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Energy News North Carolina Solar

The Future of Rooftop Solar in North Carolina Hangs in the Balance

The battle over rooftop solar in North Carolina reached the Court of Appeals on Wednesday, as a challenge to Duke Energy’s reduced payments for home solar arrays was heard by a three-judge panel. The case centers around whether the rates approved last year by the Utilities Commission are fair and legal.

Opponents of the reduced payments argue that they have caused a significant decline in interest and sales for residential solar installations. One installer even reported a decrease in sales of up to 50% since the new rates took effect. Additionally, challengers claim that the entities involved in compromising with Duke do not represent all stakeholders and their agreement should not carry much weight.

Critics of the new rates also argue that they are illegal because they were established based on internal studies and stakeholder discussions, rather than the independent investigation required by law. They point to a 2017 state law that mandates the Utilities Commission to conduct its own analysis of the costs and benefits of customer-sited generation. The challengers claim that Duke’s internal study does not fulfill the requirements of the law.

Duke Energy and its defenders, on the other hand, argue that the language of the law is clear and does not require an independent investigation. They contend that the rates are nondiscriminatory and were established after a thorough investigation of the costs and benefits.

The outcome of this case could have far-reaching consequences for the rooftop solar industry in North Carolina. If the Court of Appeals rules in favor of the challengers, it could lead to a Commission-led investigation of the costs and benefits of net metered solar. On the other hand, if Duke Energy prevails, it could solidify the reduced payments and potentially create a precedent for other utilities to follow.

Ultimately, the decision will impact the future of rooftop solar in the state. It will determine whether solar installations will continue to thrive or face a “massive contraction” as some industry experts predict. The case highlights the ongoing debates and challenges surrounding the transition to clean energy and the role of utilities in shaping the future of the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Battle Over Rooftop Solar in North Carolina

1. What is the main issue in the Court of Appeals case?
The main issue in the Court of Appeals case is whether Duke Energy’s reduced payments for home solar arrays, approved by the Utilities Commission last year, are fair and legal.

2. What are the opponents of the reduced payments arguing?
Opponents of the reduced payments argue that they have caused a significant decline in interest and sales for residential solar installations. They also claim that the entities involved in compromising with Duke do not represent all stakeholders and that their agreement should not carry much weight.

3. Why do critics of the new rates argue that they are illegal?
Critics of the new rates argue that they are illegal because they were established based on internal studies and stakeholder discussions, rather than the independent investigation required by law. They point to a 2017 state law that mandates the Utilities Commission to conduct its own analysis of the costs and benefits of customer-sited generation.

4. What is Duke Energy’s defense?
Duke Energy and its defenders argue that the language of the law is clear and does not require an independent investigation. They contend that the rates are nondiscriminatory and were established after a thorough investigation of the costs and benefits.

5. What are the potential consequences of the Court of Appeals ruling?
The outcome of this case could have far-reaching consequences for the rooftop solar industry in North Carolina. If the Court of Appeals rules in favor of the challengers, it could lead to a Commission-led investigation of the costs and benefits of net metered solar. On the other hand, if Duke Energy prevails, it could solidify the reduced payments and potentially create a precedent for other utilities to follow.

6. How will the decision impact rooftop solar in the state?
The decision will determine whether solar installations will continue to thrive or face a “massive contraction” as some industry experts predict. It will have a significant impact on the future of rooftop solar in North Carolina.

Definitions:
– Rooftop solar: Solar energy systems installed on rooftops of residential or commercial buildings.
– Utilities Commission: A regulatory body responsible for overseeing utility companies and making decisions related to rates, services, and regulations.
– Net metered solar: A billing arrangement where homeowners with solar panels can receive credit for excess solar energy they produce and feed back into the grid.
– Stakeholders: Individuals or organizations who have an interest or concern in the outcome of a particular issue or decision.

Suggested Related Links:
Duke Energy
North Carolina Utilities Commission

Categories
Energy Green Energy News

Why Private Investment Isn’t Propelling the Green Revolution

In his thought-provoking analysis, Brett Christophers uncovers a crucial aspect that is hindering the much-needed green revolution: the lack of profitability for private investors in the green energy sector. Despite the declining prices of renewable energy, the anticipated boom in renewables has not materialized as expected.

While it was a significant milestone when renewables reached price parity with dirty fuels in 2019, this achievement alone did not address the fundamental issue of profitability. Christophers argues that for capitalism to truly embrace sustainability, it needs to offer attractive returns on investment. Unfortunately, green energy fails to meet this criterion, dampening the enthusiasm of private investors.

Public investment and ownership emerge as vital catalysts for driving a rapid green transition. Government intervention and funding become necessary to bridge the profitability gap. By taking the reins of renewable energy projects, public entities can prioritize sustainability over short-term profits, effectively pushing the green agenda forward.

The concept of a green transition hinges on the belief that renewable energy sources will replace fossil fuels and mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change. However, this transition is contingent upon strong financial incentives for private investors, a critical driver of innovation and development in a capitalist system.

