Recycling and Zero Waste in Wales

Date: 11 Dec 2017 | posted in: waste - zero waste, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Thanks to zero waste campaigner Mal Williams for alerting us to the progress made in Wales, now the second best huosehold waste recycler in the world. The seven keys to success include: Mandatory separate collection of key dry recyclable materials. Mandatory separate collection of bio waste. Statutory targets for rates of recycling or the reduction of … Read More

Zero Waste Europe — Proposed End to Subsidies for Garbage Incineration.

Date: 8 Dec 2017 | posted in: waste - anti-incineration, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Industry MEPs vote to exclude subsidies for waste-to-energy from mixed waste Press Contact: Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator, Zero Waste Europe +32 (0)49 355 3779 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 29/11/17 The Industry committee of the European Parliament voted yesterday to exclude renewable energy subsidies for incineration of mixed municipal waste. If the amendment is … Read More

Ideal Redesign: The European Street Design Challenge

Every year since 2010, teams of highly skilled designers from all over the world have competed to find the best solutions to urban challenges in major European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Saint Petersburg. This competition is the heart of the European Street Design Challenge. With the cooperation of local government officials, areas within the … Read More

Community Broadband Media Roundup – October 10

Date: 13 Oct 2014 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

If the 3 million public comments, the backing of the FCC Chairman, and the support of big tech companies all over the United States wasn’t enough, this week we heard more positive rumblings about Network Neutrality, this time from President Obama. “My appointee, [FCC Chairman] Tom Wheeler, knows my position. I can’t now, that he’s there, … Read More

DSL Described as “Obsolete” by the American Enterprise Institute

Date: 16 Apr 2014 | posted in: information, MuniNetworks | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

“The vast majority of Europeans still only have DSL service available, which we in the United States consider really almost an obsolete technology now.” – Jeffrey Eisenbach, Director of the Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, American Enterprise Institute. For the second time this year, one of the major defenders of the cable and telephone … Read More

Overview of Stockholm’s Stokab – Community Broadband Bits Episode #88

Date: 4 Mar 2014 | posted in: MuniNetworks, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Having just returned from a short trip to Sweden, Lisa Gonzalez and I discuss what I learned and how Stockholm has become one of the most connected cities on the planet. We talk about how Stockholm built a massive dark fiber network that has enabled competition at the service layer, the status of telecommunications in Sweden, … Read More

No High-Speed in Manchester: European Commission Rules Preempt Local Authority

Date: 26 Jul 2013 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Though we often discuss some of the ways European nations have surpassed the U.S. in Internet network investment, they also have some counter-productive rules that limit investment. The Manchester Evening News recently published an article about a plan to bring high speed Internet to a deprived area of 30,000 homes where access is either slow or … Read More

UK Solar Incentive Cuts May Also Distribute Solar Rewards More Widely

Date: 25 Mar 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A proposed revision to the United Kingdom’s feed-in tariff program may have created an uproar, but it may also help spread the economic benefits of solar more widely. 

The proposed changes, announced last week, would reduce solar payments for large solar projects (50 kilowatts and larger) by 50 percent or more, but leave payments for smaller projects largely intact.  The following tables illustrate:

Old Tariffs Price paid per kilowatt-hour
£0.41 $0.66 < 4kW retrofit
£0.36 $0.58 4 to 10 kW or <4 kW new build
£0.31 $0.51 10 to 100 kW
£0.29 $0.47 100 kW to 5 MW
New Tariffs Price paid per kilowatt-hour
£0.41 $0.66 < 4kW retrofit
£0.36 $0.58 4 to 10 kW or <4 kW new build
£0.31 $0.51 10 to 50 kW?
£0.19 $0.31 50 to 150 kW
£0.15 $0.24 150 to 250 kW
£0.09 $0.14 250 kW to 5 MW

The new tariffs will help redistribute more of the feed-in tariff (FIT) program revenue to smaller projects.  The most likely manner is simply by giving less money per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to the large projects, leaving more for the small projects.  The following charts will illustrate. 

Let’s assume that under the old FIT scheme, each project size tranche provided 25% of the solar PV projects under the program (see pie chart).

However, since a 2 MW project produces many more kWh than a 3 kW project, the revenues will skew heavily toward the larger projects.  For the sake of simplicity, I assumed that the midpoint of each size tranche was a representative project and that they all produced the same kWh per kilowatt of capacity. 

The revenue distribution can be seen in the second pie chart:

Essentially, all the FIT Program revenue was going to the largest projects.  Even if three-quarters of projects were under 4 kW, they would still only represent 3 percent of program revenue, with 93 percent accruing to the projects over 100 kW.

Under the new FIT scheme, the prices paid to larger solar PV projects are sharply reduced. With projects evenly distributed between the now six size tranches, much less of the program revenue goes to large projects.

The projects under 100 kW have roughly tripled their share, from 3 percent to 10 percent of revenues. 

Of course, the lower prices for large solar projects could have another impact: killing large solar projects completely.  Let’s assume that the new prices for projects over 50 kW (that experienced the steepest revenue decline) are simply too low and that all development ceases. 

The first pie chart shows the project allocation in the FIT program without any projects over 50 kW.  As described, we have an even distribution (# of projects) between the smallest three size categories, and no projects 50 kW or above.

The next chart shows the revenue allocation of the FIT program under this assumption.  Now, nearly 30 percent of program revenue accrues to projects 10 kW and smaller. 

If we assume that instead of an even allocation of projects, we have an even allocation of capacity between the size tranches (e.g. 30 MW, 30 MW, 30 MW), then the revenues would be split evenly between the remaining size categories and two-thirds of the solar FIT program would be flowing to solar projects 10 kW and smaller.

While it’s unlikely that the government plans to eliminate the large solar PV market with its price revisions, the overall effect is likely to be a transfer of program revenues to smaller projects.  The advantage in this strategy is that these revenues will be spread over a much larger number of projects and project owners, creating a larger constituency for supporting solar power and solar power policies.

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