Monday, January 28, 2019

Fwd: PG&E's Woes Have Spread to New York's ConEd, 3,000 Miles Away - Renewable Energy World

Bet there are some guys at ConEd explaining how they could have been so stupid to execute this transaction just 30 days before the offtaker went over the edge.

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

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: rebecca nichols <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 3:11 AM
Subject: PG&E's Woes Have Spread to New York's ConEd, 3,000 Miles Away - Renewable Energy World
To: Monty Bannerman <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>


PG&E's Woes Have Spread to New York's ConEd, 3,000 Miles Away

January 21, 2019
By Bloomberg News Editors
REW_PGEWoesConEd
         

by Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg

PG&E Corp.'s woes are spreading to the East Coast.

New York's Consolidated Edison Inc., which owns renewable energy projects that sell power to the California utility, was downgraded Friday by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith, saying there's a "good likelihood" PG&E will reject the contracts.

ConEd acquired solar, storage and wind assets in December through a $1.6 billion deal with Sempra Energy. Dumoulin-Smith cut his ConEd rating to neutral, from buy, and reduced his price target to $80 per share from $83. He also cited the utility's 12.5 percent interest in the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in the Virginias, which has been beset with construction delays and cost overruns.

ConEd spokesman Allan Drury said in an email the utility is aware of PG&E's potential bankruptcy and "will monitor any developments." ConEd shares fell 0.6 percent to $76.55 at 12:51 p.m. in New York.

In-depth:  How Will PG&E's Bankruptcy Impact the CleanTech Industry?


Multiple representatives from ConEd will be speaking at the upcoming DistribuTECH, which takes place in New Orleans from February 5-7, 2019. Learn more about the speakers and register here


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Fwd: Shared data will ‘change the energy market’ says blockchain expert JoJo Hubbard - Power Engineering International

Shared data will 'change the energy market' says blockchain expert JoJo Hubbard
01/09/2019
         

The digitalization of the electricity sector marks the second energy revolution, according to Joanna Hubbard of blockchain company Electron.

"If the first energy revolution was clean energy, the second energy revolution is shared data structures that anyone can build-out on top of," she told me in an interview.

"I see that happening over the next three-to-five years and it's going to completely change the energy market and the whole supply-consumer relationship."

She added: "What's exciting about the digitalization of energy now, is that it is a foregone conclusion. I don't think that was true a year ago. There's a huge amount of work going on."

And she says that in 2019 "we are going to see an even greater fracturing of energy markets. We are going to see so many new ideas of things that we can trade, not least energy and grid services, but also data. We will see lots and lots of pockets of innovation."

Hubbard is chief operating officer and co-founder of UK-based Electron, which has already won government backing as well as the support of several major energy sector players including EDF Energy, Statkraft and TEPCO for its decentralized energy trading platform.

She says that "there's a lot of different flavours of blockchain: a lot of different use cases. The overarching benefits for me are enabling price transparency in markets – and I say 'markets' because there's not going to be one market for all energy like we have today: there's going to be a market for grid services, local energy, clean energy, big energy – so the blockchain can provide the co-ordinating layer for all those different value streams to move on top of one another instead of against one another."

Hubbard says that "the reason a lot of people don't understand blockchain comes from the fact that it is usually explained as a particular blockchain".

 "People are making claims like, 'blockchain is transparent; blockchain is opaque; blockchain is secure; blockchain is not secure; blockchain is fast; blockchain is slow' – and they all might be true for 'a blockchain', but they aren't really true of blockchain in the abstract.

"Blockchain in the abstract is a technology. Essentially, it's a protocol, a set of rules, which is enforced across participants in a network. And when all those participants adhere to those rules, they are able to essentially update the status of the network and maintain that network together.

"So in the energy space, blockchain is very exciting in terms of being this co-ordination mechanism."

She says in an increasingly decentralized energy world, "we need a new co-ordination mechanism that is capable of enforcing a set of rules across all those different assets. And that gives them the ability to access a market in a rules-based, auditable fashion. And that's why I think the energy industry is getting very excited about this technology."

She stresses that blockchain in itself is not a business model: "It's a technology that enables much more granular business models and much more asset participation in the energy industry.

"What's almost been misleading about recent waves of press coverage, is blockchain does not necessarily enable new business models. Business models like peer-to-peer or vehicle-to-grid are possible with a central intermediary: blockchain allows them to do it without the central intermediary – which can improve the cost efficiency function and also the trust function."