Christophers’ analysis challenges the notion that capitalism alone will save the planet. Profitability, rather than ideology or good intentions, ultimately dictates private investment decisions. To achieve the necessary shift towards a sustainable future, we must recognize the limitations of capitalism and embrace a hybrid model that incorporates public investment and ownership alongside private sector innovation.

In conclusion, while declining renewable energy prices provide hope for a greener future, the reality is that private investment alone is insufficient to drive a rapid green transition. We must acknowledge the importance of public involvement in order to overcome the profitability barrier and effectively propel the green revolution forward. By creating a symbiotic relationship between public and private sectors, we can pave the way for a sustainable tomorrow.

FAQ – Green Energy Investment and Profitability

Q: What is hindering the green revolution?
A: The lack of profitability for private investors in the green energy sector is hindering the green revolution.

Q: Has the anticipated boom in renewables materialized as expected?
A: No, despite the declining prices of renewable energy, the anticipated boom in renewables has not materialized as expected.

Q: What milestone did renewables reach in 2019?
A: Renewables reached price parity with dirty fuels in 2019.

Q: Did reaching price parity address the fundamental issue of profitability?
A: No, reaching price parity alone did not address the fundamental issue of profitability.

Q: What does Brett Christophers argue regarding sustainability and capitalism?
A: Brett Christophers argues that for capitalism to truly embrace sustainability, it needs to offer attractive returns on investment.

Q: What role do public investment and ownership play in driving a green transition?
A: Public investment and ownership emerge as vital catalysts for driving a rapid green transition, as they bridge the profitability gap and prioritize sustainability.

Q: What does a green transition entail?
A: A green transition entails the belief that renewable energy sources will replace fossil fuels and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Q: What drives innovation and development in a capitalist system?
A: Private investors, driven by strong financial incentives, are critical drivers of innovation and development in a capitalist system.

Q: Does capitalism alone save the planet?
A: No, Christophers’ analysis challenges the notion that capitalism alone will save the planet. Profitability, rather than ideology, ultimately dictates private investment decisions.

Q: What model does Christophers propose for a sustainable future?
A: Christophers proposes a hybrid model that incorporates public investment and ownership alongside private sector innovation.

Q: Is private investment alone sufficient for a rapid green transition?
A: No, private investment alone is insufficient to drive a rapid green transition. Public involvement is necessary to overcome the profitability barrier and propel the green revolution forward.

For more information, visit the main domain’s related links:
1. U.S. Department of Energy
2. International Energy Agency
3. Greenpeace International

Categories
Colorado Energy News Water

Suncor Energy Settles with Colorado State, Commits to Improving Power Reliability

Suncor Energy recently reached a settlement with the state of Colorado after a series of air pollution violations. The company has agreed to spend $8 million on projects aimed at improving power reliability, with a deadline for completion set at the end of 2026. Additionally, Suncor Energy will pay $2.5 million in direct penalties.

Under the settlement, $1.3 million will be allocated to fund projects benefiting communities directly impacted by air and water pollution, while the remainder will be divided between the state’s general fund and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agreement seeks to hold Suncor Energy accountable for its actions and prevent future environmental impacts.

Although this settlement covers violations that occurred over four years ago, it does not address more recent incidents at Suncor Energy’s refinery. A major malfunction in late 2022 resulted in a fire and a series of air pollution violations, prompting the refinery to shut down for repair. The state is currently investigating these incidents and considering additional penalties.

Environmental advocates have welcomed the settlement but expressed concern over the delay in holding the company accountable. Ian Cogill, an attorney at Earthjustice, emphasized the impact of inflation on the financial weight of the penalty, pointing out that a dollar today is worth significantly less than several years ago. However, the settlement marks progress in addressing the company’s past violations and ensuring greater environmental responsibility moving forward.

In addition to the settlement, regulators have announced a separate agreement that requires enhanced air monitoring around Suncor Energy’s facility. This monitoring agreement resolves a legal dispute between regulators and the company regarding compliance with a 2021 state law. The agreement mandates the implementation of a comprehensive monitoring system capable of continuous 24-hour air monitoring and stricter thresholds for public alerts.

By doubling the number of sensors proposed in its original plan and setting lower pollution thresholds, Suncor Energy aims to provide the local community with a better understanding of air quality and the ability to take necessary precautions. The company is required to have the monitoring system operational by the end of this year, demonstrating its commitment to transparency and protecting the well-being of nearby residents.

Overall, these settlements represent important steps toward holding Suncor Energy accountable for its environmental violations and improving power reliability while ensuring enhanced air monitoring for the surrounding community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Suncor Energy Settlement and Enhanced Air Monitoring

Q: What is the recent settlement reached by Suncor Energy?
A: Suncor Energy has reached a settlement with the state of Colorado after a series of air pollution violations. The company will spend $8 million on projects to improve power reliability by the end of 2026 and pay $2.5 million in direct penalties.

Q: How will the funds from the settlement be allocated?
A: Under the settlement, $1.3 million will be allocated to fund projects benefiting communities directly impacted by air and water pollution, while the remainder will be divided between the state’s general fund and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Q: Does this settlement address recent incidents at Suncor Energy’s refinery?
A: No, this settlement only covers violations that occurred over four years ago and does not address more recent incidents at the refinery. A major malfunction in late 2022 resulted in a fire and air pollution violations, which are currently being investigated by the state.

