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Electrek green energy brief: Energy monopolies in Ohio, Florida slow kid in solar class, Sunrun+Storage, more

Energy monopolies driving Ohio prices upward (not renewables) – Because of ‘gold-plating’ and legislative bill riders electric utilities have made tens of billions extra since 1999 per a study. Gold plating is the process whereby a utility is given a guaranteed return on investment – via increasing rates – on all money spent. Buy a new truck? Charge the ratepayers + 10%. Redo the CEOs office? Charge the ratepayers +10%. No joke. The common refrain we hear is that adding renewables to the power grid is driving the price – except we know this isn’t true.

FPL (South/Central FL electrical utility) awards 600MW of solar power contracts in Florida – I am happy to see my home state of Florida installing many megawatts of solar power at $1.50/W (I bet the wind code of 135mph+ increased the price of the install by ¢10/W or more). Of course, FPL is partially a crook when it comes to manipulation of the general public to keep a monopolistic stranglehold on electricity generation. Florida, The Sunshine State, must be on the top ten list of solar power! Right? Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are though…not the Sunshine State. And just in case you were wondering – Florida isn’t even in the top ten of cumulative solar power, being as how it is the third largest state in population – this is whack.

Quality of service figures for the electricity networks of Germany – The Bundesnetzagentur uses the information to calculate the system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) – This value has fallen from 21 minutes/year to 12 minutes/year. Germany takes on significant intermittent renewable energy in the form of solar power and wind. With the support of surrounding power grids, increased engineer experience, upgrades to the power grids, and more battery systems (50,000 today), zee Germans have been able to continually increase their grid’s up time – even as renewables keep increasing (more slowly today – but still growing).

SunRun sees orders of 1,000 solar+storage systems – California and Hawaii have ordered over 20MWh of residential energy storage systems to complement their SunRun solar power. I think that is a pretty significant number – one company deploying thousands of battery systems. Now I want to know how many of these systems are tied smartly into the power grid. How many of these people would be willing to participate in a broader power grid program. Germany is expecting 50,000 battery systems in 2017-2018, the UK chatting about 4GW by 2033, Maryland and Massachusetts pushing legislation, California has a showdown brewing, how many for the USA?

Global carbon pricing – how full is the glass? – Article is topped by a great chart that shows production of GHGs relative to their place of consumption. If you only read my column you’re going to hear about GHGs from electricity and a small amount from vehicles – but that’s not the end of our game. Industrial production and agriculture are no slouch. The article focuses on the volume of the energy in the globe potentially managed by a carbon tax – and the best case seems to say 25% of the world’s pollutant would be covered if China goes in on its carbon tax. India will be hard pressed for a carbon tax, even with Chinese pressure, at having 20-50% of Chinese wealth. Interesting note – a $100/ton carbon tax would represent 6% of global GDP – when considering revenue recycling (hundreds of thousands of solar power jobs for instance). I wonder if they consider solar incentives as de facto carbon taxes.

US Senate energy committee members and their energy stocks – Is there a ‘US Congress Energy ETF’ I can invest in? All partial kidding aside, I do not believe politicians should be hamstrung in their investments by their career, that would limit the people we can have in our political world – and we need all the talent we can get. I even feel weird telling people they need to disclose their holdings as that could influence the value of their holdings in much the same way legislation would – for instance, people like me buying the ‘US Congress Energy ETF’. Cross referencing Open Secrets and disclosed holdings would make some things hard about their political choices – maybe…

So cool

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