renewable energy

NC Solar industry gets some love from Slate Magazine

A bright light in an otherwise dark environmental state:

In the last few years, the Tar Heel State has quietly become a leader in rolling out solar. The Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA, notes that last year, North Carolina added 335 megawatts of capacity—the third-best tally of any state in the country. With a total of 592 megawatts of solar capacity installed, North Carolina ranks fourth among the 50 states. So far this year, according to SNL Energy, North Carolina ranks second in the number of solar farms under construction, behind only California.

As the industry has gained critical mass, it has also gained clout. The SEIA says $787 million was invested in solar plants in the state last year, and Urlaub says 570 green energy firms in the state employ 18,400 people. That helps explain why in 2013, when Rep. Mike Hager tried to repeal the state’s renewable portfolio standards law, it died in the committee he chaired.

Unfortunately, Mike Hager is only one of several threats to NC's Solar boom. The next big threat is coming from a group that was not elected by the people, and it may be just as devastating as repealing the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards:

Tillis's hypocrisy

OK, it's not news that Thom Tillis is a hypocrite. Here's one more example to add to the pile.

When Thom is talking about an issue that he thinks will get him votes with the wing nut crowd, he says we need to repeal a law right away (warning: link goes to Thom's propaganda page. Those with a low tolerance for lies should approach with caution).

ObamaCare is a cancer on our national economy and it threatens the quality of every American's health care. It is paralyzing business expansion, displacing families from the health coverage they have now, raising costs, and threatening the federal treasury for all future years. ObamaCare is ridden with policies that are bad for families, bad for seniors, bad for businesses, and bad for the economy. Thom will fight in the Senate for full repeal of ObamaCare, for defunding ObamaCare, and he will work to implement private sector solutions to reduce healthcare costs for North Carolinians.

When Thom is talking about an issue that he thinks could lose some votes from the right-wing extremists, he says you can't just repeal a law right away.

Efforts to repeal the [renewable energy mandate] measure – which environmentalists credit with fueling the state’s burgeoning solar power industry – have failed in recent years. Tillis said he expects that to change. He said he supports a repeal, even as he cautioned against moving too fast.

“The problem is, it’s the law, and you can’t just ... all of a sudden repeal it without having an orderly exit,” he said after the debate. “And we’ll be having an orderly exit, and I’m optimistic that the next speaker will probably oversee its repeal.”

On corporate entanglements and media bias

Something about this story caught my eye. See if you can figure it out.

Capitol Broadcasting Corp. plans to open the dam at the Rocky Mount Mills on Tuesday in order to inspect the turbines and the dam.

It is anticipated that the work will take about two days. During that time, residents will likely notice significantly lower water levels along the Tar River upstream of the dam. A temporary surge of water also is expected downstream of the dam once the gates are opened.

Answer below the fold.

Duke Energy tries to undermine residential Solar PV

Changing the rules in the middle of the game:

Duke Energy wants the North Carolina Utilities Commission to let the company pay for rooftop solar power what it pays for other types of generated power.

Owners of rooftop solar systems sign contracts with Duke Energy that allow them to sell surplus electricity for 11 cents per kilowatt hour, the same price households pay for electricity.

If individual residential Solar owners charged Duke the way Duke charges the rest of us (or tries to, anyway), they would force a much higher rate down Duke Energy's throat to cover the cost of their construction within a few short years. But that's not how it works. Even at 11 cents per kilowatt hour, the return on investment for a residential Solar PV array goes well past the ten year mark. But if Duke Energy gets its way on this pricing request, the ROI for many will be extended, adding years to the payoff, and causing many who are contemplating this to change their mind. Which is the (real) goal of Duke Energy.

Governor McEnergy gets excited, blows a transformer

"Finally! Something I'm slightly less unqualified to talk about."

McCrory said exploration is part of a two-pronged approach to make the energy industry a sector that will help North Carolina come roaring out of the recession. The other, he said, is promoting power generation. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. is the nation's largest electric power company. McCrory, who previously worked for Duke, said the state needs to look at tax policies that promote power generation.

The governor on Wednesday praised a law passed in 2013 laying out the regulatory framework for building wind farms to create energy. McCrory also said he wants to examine next year the balance between what he called subsidies received to produce renewable energy and the rates charged to consumers.

And when you do, what you'll see is the cost of renewable energy is a tiny fraction of what ratepayers are forced to pay your former(?) employer, compared to CWIP (Construction Work In Progress) and the recent merger fiasco. And when Duke Energy is finally forced to clean up coal ash ponds, they're going to (try to) charge us for that mistake, as well. But with Art Pope pulling your strings, I'm sure none of that will come up.

ALEC plans to attack renewable energy in 2014

You just can't make up this kind of utterly preposterous crap.

“As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalised,” said John Eick, the legislative analyst for Alec’s energy, environment and agriculture program.

Walter Jones goes after wind energy tax credits

Pretty sure the word "mature" doesn't mean what he thinks it does:

“It is long past time for the federal government to stop forcing American taxpayers to spend billions of dollars to prop up a now-mature energy source,” said Congressman Jones. “Combined with my concerns about the effects of wind turbines on the military installations and residents of Eastern North Carolina, I fully support the expiration of the PTC at the end of this year.”

Yeah right, this doesn't have a damn thing to do with Cherry Point, it's simply another push by the Koch Brothers to snuff out alternative energy sources, and Walter Jones is scrambling to please them before they Primary his ass into oblivion. Not to mention the rest of the usual suspects:

Hager won't give up on REPS repeal

Somebody's getting a little too big for his Chairman's britches:

The amended bill still went down 18-13 in Hager’s committee, with six Republicans joining its 12 Democrats. Hager said late Thursday afternoon that the bill is still very much alive and could come back to a vote with further amendments.

“Of course,” he said. “Fortunately, that bill is in the committee that I’m chairman of.”

"Of which I'm Chairman", not that anybody who was involved in the Cliffside coal plant fiasco could ever learn from his mistakes. Speaking of, we'll be paying for that $2 billion monstrosity for years, in both rate increases and health deterioration, not that Mike Hager would ever dare to mention such things. Back to "his" Committee, which (if he gets his way) will soon be populated by Teahadists:

Bold move by Google on renewable energy

I guess this means I can Google my ass off and not feel guilty (get your mind out of the gutter, people):

Google said it is committed to using renewable energy at its data centers — the reason it plans to participate in a new program Duke Energy is developing for large customers that want to buy renewable energy. "As more of the world moves online, demand for Google's services continues to grow — and we want our renewable energy options to grow with it," he said. Google said it operates some of the world most efficient data centers, and in 2007 made a voluntary commitment to become carbon neutral.

We'll have to wait and see if the Victorian Era NC GOP will try to put the kibosh on this, but it looks like Duke Energy is all for it, so... If they (or Americans For the Prosperous) do decide to oppose it, there will need to be some serious explaining:

Hager and Art Pope's minions lie about renewable energy costs

When the truth doesn't fit your agenda, it's time to make shit up:

But supporters of the rollback, including the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, say the price of renewable energy is too high, and state taxpayers and ratepayers shouldn't be forced to subsidize the sector. Woodhouse said environmentalists are pushing green energy because they want power to be more expensive. "It is a goal of them to have higher electricity costs because they want to punish people for using power," he said. "They think using power is a bad thing. They want to punish people for flipping the switch."

Just when you think you've seen the archetypical, bottom-line worst of Dallas Woodhouse, he opens up that yap and gives you a new low-level of stupidity. Dude actually gets paid for this. Fortunately, you don't have to dig very deep to see the reality is exactly the opposite of what these demagogues are spouting:

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