIL

- Crude oil production in the US has hit an all-time high, lowering prices to about $9/barrel less than competitors. This is the widest price-margin in years and has launched a new phase of arbitrage as Asian refiners import less oil from the Middle East and Russia and more from the US. Indeed, last month about half of all US crude exports (1.3 million bpd) went to Asia, including: 
  • Sinopec (China) cut Saudi imports and bought a record 16 million barrels (533,000 bpd) of US crude.
  • South Korea purchased 7 million barrels of US crude in June.
  • India acquired 6 million barrels in June, with Indian Oil Corp alone buying 3 million barrels.
  • Taiwanese state refinery snapped up 7 million barrels of US crude oil.
  • Thailand increased its purchase of US crude to at least 2 million barrels, with Thai Oil and Esso Thailand each buying 500,000 barrels of Bakken crude.

GAS

- Featured sources: Top-3 global gas market trends according to "Life In the Fast Lane," a report by the IEA. AES Members have complimentary access to the IEA's Executive Summary of the report and a supplemental slide presentation. A summary of the trends:
  1. China will soon become the world's largest importer of natural gas.
  2. The US accounts for 75% of growth in LNG exports.
  3. Industrial demand growth is about to surpass demand for natural gas from power generators.

Natural gas production growth for selected countries and regions, 2017 - 2023 (in bcm)
COAL

- Featured story: Sometimes, carbon-capture sequestration technologies can make a coal plant a "better" choice than a natural gas plant, even if the emission of greenhouse gasses is a primary criteria. (AES offers complimentary access to the peer-reviewed study):
  • Coal > Natural gas: if the coal plant benefits from carbon capture and sequestration technology and the natural gas power plant's methane leakage rate is more than 2% of the total produced.
  • Natural gas > Coal: if neither plant has implemented carbon capture technologies and if natural gas methane leakage stays below 5% of the total.
  • Coal = Natural gas: if both natural gas and coal plants benefit from carbon capture and sequestration technology, and the natural gas power plant has a methane leakage rate of 2% or less.

NUCLEAR

- Despite controversy about the Trump administration's offer of subsidies to the coal and nuclear industries (see "POLICY - Beltway Buzz" below); however, more than 100 thought-leaders have sent the Administration an endorsement letter in support of civil nuclear generated electricity as necessary for national security. AES Members have access to a true and correct copy of the endorsement letter.
Renewables

- Though impossible to forecast with certainty, wind and/or solar power will become more economical and more reliable than coal or natural gas when storage can hold four hours of capacity. That will allow renewable providers to sell power for about 3.5 cents per kWh.

- Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) just received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for four large energy storage projects totaling about 2,270 MWh, including the largest lithium-ion battery installation in the world (300 MW / 1,200 MWh), three times the size of the current world record: Tesla's 100 MW, 129 MWh battery in Australia.

- Solar power is growing rapidly in the southeast. Right now it only produces about 6,000 megawatts of power, but there are more than 15,000 MW of solar power projects in the development pipeline. However, even at 15,000 MW, solar would just be 3% of the power mix in the Southeast, highlighting the region's slow adoption of solar power relative to other solar-heavy regions like Arizona, Nevada, and California. AES Members have access to the Southeast Solar Report.
Southeast Solar Report, a summary (by state; regional total: 5,977 MW):
  1. North Carolina (2,699 MW)
  2. Georgia (1,222 MW)
  3. Florida (839 MW)
  4. South Carolina (777 MW)
  5. Tennessee (252 MW)
  6. Mississippi (113 MW)
  7. Alabama (75 MW)

- There are about 1.9 million jobs in US energy related sectors; of these, 19.4% are solar related jobs, of which more than half are in installation.
- The Burden, a new documentary about why the military is transitioning to clean energy, is too new to have received a professional review; however, a few thought-leaders/Members of the Society have seen the film and the consensus is that sometimes the film is smart and informative, but sometimes it feels like a strategic media engagement campaign that is trying to inspire a political viewpoint.
- Energy Observer (left), a 46' X 30' catamaran, is currently circumnavigating the globe using power from renewable energy - wind, solar, sea water, and a 106 kWh battery. Right now The Observer is docked in the Port of Venice, Italy.
Policy

- Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the EPA, has resigned. Second-in-command Andrew Wheeler is now the acting-Director of the EPA.

- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Robert Powelson has resigned. Powelson, a Republican, was confirmed by the Senate last August after he was nominated to the commission by President Trump in May 2017. Powelson had opposed the administration's proposed use of emergency funds to support coal and nuclear plants. 

