NEWS: Nearly 100% of New Generating Capacity This Year is Advanced Energy

Posted by Lexie Briggs

Aug 22, 2014 11:39:00 AM

Advanced energy is on the march. A new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that, of all the new electric generating capacity installed in the U.S. since January, more than 97 percent was advanced energy: 46 percent natural gas, 26 percent solar, and 25 percent wind. The remaining 3 percent of new capacity shown as “other” in the accompanying chart includes 87 megawatts of biomass, 32 MW of geothermal steam, and 19 MW of hydro. That means, in fact, that 99.7 percent of the 4,758 MW of new generating capacity added in the first seven months of the year was advanced energy – 11 MW of oil-fired generation and 1 MW of truly “other” accounted for the remainder. In July, all the new capacity that month came from wind (379 MW) and solar (21 MW). The FERC numbers count only utility-scale installations, and do not include solar installed on residential and commercial rooftops.

electricity_capacity_july

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Topics: News Update

FEDERAL: Finally, Good News Out of Washington: IRS Clarifies Tax Credit; Court Upholds FERC Order

Posted by Tom Carlson

Aug 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

us-capitolThe past couple weeks brought two federal regulatory victories for the advanced energy industry. First, on August 8, the Internal Revenue Service released new guidelines that will make it easier for projects to qualify for the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), which is critical for the wind power industry and other renewable technologies. Then, on August 15, a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 1000, which will change the way regional transmission projects move forward and ultimately lead to more advanced energy on the grid.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Posted by Maria Robinson and Matt Stanberry

Aug 19, 2014 4:20:00 PM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is one in a seriesdrawn from the technology profiles within that report.

 

CHPCombined Heat and Power (CHP), also called cogeneration, generates both electricity and useful heat from the same fuel source. CHP typically involves dedicated equipment to generate electricity, followed by recovery of exhaust/waste heat for use in industrial processes, space heating, or water heating. Any fuel can be used for CHP, including fossil fuels and renewable fuels. In certain industries, onsite “waste” fuels are used for CHP, such as wood chips, bark and sawdust in forest products, blast furnace gases in steel mills, and various process gas streams in refining and petrochemicals. Because thermal energy (steam, hot water) is more difficult to transport than electricity, CHP systems are typically installed at or near a suitable thermal load. Most U.S. CHP capacity is installed at industrial sites, but it is also fairly common at college campuses, hospitals, military bases, and in district energy plants.[1] Housing complexes and commercial buildings also use CHP. So-called micro-CHP can be used in residences and small commercial buildings for water or space heating or for heating swimming pools. CCHP (combined cooling, heating, and power) is a variation of CHP that uses the waste heat to drive a cooling system (via an absorption chiller) in addition to generating heat and power. CCHP can make sense when heating loads are more seasonal and where there are large cooling requirements, resulting in higher overall utilization of waste heat than would be possible just with CHP.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Technology of the Week

NEWS: As Coal Declines, U.S. Poised for Leadership in LNG Exports

Posted by Lexie Briggs

Aug 15, 2014 2:27:00 PM

LNG-dome-by-ariwriterJust last year we noted that the U.S. was uniquely poised to become a major exporter of liquid natural gas (LNG). This week we saw another step in that direction as the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it had conditionally authorized Oregon-based LNG Development Co., LLC (Oregon LNG) to export LNG to countries without a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. Oregon LNG would export the domestically produced gas from its terminal in Warrenton, Oregon. The facility is authorized to export up to 1.25 billion standard cubic feet of LNG per day for the next 20 years, though the project is subject to final regulatory authorization and environmental review.

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Topics: News Update

STATE: Business Leaders, Regulators, Lawmakers Explore ‘Pathway to 2050’

Posted by Bob Keough

Aug 14, 2014 5:27:00 PM

pathway-to-2050“We will not grow our economy in spite of our climate goals, but because of our climate goals.” That was the message from Kish Rajan, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, to the nearly 300 business and government leaders gathered in Sacramento August 6 to discuss the “Pathway to 2050” for energy and climate in California.

 

With the subtitle “delivering on the promise,” the second annual Pathway to 2050 event featured speakers and panels addressing subjects ranging from financing options for disruptive technologies to utility business model and regulatory reform, all geared toward accelerating advanced energy business growth to meet California’s goal of 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

 

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Topics: State Policy Update, California Engagement