She highlights decentralized energy as one aspect of the energy industry that is "particularly ripe for co-ordination. Co-ordination across potentially competing, potentially non-competitive parties. And that's Electron's core focus – the flexibility markets.

"There's a really exciting component of the flexibility trade that doesn't really exist on any of exchange product today.

 "Our application is an enterprise application that is solving a problem that a lot of asset owners or flexibility providers or aggregators want solved and participants on the other side who are buying this flexibility haven't been allowed to solve themselves."

"Co-ordination is key to realizing the full value of digitalization. There are three core platforms that need to be co-ordinated and shared. It's the asset register: what is it; where is it; there's the trading platform and the rules around how you are allowed to interact; and then there's the data repository.

"Everything else – all the other competitive business models – can be built on top of that structure, but that infrastructure needs to exist first."

Hubbard says the key to developing the blockchain platform is "about building something that's future-proof. We know we need to build an infrastructure that enables greater asset participation in the system. Because that creates more competition, it increases the efficiency of the system, and it also increases the resiliency of the system."

Jo-Jo Hubbard will be speaking at the DistribuTECH conference and exhibition in New Orleans next month. Click here for details. And co-located with DistribuTECH is the Energy Blockchain Symposium And Training event

Watch our series of exclusive interviews with Jo-Jo Hubbard.



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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Government shutdown cost U.S. more than Trump's wall demand

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/government-shutdown-cost-more-than-wall-demand-165956737.html
Lost productivity from furloughed workers and weakened economic activity during the 35-day partial government shutdown cost the U.S. economy at least $6 billion, according to a new analysis from S&P Global Ratings.
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Los Angeles Times: NextEra fires ‘warning shot’ at PG&E over power contracts

Los Angeles Times: NextEra fires 'warning shot' at PG&E over power contracts.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nextera-pge-20190123-story.html
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

US Government debt hits record $66 trillion, 80% of global GDP, Fitch says

CNBC: Government debt hits record $66 trillion, 80% of global GDP, Fitch says.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/government-debt-tab-hits-66-trillion-80percent-of-global-gdp-fitch-says.html
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sun Sentinel: FPL plans to add 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030 - RPS? Who needs an RPS?

Sun Sentinel: FPL plans to add 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030.
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-fpl-solar-panel-installation-20190116-story.html
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

CNN: Rudy Giuliani says Trump didn't collude with Russia but can't say if campaign aides did - everybody's under the bus but Trump now

CNN: Rudy Giuliani says Trump didn't collude with Russia but can't say if campaign aides did.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/politics/rudy-giuliani-cnntv/index.html
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

News Alert: Pentagon seeks to expand scope and sophistication of U.S. missile defenses on scale not seen since Reagan's 'Star Wars' initiative

First, stir up more trouble with Iran and N Korea, then increase spending on major defence contracts. Works every time.




The move comes as North Korea and Iran make advances in ballistic missile production, and as Russia and China press forward with sophisticated cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles that potentially threaten the security of U.S. forces and allies in Europe and Asia. According to a summary of a new strategy that President Trump plans to roll out personally on Thursday alongside military leaders at the Pentagon, the administration's response is to call for urgent new investments in missile-defense technologies across the board, many of which the Pentagon pursued during the Cold War but abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
 
Democracy Dies in Darkness
 
 
News Alert Jan 16, 9:00 PM
 
 
Pentagon seeks to expand scope and sophistication of U.S. missile defenses on scale not seen since Reagan's 'Star Wars' initiative

The move comes as North Korea and Iran make advances in ballistic missile production, and as Russia and China press forward with sophisticated cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles that potentially threaten the security of U.S. forces and allies in Europe and Asia.

According to a summary of a new strategy that President Trump plans to roll out personally on Thursday alongside military leaders at the Pentagon, the administration's response is to call for urgent new investments in missile-defense technologies across the board, many of which the Pentagon pursued during the Cold War but abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Solar and batteries are retiring natural gas plants — Quartz

Super Bowl LIII planners brace for shutdown problems at Atlanta airport - you can do anything you want, but there will be hell to pay if you mess with my superbowl

Super Bowl LIII planners brace for shutdown problems at Atlanta airport
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/01/16/super-bowl-liii-planners-brace-shutdown-problems-atlanta-airport/
Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
Tel: +1 646-402-5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

PG&E Bankruptcy Risk Gets Real — But What's Next? - Renewable Energy World

Enel touts €1bn green bond and bags 70% of Polish demand response market – pv magazine International

Monday, January 14, 2019

Credit quality of PG&E PPA's drop to Junk




Newsletter – January 15, 2019 PHOTON Newsletter Logo
 

US utility PG&E prepares to file for bankruptcy / John Simon as interim CEO appointed


US utility PG&E will file for bankruptcy, Berkshire Hathaway's »Topaz Solar Farm« counts on PG&E for all of its revenue
© First Solar Inc.