- The lawsuit brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against five major oil companies - BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron - demanding that they pay for damages caused by anticipated climate change and eventual sea level rise was dismissed by US District Judge William Alsup because "regulation of the worldwide problem of global warming should be determined by our political branches, not by our judiciary."
Beltway Buzz

- One of a few arguments used by the Trump administration to defend the use of federal funds to support struggling coal and nuclear plants is summarized in a National Security Council memo: natural gas "pipelines are increasingly vulnerable to cyber and physical attacks [which would have] severe effects on electric generation necessary to supply critical infrastructure facilities." AES Members have access to a true and correct PDF copy of the NSC 40 page memo.

- There are seven executive positions within the Department of Interior that have neither an office-holder nor a nominee waiting for confirmation — including directors of NPS, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (AES recommends the resource, Appointee Tracker):

- At 8:45 pm on Friday, June 30th, two seemingly unrelated policies led by two different federal agencies converged:  
  1. Since August 23, 2017, when the US DoE released a grid study that raised questions about the security of the nation's backup power baseload, the Trump Administration has been searching for a new policy mechanism that could rescue uneconomical coal and nuclear plants.
  2. Late Friday evening June 30th, the commissioners at FERC (the US agency that regulates interstate electricity markets) issued an "unprecedented" order against the PJM Interconnection (which runs the electricity grid that spans 13 Atlantic Coastal states), ruling that it had undermined national security by not requiring that individual power plants store sufficient emergency backup power baseload. FERC has ordered PJM to require stronger backup power policies.
In spite of criticism from utilities, free market economists, federal policy-makers, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., it appears that the US Department of Energy and FERC are both supporting the Trump administration's attempt to protect coal- and nuclear power plants by requiring backup power baseload. FERC is taking public comments on the new "order" - contact AES if you would like a Community Manager to help submit a public comment. AES provides access to a true and correct copy of the FERC ruling from June 30th, 2018.
Climate

- It is hard to know how to interpret the data:
  • According to NASA, from Feb. 2016 to Feb. 2018, global temperatures dropped 0.56 degrees Celsius; or ...
  • According to NASA, 2016 was the hottest year on record since 1880; and, in the last 365 days, there have been 1.91 high temperature records for every 1 cold temperature record (1:1 is considered a stable climate.)

- There is a new global CO2 emissions record - the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded an average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide above 410 parts per million (ppm). According to ice core records, this is the highest rate in at least 800,000 years.

- Antarctic ice is melting at a flow-rate that is a bit more than that of the Niagara Falls.

- Domestic water use in the US (per capita) has dropped 27%, from 112 gallons a day in 1980 to 82 gallons in 2015. Since thermoelectric power (e.g., steam-driven electric turbines) accounts for 41% of all water use in the US, most of the improvement is due to the power industry using water more efficiently.

- August 1, 2018, is "Earth Overshoot Day," an annual event when humanity's consumption outstrips Earth's production of resources. In 2000, Earth Overshoot Day happened in October. In 2015, it was August 13. This year, it lands on August 1. (Note: China, the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan use more than double the amount of resources they produce.)

- The Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, is the central bank of the world's central banks and a source for some of the most respected independent research on the macroeconomy. The BIS has issued a formal statement that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies require too much electricity to be viable. Bitcoin's power usage already equals all of Switzerland's because every unique distributed proof-of-work transaction must be duplicated for as long as the currency has value - theoretically, in perpetuity. Ether, with a more efficient proof-of-work system, consumes more than 15 terawatts per hour - more than all of Cuba. AES Members have access to an early release of the BIS report on cryptocurrencies.
Electricity, Power and Efficiency

- The Top-5 most energy-secure nations (AES Members have access to a PDF copy of the "Energy Security" report):
  1. Norway remains the most energy secure country. 
  2. The US is ranked second, a remarkable rise for a country that was ranked 11th in 2000. 
  3. The UK is in third position, but dropping fast. 
  4. Mexico is a perennial presence in the top five; like the UK, however, its position has been declining steadily. 
  5. Denmark rounds out the top five.
Note: Last place - Ukraine continues its unbroken record (since 1992) of the least energy secure country in the world.

- Poor road conditions increase the total amount of fuel consumed and GHG emissions. For example:
  • California (50,000 lane-mile system): Pot-holes, rough-roads, and debris account for an additional 1% of overall fuel consumption.
  • Virginia (5,000 lane-mile system): Poor roadways add an additional 1 million tons of CO2, or about 10% of Virginia's total emitted greenhouse gasses related to transportation.

