Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lots of good news Lately...

Check the left-hand sidebar. Lots of RSS Feeds there. Keep coming back, it's changing all the time.

In louisiana...

Louisiana has one of the better Solar Energy incentives. It's 50%, on top of the 30% provided by the Federal Government.

You could buy a 5KW system that originally will cost around $22,000 for a final price of $2000. It'll totally pay off in 5 years, then the energy is free for the life of the equipment (panels are usually warranteed to 25 years).


For my estimation above, I took the average power used per year (American Residential Rough) of 8000 kWh, converted to power used per month (666 kWh), selected "other" utility, zip code = 70822, and Electricity Offset = 50%.

Spread the word. Movement on these incentives will be beneficial to the local Economy, and Residents.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Following my first Stimulus Post, here's one that's short and sweet. From the Stimulus Package. I'm presently in a class on "ITIL" which is a set of "Best Practices" for IT and Business. One of the basic tenents is "You can't manage what you can't measure." Well, here we see direction for the Energy Department to get some data on the real system that's out there. From this will be found Natural Priorities based on measured results, rather than on Politically Motivated Claims.

I like.



In completing the 2009 National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, the Secretary of Energy shall include—

(1) an analysis of the significant potential sources of renewable energy that are constrained in accessing appropriate market areas by lack of adequate transmission capacity;
(2) an analysis of the reasons for failure to develop the adequate transmission capacity; 20
(3) recommendations for achieving adequate transmission capacity;
(4) an analysis of the extent to which legal challenges filed at the State and Federal level are delaying the construction of transmission necessary to access renewable energy; and
(5) an explanation of assumptions and projections made in the Study, including—

(A) assumptions and projections relating to energy efficiency improvements in each load center;
(B) assumptions and projections regarding the location and type of projected new generation capacity; and 10
(C) assumptions and projections regarding projected deployment of distributed generation infrastructure.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stimulus Bill - First Look - State Energy Grants.

There's alot to digest for Alt-Energy in this Stimulus Package. I looked it up and did some searching around. There are an incredible number of references, and I'm no Lawyer. I've decided that I'll take it a section at a time, and pull together references and resources as I find them. Skipping to the very end, leads me to the first section that I'm going to look at, or, SEC. 7006. ADDITIONAL STATE ENERGY GRANTS. At first look, I think I'd describe this as saying that if the State assures that they will move on setting the standards described in (1),(2), and (3), then they are eligible for direct grants by the Department of Energy for Renewable and Conservation Projects.

My interpretation of (1),(2), and (3) runs along the lines of "Decouple" the Utilities as has been done in California, Set Building Codes and other Standards, and prioritize Renewables and Conservation projects.

Sounds good to me!

My plan is to work on a letter to write to my State Congresspeople and Governor, to request that they begin this process of setting standards, and prepare to take full advantage of these Funds. In particular, I'd like to motivate people in the Southern States to start this process. These states are too often ignored, and yet they have excellent Solar Potential. Many are also Coal States, and so will require extra efforts to move towards Solar.


This section refers back to the earlier content of the Bill described as "paragraph (6) under the heading ‘‘Department of Energy—Energy Programs—Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’’ in title V of division A of this Act."

Here's the referred-to section.

(6) $3,400,000,000 shall be for the State Energy Program authorized under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ((42 U.S.C. 6321).

Here's the referred-from section.


(a) IN GENERAL.—Amounts appropriated in paragraph (6) under the heading ‘‘Department of Energy—Energy Programs—Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’’ in title V of division A of this Act shall be available to the Secretary of Energy for making additional grants under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (
42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.). The Secretary shall make grants under this section in excess of the base allocation established for a State under regulations issued pursuant to the authorization provided in section 365(f) of such Act only if the governor of the recipient State notifies the Secretary of Energy that the governor will seek, to the extent of his or her authority, to ensure that each of the following will occur:

(1) The applicable State regulatory authority will implement the following regulatory policies for each electric and gas utility with respect to which the State regulatory authority has ratemaking authority:

(A) Policies that ensure that a utility’s recovery of prudent fixed costs of service is timely and independent of its retail sales, without in the process shifting prudent costs from variable to fixed charges. This cost shifting constraint shall not apply to rate designs adopted prior to the date of enactment of this Act.
(B) Cost recovery for prudent investments by utilities in energy efficiency.
(C) An earnings opportunity for utilities associated with cost-effective energy efficiency savings.

(2) The State, or the applicable units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes, will implement the following:

(A) A building energy code (or codes) for residential buildings that meets or exceeds the most recently published International Energy Conservation Code, or achieves equivalent or greater energy savings.
(B) A building energy code (or codes) for commercial buildings throughout the State that meets or exceeds the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, or achieves equivalent or greater energy savings.
(C) A plan for the jurisdiction achieving compliance with the building energy code or codes described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) within 8 years of the date of enactment of this Act in at least 90 percent of new and renovated residential and commercial building space. Such plan shall include active training and enforcement programs and measurement of the rate of compliance each year.

(3) The State will to the extent practicable prioritize the grants toward funding energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including—

(A) the expansion of existing energy efficiency programs approved by the State or the appropriate regulatory authority, including energy efficiency retrofits of buildings and industrial facilities, that are funded—
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(i) by the State; or
(ii) through rates under the oversight of the applicable regulatory authority, to the extent applicable;

(B) the expansion of existing programs, approved by the State or the appropriate regulatory authority, to support renewable energy projects and deployment activities, including programs operated by entities which have the authority and capability to manage and distribute grants, loans, performance incentives, and other forms of financial assistance; and
(C) cooperation and joint activities between States to advance more efficient and effective use of this funding to support the priorities described in this paragraph.

(b) STATE MATCH.—The State cost share requirement under the item relating to ‘‘DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY; energy conservation’’ in title II of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1985 (42 U.S.C. 6323a; 98 Stat. 1861) shall not apply to assistance provided under this section.
(c) EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES.—No limitation on the percentage of funding that may be used for the purchase and installation of equipment and materials for energy efficiency measures under grants provided under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.) shall apply to assistance provided under this section.


The limitations in section 399A(f)(2), (3), and (4) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6371h-1(f)(2), (3), and (4)) shall not apply to grants funded with appropriations provided by this Act, except that such grant funds shall be available for not more than an amount equal to 80 percent of the costs of the project for which the grant is provided.


Friday, February 6, 2009

The Senate Bill, Not Yet Passed.

One source says that they pulled $5 Billion or so (most in planned loan guarantees).

There are Billions left in the Bill, though.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Real World Estimation of Land Use per Watt - Sunpower

Sunpower gives us an idea of a realistic value for Land Area per Watt of 2-3 Hectares per MW.

Convert Units:

2.5 hectare = 6.2 acres per MW.

Determine Total Peak Power Output:

1.5 Million Acres / 6.2 Acres/MWp = 241935 MWp = 241,935,000,000 Wp = 242 GWp

Calculate Average Annual Energy Output:

242 GWp * 18.75% Average Annual Insolation = 45.4 GW*Year = 3974 GWh = 397 Billion kWh

This is about 4 times less than the ideal number calculated in this Ideal Situation. Not a problem at all, IMO, considering that you don't actually want to cover every square inch of a chunk of land with flat panels. Tracking is sure a nice option.

Follows: Solar vs Coal, Land Area Comparison.