14.01.2019: PG&E Corporation, owner of the biggest U.S. power utility by number of customers, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for all of its businesses probably at the end of January. According to news agency »Reuters«, PG&E »faces widespread litigation, government investigations and liabilities that could potentially reach $30 billion,« accounting for damage from fires in 2018 and in 2017. The wildfires have killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes. According to the »Washington Post«, declaring insolvency is »ultimately the only viable option to restore PG&E's financial stability to fund ongoing operations and provide safe service to customers,« citing company officials.
According to news agency »Bloomberg«, S&P Global Ratings cut the credit rating of Berkshire Hathaway Energy's 550 MW »Topaz Solar Farm« to junk, »noting that the plant counts on embattled utility giant PG&E Corp. for all of its revenue.« The company had more than 6 GW of deals to buy wind and solar power from suppliers including Sempra Energy and Consolidated Edison Inc. as of January 2017, says the agency.
First Solar Inc. started construction on the »Topaz Solar Farm« in November 2011. Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. agreed to purchase the project in December 2011.
PG&E Corporation is a Fortune 200 energy-based holding company, headquartered in San Francisco. It is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, an energy company that serves 16 million Californians across a 70,000-square-mile service area in Northern and Central California. The company says, it does not expect any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result if the bankruptcy process. The company also expects that its employees will continue to receive their pay and healthcare benefits as usual.
On Sunday, PG&E Corporation announced that its CEO Geisha Williams has resigned from the Boards of both the holding company and the utility. The Board of Directors appointed John Simon as Interim Chief Executive Officer. He has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel since 2017 and has been with the company since 2007.
© PHOTON

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Univergy will install two photovoltaic projects with a capacity of 400 MW in Spain


Univergy's 32 MW plant »Fukuroda« in Japan
© Univergy International

14.01.2019: The Hispanic-Japanese project developer Univergy International targets to build two photovoltaic plants in Spain with a total capacity of 400 MW, to start supplying energy to the grid in 2020. The projects are located in the province of Palencia in Castillia y León, in the communities Grijota and Herrera de Pisuerga. According to the company, it already has the energy concession permits and is now contacting the landowners to propose a 25-year rental agreement. The installation of these two plants will require the work of up to a hundred people during the construction phase and, once the infrastructure has been completed, it will require five maintenance managers who will be responsible for solving any incidents that may arise.
Furthermore, Univergy has planned a series of facilities for the so-called solar pumping, which can save diesel on farms that use this type of fuel for irrigation and soon begin to install in the province. Currently, the group has business activity in Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Spain, Korea, Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, France and Egypt, countries where it develops a project portfolio of more than 2,6 GW in total.
© PHOTON

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CEE Group sells UK solar portfolio to Greencoat Capital

14.01.2019: German asset manager CEE completed the sale of its British solar park portfolio to Greencoat Solar Assets II. The three plants have a total capacity of 60.4 MW. Total installed capacity of Greencoat Solar now exceeds 600 MW, says the company. The CEE Group acquired the »Bicester« solar park in 2014 and the »Aston Clinton« and »Homestead« plants two years later from German project developer BayWa.
© PHOTON

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Francesco La Camera appointed as new IRENA Director-General


© IRENA - International Renewable Energy Agency

14.01.2019: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly selected Francesco La Camera to be the next Director-General of IRENA. La Camera will take office on April 4, 2019, succeeding Adnan Z. Amin, who has been IRENA Director-General since 2011.
Francesco La Camera currently serves as the Director General for Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea. He led the EU and Italian negotiation teams at the climate COP 20 in Lima and was the head of the Italian delegation to the three previous COPs. He has represented Italy in many international forums including at the EU, UNECE, UNCSD, UN Environment, and the OECD. He is elected for a term of four years. After assuming office as Director-General, he will lead the IRENA Secretariat and the implementation of the Agency's work programme and budget.
© PHOTON

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Nobel Economist Krugman pronounces Trump's remaining team the Morons at the bottom of the barrel

Opinion

Donald Trump and His Team of Morons

Nobody left besides those with no reputation to lose.

