Advanced Energy Perspectives

NEWS: Price is Right for Storage – or Is It? Utilities’ Pot Power Problem

Posted by Lexie Briggs

Oct 24, 2014 1:49:48 PM

marijuana-hyrdorponic-utilities-powerEnergy storage was in the news this week, with new market entrants reported and storage’s value touted – but also questioned. AEE Member company Enphase announced this week that it had not only created a solar microinverter that is so technologically advanced that it “was not even possible to do when we started the company,” according to Paul Nahi, Enphase’s CEO, but is also moving into the realm of energy storage. Enphase is taking years of research and development to create an energy management system that will accompany a modular plug-and-play battery. According to Greentech Media, the system will combine grid smarts, analytics, communications, and energy storage, in addition to load management and consumer control capabilities.

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Topics: News Update

EPA GHG REGS: Even in opposition, states are preparing ways to meet Clean Power Plan requirements

Posted by Frank Swigonski

Oct 23, 2014 3:10:54 PM

111D-iconLast month, EPA announced it would extend the public comment period for its proposed Clean Power Plan to December 1. This will give stakeholders and the states, many of which are engaged in public stakeholder processes themselves, an extra 45 days to draft their own comments. AEE is tracking the comment process in our 23 partner states, plus Texas and Florida. We have already submitted state comments with our partners in several states, and we submitted our own set of comments in Florida.

The public comment process is taking place in some states despite political opposition to the EPA plan from their respective governors. Fifteen governors have sent a letter to EPA arguing that the Agency has overstepped its legal authority. While the letter echoes ongoing lawsuits against EPA’s authority to regulate “beyond the fenceline” of power plants and against using 111(d) to regulate sources of pollution already regulated under section 112, some of the signatories - such as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer - are not yet parties to any of the lawsuits against EPA.

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Topics: EPA GHG Regs

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements

Posted by Maria Robinson

Oct 21, 2014 5:39:27 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 series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.


Residential energy efficiency improvements include a number of technologies and building systems that reduce energy use in homes, while still delivering the same or superior service. This includes efficient consumption of energy in appliances and other devices (e.g., lighting, Energy Star TVs, computers and refrigerators), and efficient heating and cooling equipment (e.g., natural gas condensing boilers, heat pump water heaters, and high-efficiency air conditioners). It also includes application of various building materials and systems that reduce energy demand, including efficient windows, wall and attic insulation, air sealing, building controls (e.g., programmable thermostats, use of heating and cooling zones, smart appliances that respond to price and demand signals), wrapping of hot water/steam pipes with insulation, smart power strips that shut off devices to avoid standby losses, and alternatives to air conditioning such as whole-house fans. Some water-saving technologies (e.g., faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, efficient dishwashers) also reduce energy used for water heating.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Technology of the Week

NEWS: Get Ready, Get Set, Go – Offshore Wind in the USA!

Posted by Lexie Briggs

Oct 17, 2014 2:33:00 PM

Alpha_Ventus_Offshore-windEverybody, hold onto your hats. The moment we have been waiting for may have finally arrived – or, well, it’s not very far off. American offshore wind is on the horizon, figuratively and literally, and approaching fast.


American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hosted its Offshore Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ, last week, which brought together industry leaders, including Deepwater Wind, Cape Wind, and Dominion Virginia Power. Currently, there are 14 offshore wind projects under development, but none has yet to put a turbine foundation in the water. That’s all about to change.

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Topics: News Update

FEDERAL: Abandoned Solar Project Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Uncertainty

Posted by Tom Carlson

Oct 16, 2014 1:01:00 PM

us-capitolIn the latest evidence of the need for stable federal tax policy, a major solar project in California was abandoned in part due to uncertainty around whether the project would be placed in service in time to qualify for the investment tax credit (ITC), which expires at the end of 2016. Numerous tax credits for advanced energy development expired at the end of last year, and a bill to extend them has passed the Senate Finance Committee but not yet come to the floor. This abandoned solar plant shows that even a credit facing an expiration date that has not yet arrived can stymie projects with long development timelines – a problem that could be alleviated by a simple change in qualification for the tax credit from “placed in service” to “commenced construction,” as was done for the production tax credit in its most recent extension.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update


Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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