Under a new law, utilities in Nevada will now be able to count electricity savings from energy conservation programs as meeting the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS).
Preferring the term “gas-optional” vehicles rather than plug-in electric hybrids, Austin Energy has adopted a strategy to diversify and grow its electric utility operations and hopes to convince cities nationwide to follow their lead.
Roger Duncan at Austin Energy is traveling the country promoting the idea that the time is ripe for a convergence of municipally owned electrical operations with the transportation sector. The fit becomes natural through the increased use of gas-optional vehicles (GOVs).
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted standard rules for interconnecting distributed generation (DG) projects of 20 MW or less with the electricity grid. These new rules will operate alongside FERC’s previously issued rules that govern interconnections of DG projects larger than 20 MW. FERC also has an ongoing proceeding that is developing special rules for interconnecting wind energy projects with the grid [see FERC’s Generation Interconnection web site].
Two proposals unanimously passed by the legislature and signed into law earlier this month by Washington’s Governor, Christine Gregoire, should put distributed generation and renewable energy on the fast track in the state. The first bill (SB 5101) establishes a renewable energy production incentive that is larger if the equipment comes from in-state manufacturers. The second bill (SB 5111) provides corporate tax breaks for solar energy businesses in the state based on their sales.
On May 10th, Minnesota’s Governor signed a bill into law that could result in a requirement that the state’s gasoline supplies contain 20 percent ethanol (E-20). If the rules go into effect, it would double the current 10 percent ethanol blends that are now standard throughout the state.
Under the legislation, a new E-20 mandate would take effect in 2013 unless ethanol has already replaced 20 percent of the state’s motor vehicle fuel by 2010. The rule would expire at the end of 2010 if Minnesota is not granted federal approval to use E-20 gasoline blends.
In March 2005, the Energy Foundation released a study prepared for them by Navigant Consulting and Clean Energy Research. The study was completed in September 2004 and claims to be the first of its kind to do an assessement and estimate of the rooftop solar photovoltaic market potential on a state-by-state basis.
By executive order Iowa’s Governor has established a renewable portfolio standard for state operations that leans heavily on in-state renewable energy sources. Governor Tom Vilsack’s order directs state agencies to obtain at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010 and to reduce their energy use in buildings by 15 percent by 2010 relative to their energy use in 2000.
A new report by the Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council (PV-TRAC) reviews the current status of solar powered electricity and presents a vision of photovoltaic technology for 2030 and beyond. The report nicely summarizes the policies of EU member states that have encouraged solar powered distributed generation.
Internet users have a nice opportunity to tune in via the web on a pair of workshops set up to discuss issues related to combined heat and power (CHP) and distributed generation (DG) development in California.
UPDATE MAY 12, 2005: The webcasts of these two meetings don’t appear to be archived on the CEC web site. So we’ve added links below to the various presentations that the CEC has put online that came out of these meetings.