The New York Times

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

  • Jan. 14, 2019
Image
President Trump greeting a member of his team, Sean Hannity, at a political  rally in November.
President Trump greeting a member of his team, Sean Hannity, at a political rally in November.CreditJim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

There have been many policy disasters over the course of U.S. history. It's hard, however, to think of a calamity as gratuitous, an error as unforced, as the current federal shutdown.

Nor can I think of another disaster as thoroughly personal, as completely owned by one man. When Donald Trump told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, "I will be the one to shut it down," he was being completely accurate — although he went on to promise that "I'm not going to blame you for it," which was a lie.

Still, no man is an island, although Trump comes closer than most. You can't fully make sense of his policy pratfalls without acknowledging the extraordinary quality of the people with whom he has surrounded himself. And by "extraordinary," of course, I mean extraordinarily low quality. Lincoln had a team of rivals; Trump has a team of morons.

If this sounds too harsh, consider recent economic pronouncements by two members of his administration. Predictably, these pronouncements involve bad economics; that's pretty much a given. What's striking, instead, is the inability of either man to stay on script; they can't even get their right-wing mendacity right.

First up is Kevin Hassett, chairman of Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, who was asked about the plight of federal workers who aren't being paid. You don't have to be a public relations expert to know that you're supposed to express some sympathy, whether you feel it or not. After all, there are multiple news reports about transportation security workers turning to food banks, the Coast Guard suggesting its employees hold garage sales, and so on.

So the right response involves expressing concern about those workers but placing the blame on Democrats who don't want to stop brown-skinned rapists, or something like that. But no: Hassett declared that it's all good, that the workers are actually "better off," because they're getting time off without having to use any of their vacation days.

Then consider what Sean Hannity had to say about taxing the rich. What's that? You say that Hannity isn't a member of the Trump administration? But surely he is in every sense that matters. In fact, Fox News isn't just state TV, its hosts clearly have better access to the president, more input into his decisions, than any of the so-called experts at places like the State Department or the Department of Defense.

Anyway, Hannity declared that raising taxes on the wealthy would damage the economy, because "rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally," and "they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore."

Um, that's not the answer a conservative is supposed to give. You're supposed to insist that low taxes on the rich give them an incentive to work really really hard, not make it easier for them to take lavish vacations. You're supposed to declare that low taxes will induce them to save and spend money building businesses, not help them afford to buy new yachts.

Even if your real reason for favoring low taxes is that they let your wealthy friends engage in even more high living, you're not supposed to say that out loud.

Again, the point isn't that people in Trump's circle don't care about ordinary American families, and also talk nonsense — that's only to be expected. What's amazing is that they're so out of it that they don't know either how to pretend to care about the middle class, or what nonsense to spout in order to sustain that pretense.

So what's wrong with Trump's people? Why can't they serve up even some fake populism?

There are, I think, two answers, one generic to modern conservatism, one specific to Trump.

On the generic point: To be a modern conservative is to spend your life inside what amounts to a cult, barely exposed to outside ideas or even ways of speaking. Inside that cult, contempt for ordinary working Americans is widespread — remember Eric Cantor, the then-House majority leader, celebrating Labor Day by praising business owners. So is worship of wealth. And it can be hard for cult members to remember that you don't talk that way to outsiders.

Then there's the Trump effect. Normally working for the president of the United States is a career booster, something that looks good on your résumé. Trump's presidency, however, is so chaotic, corrupt and potentially compromised by his foreign entanglements that anyone associated with him gets tainted — which is why after only two years he has already left a trail of broken men and wrecked reputations in his wake.

So who is willing to serve him at this point? Only those with no reputation to lose, generally because they're pretty bad at what they do. There are, no doubt, conservatives smart and self-controlled enough to lie plausibly, or at least preserve some deniability, and defend Trump's policies without making fools of themselves. But those people have gone into hiding.

A year ago I pointed out that the Trump administration was turning into government by the worst and the dumbest. Since then, however, things have gotten even worse and even dumber. And we haven't hit bottom yet.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on FacebookTwitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @PaulKrugman


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