- There are enough resources to meet this summer's projected peak electricity demand in all regions of the US except Texas. (Note: a reserve margin of 15% is considered "safe"; Texas' ERCOT has 11% of total power-usage in reserve.)
Research to Market

- Special report, AES original research on the Silicon Valley energy-innovation ecosystem. Please contact us if you are a Member of the Society and would like a free copy of the Executive Summary of the report (forthcoming, September) or 50% off the regular price of the comprehensive Silicon Valley Energy Venture Directory). Some early findings:
  • There are 11 distinct energy innovation ecosystems within Silicon Valley: Morgan Hill, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Fremont, Berkeley, Oakland, San Ramon and Livermore.
  • Only three regions in Silicon Valley have mature late-stage energy innovation ecosystems: (Oakland, San Ramon and San Francisco).
  • Proximity to capital and talent is expensive throughout Silicon Valley, but three ecosystems (Palo Alto, Berkeley, and Oakland) have offset the extreme costs by working closely with nearby research universities (Stanford and UC Berkeley).
  • Entrepreneurial experience with energy start-up is relatively equal across all Silicon Valley eco-systems, but talent-pools have clustered. Among all Silicon Valley energy ecosystems, San Francisco has the highest talent-retention rate.

- Funding: MONITOR funding program through ARPA-e. The expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has led to a rapid increase in US natural gas development. However, an average of about 2% of gas resources are wasted through leaks, with higher rates at some production sites. Existing methane monitoring devices have limited effectiveness; oftentimes, drillers cannot identify leak locations. MONITOR aims to address these shortcomings by introducing new technologies that improve the accuracy of methane detection. 

- The agriculture industry uses a significant amount of energy - globally, about 14% of total food costs are directly or indirectly related to energy consumption. With the global demand for protein for human consumption increasing, there is greater pressure throughout the energy supply chain. Diversification and alternative foods offer greater stability for farmers, for producers of energy, and for all consumers. The following are three new start-ups in the food-energy nexus:
  • KnipBio - microbes that convert low-cost feedstock proteins for aquaculture feed.
  • Unibio - bacterial protein fermentation solutions for animal feed.
  • Calysta - fish and animal nutrition products and industrial materials via methane conversion.

- The US Internal Revenue Service is extending incentives for solar power and other clean energy sources for up to four more years. Developers can claim an IRS 30% tax credit for solar projects as long as they have started construction by the end of 2019 and begin producing energy before the end of 2023. For projects that begin construction after Jan. 1, 2020, the credit drops to 26%. The incentive also applies to fuel cell power plants, small wind turbines and a few other technologies. According to AES expert Members, these investment tax credit guidelines are better than expected. AES encourages Members to contact experts at Orrick for more information (ask for Wolfram Pohl).

- Tesla acquired SolarCity on June 21, 2016; since then, total solar installations by SolarCity have dropped 62% (as measured by megawatts of capacity installed).
Features

Spotlight - EPRI

For the last year or so the Trump administration has been seeking a policy mechanism that would financially support uneconomical coal- and nuclear-fired power plants in order to stabilize electricity markets, power baseloads, national security, regional economies, etc.... Often overlooked in this debate is the stabilizing effect on the electricity sector provided by the Electric Power Research Institute ("EPRI"), an independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research and development related to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity. With principal offices and laboratories across the US - Palo Alto, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lenox, Massachusetts - the underappreciated EPRI has stabilized electricity markets for more than fifty years. In November 1965, the Great Northeastern Blackout left 30 million people in the US without electricity, demonstrating the nation's growing dependence on electricity and vulnerability to its loss. In response, The Great Blackout also triggered the creation of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Since then, there have been enormous changes throughout the electricity industry, and EPRI has responded with short- and long-term insights and leadership, helping to ensure that tomorrow's electricity sector is as stable and effective as it is today. The American Energy Society applauds and admires the work of EPRI and its commitment to optimizing clean, efficient production, delivery, and use of electricity.


What You May Have Missed:

Featured story: The mixture of sources used by the global power industry to generate electricity has remained mostly unchanged over the last two decades. For instance:
  • The share of coal in the global power mix was 38% in 2017 and in 1998.
  • Global carbon dioxide emissions increased last year by about the same amount as in 1998.
  • Since 1998, natural gas consumption has increased 3%, and oil consumption by 1.8%.
  • Renewable energy increased by 17%, most of it via wind and solar power.
  • Energy consumption increased by 3.1% in China in 2017; and, China was the largest growth market for energy for the 17th consecutive year.


Quotes

"I'm the deputy administrator, that's the position I signed up for, that's the position I wanted. I didn't want to be the administrator. I still don't want to be the administrator." - Andrew Wheeler, the new Director of the EPA, right before his boss, Scott Pruitt, announced his resignation.

"You bomb a pipeline, that's the end of the pipeline. With coal, that stuff is indestructible." - President Donald Trump, on why he wants to use federal funds to support coal-fired power plants.

"You don't solve problems with the same thinking that created them." - Albert Einstein


Contacts

Partner-Sponsors

The American Energy Society is proud to welcome its newest Partner-Sponsors:
In the category of LAW Partner-Sponsor

In the category of Accelerators/Incubators
and our other exclusive Partner-Sponsors...
In the category of climate remediation
In the category of Associations


Please contact us if you or your organization would like
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