News Archive
  • SCE&G Launches South Carolina’s Largest Community Solar Program

    by SGEG Press release | Jun 12, 2017
    SCE&G announced last week that it introduced South Carolina’s largest community solar program (16 MWac), making solar generation available to electric customers who cannot, or do not wish to, install rooftop solar panels. Through the SCE&G Community Solar Program, residential customers and eligible nonresidential customers may now purchase or subscribe to solar panels at several solar facilities to be constructed within SCE&G’s service territory.
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  • Renewable Technologies on the Cusp

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 31, 2014
    You probably remember a time when the thought of widespread solar and wind energy seemed far from reality. Interesting or intriguing, maybe, but not practical, and certainly not inevitable. But in recent years, solar panels and wind turbines have sprouted across rooftops and hilltops. They’re not our primary sources of power, but they’re in the mix. They’ve joined the big leagues...
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  • Free Solar Panels? Why this Arizona Utility Wants to Give them Away.

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 30, 2014
    Though many utility companies are struggling to accommodate rooftop solar panels, Arizona’s largest electric utility is diving in headfirst. Arizona Public Service wants regulators to approve its plan to buy rooftop solar panels and install them on 3,000 homes for free. The homeowners wouldn’t own the solar panels and wouldn’t own the electricity they put out, but the utility would give them a monthly credit of $30 for 20 years, adding up to $7,200 over time...
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  • Ethanol Industry Objects to Rail Safety Rules that Lump Ethanol in with Crude Oil

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 29, 2014
    Last week the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed sweeping new safety requirements for oil trains. They would that mean that tens of thousands of railroad tank cars would have to be upgraded or replaced in the next few years. These new regulations treat ethanol differently from crude oil, but not that differently. They categorize crude oil and ethanol as the two most hazardous flammable liquids that are transported heavily by rail...
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  • U.S. Commerce Department Adds Another Round of Duties to Chinese Solar Panels

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 28, 2014
    Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department moved to place anti-dumping duties on imported Chinese solar panels. It’s the latest move in an ongoing effort by the federal government to keep American solar panel manufacturers competitive and to push back against what they say are artificially low prices subsidized by the Chinese government...
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  • Ocean Leases off New York and New Jersey Offered to Wind Energy Developers

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 18, 2014
    While Rhode Island and Massachusetts are the two states closest to building floating wind farms in the waters of their coastlines, other areas along the Atlantic coast are close behind. Now a large block of ocean off the coast of New York and New Jersey is becoming available for wind power development. The Department of the Interior announced yesterday that they will offer leases for over 344,000 acres of Atlantic Ocean, ranging from off Long Island to off northern New Jersey...
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  • The Australian Wave Energy Project has been Cancelled, and that's Tough on the Entire Wave Energy Field

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 17, 2014
    Ocean Power Technologies has called it quits another ocean energy project they were planning, saying that it’s not “commercially viable”. They had originally planned to deploy their “PowerBuoys” to create a wave energy installation off the coast of Australia. Now, they’re canceling the $200 million project and returning over $60 million in grant money to the Australian government. In the days since that announcement, the stock price of Ocean Power Technologies fell to its lowest point since its initial public offering.
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  • Nevada PUC Study: Net Metering Can Lower Energy Bills for Everyone, Not Just Solar Panel Owners

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 17, 2014
    As solar panels appear on more and more rooftops, a fight has broken out over just how much that solar power is worth. A solar panel doesn’t necessarily power the home it sits on – the energy it generates may be pumped back into the grid, and sent to other consumers on the network. With a net metering program, the owners of solar panels only pay for the net amount of energy they used. Essentially, that means that they sell any unused energy they produce back to the power company at retail prices...
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  • New England States Racing For the First Offshore Wind Farm in the U.S.

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 16, 2014
    Rhode Island and Massachusetts are neck and neck in the race for the first offshore wind farm in America, according to the National Wildlife Federation. The Cape Wind project in Massachusetts and the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island plan to begin construction next year. The NWF described both of them as “within sight of the finish line.”
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  • The WTO Says That U.S. Broke Trade Rules with Tariffs on China's Solar Panels

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 15, 2014
    Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department hit imported Chinese solar panels with a big tariff, closing the loophole that allowed Chinese firms to sell solar panels in the states at cut-rate prices. The U.S. argues that those low prices are subsidized by the Chinese government, helping Chinese firms undercut manufacturers in the U.S. and other countries. But yesterday, the World Trade Organization found that the U.S. had overstepped, saying that the U.S. didn’t make a strong enough case to justify the tariffs...
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  • Iowa Supreme Court Decision is Good News for Solar Power Companies

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 14, 2014
    As solar power grows, our energy system is growing with it. Our energy infrastructure and regulations were all designed with large power plants in mind, power plants that put out megawatts and megawatts of power. But now, solar panels allow homes and businesses to generate renewable energy on a small scale. It’s blurring the line between energy producer and consumer. So should solar panels be treated just like utility-scale power plants...
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  • A Glimpse at How Wind Power Evolves

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 11, 2014
    The wind energy industry is still very young, and has just begun to see success in recent years. So it’s understandable that wind farm operators are hesitant to make radical changes to the fundamental technology and equipment that they have built their operations on. But as a young industry built on an emerging technology, they also know that their success depends on their ability to move forward and innovate...
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  • German Parliament Reforms Renewable Energy Law

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 11, 2014
    Germany’s changes to its renewable energy law passed in the upper house of parliament and is expected to go into effect in August. The law will cut back on renewable energy subsidies, and will change the way the remaining subsidies are funded. Germany has had some of the strongest support for renewable energy of any country, but with this reform, they are rolling that back. The Wall Street Journal explains the rationale...
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  • Solar Panel Owners Going Rogue in Hawaii

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 10, 2014
    With electricity prices in Hawaii three times higher than the mainland, solar panels offer Oahu residents something very valuable – their own source of renewable energy. For homes and small businesses, the cost of installing solar panels will usually be offset by lower energy bills within a few years. And with electricity prices rising, solar panels seem like a better and better deal. Assuming, that is, that HECO, the Hawaiian utility, OKs your solar panel plan, something they haven’t done much of lately...
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  • Washington State Funds Giant Batteries for Renewable Energy

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 09, 2014
    With a 3.2 million grant from the State of Washington, Avista Corp will be testing out utility scale batteries. They received the grant last week. It comes from a $14 million pool of grant money to integrate renewable energy into Washington’s energy grid...
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