Q: What is the response from environmental advocates regarding the settlement?
A: Environmental advocates have welcomed the settlement but expressed concerns about the delay in holding the company accountable. They also highlighted the impact of inflation on the financial weight of the penalty. However, they acknowledge the progress made in addressing past violations and promoting greater environmental responsibility.

Q: What is the separate agreement announced regarding enhanced air monitoring?
A: Regulators have announced a separate agreement that requires enhanced air monitoring around Suncor Energy’s facility. This resolves a legal dispute between regulators and the company regarding compliance with a 2021 state law.

Q: What are the requirements of the air monitoring agreement?
A: The agreement mandates the implementation of a comprehensive monitoring system capable of continuous 24-hour air monitoring and stricter thresholds for public alerts. Suncor Energy aims to provide the community with a better understanding of air quality and the ability to take necessary precautions.

Q: When will the monitoring system be operational?
A: Suncor Energy is required to have the monitoring system operational by the end of this year, demonstrating its commitment to transparency and protecting the well-being of nearby residents.

Q: What are the overall impacts of these settlements?
A: These settlements represent important steps toward holding Suncor Energy accountable for its environmental violations and improving power reliability. They also ensure enhanced air monitoring for the surrounding community, promoting greater transparency and protecting residents’ well-being.

Definitions:
– Air pollution violations: Instances where a company or individual breaches regulations related to air quality standards and releases harmful substances or pollutants into the air.
– Environmental impacts: The effects and consequences on the natural environment, ecosystems, and the health of living organisms caused by human activities, such as pollution and degradation.
– General fund: A government account where revenues not earmarked for specific programs or projects are deposited or withdrawn. It is used for general operating expenses and services.
– U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): A federal agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment through regulations and enforcement of environmental laws in the United States.
– Compliance: The act of conforming to laws, regulations, and requirements set by governing bodies or authorities.

Suggested Related Links:
Suncor Energy Official Website
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Categories
Energy News Solar

Naturgy and LONGi Collaborate to Boost Renewable Energy Projects in Spain

Spanish energy utility company Naturgy and solar technology leader LONGi have joined forces to enhance Naturgy’s renewable energy projects in Spain. Under the new module shipment agreement, LONGi will provide over one million modules from its Hi-MO 5 series, totaling 574 MWp, for Naturgy’s upcoming solar projects in the country. The deployment of these state-of-the-art bifacial modules, boasting an impressive 21.3% efficiency rate and incorporating LONGi’s gallium-doped technology, will help optimize power generation and durability in the extreme climate conditions of Spain.

The planned installations will be distributed across four project locations in Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and Andalusia, strengthening Naturgy’s commitment to the expansion of renewable energy in the country. Jorge Barredo, Managing Director of Renewables, New Business and Innovation at Naturgy, emphasized the significance of this collaboration, stating that the scale of the agreement reflects Naturgy’s ambitious stance towards renewables. Additionally, he acknowledged LONGi’s technologically advanced modules as a crucial component to compete with traditional power sources in Spain’s photovoltaic sector.

David Sánchez Escarti, LONGi’s General Manager for Spain & Portugal, expressed gratitude for the longstanding partnership with Naturgy since 2018. He highlighted how the remarkable track record of Naturgy in renewables further motivated LONGi to support and expand their cooperation. Escarti emphasized that these new photovoltaic plants would demonstrate the joint commitment of both companies towards business and technological leadership in the industry.

All five projects are projected to receive module shipments within this year, bolstering Naturgy’s growth in the renewable sector and contributing to Spain’s pursuit of a sustainable energy future. The collaboration between Naturgy and LONGi not only showcases the potential for innovation and efficiency in the solar industry but also highlights the importance of cooperation between energy companies and technology leaders to address the challenges of transitioning to clean energy sources.

FAQ Section:

1. What is the new collaboration between Naturgy and LONGi?
Naturgy, a Spanish energy utility company, and LONGi, a solar technology leader, have partnered to enhance Naturgy’s renewable energy projects in Spain. Under the collaboration, LONGi will provide over one million modules from its Hi-MO 5 series, totaling 574 MWp, for Naturgy’s upcoming solar projects in the country.

2. What are the features of the modules provided by LONGi?
The modules provided by LONGi are state-of-the-art bifacial modules with an efficiency rate of 21.3%. They incorporate LONGi’s gallium-doped technology, which helps optimize power generation and durability, even in extreme climate conditions.

3. Where will Naturgy’s solar projects be located?
The planned installations will be distributed across four project locations in Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and Andalusia, strengthening Naturgy’s commitment to the expansion of renewable energy in Spain.

4. What is the significance of this collaboration for Naturgy?
Naturgy’s Managing Director of Renewables, New Business, and Innovation, Jorge Barredo, emphasized that the scale of the agreement reflects Naturgy’s ambitious stance towards renewables. The collaboration with LONGi and the deployment of their advanced modules will help Naturgy compete with traditional power sources in Spain’s photovoltaic sector.

5. What does LONGi’s General Manager for Spain & Portugal say about the collaboration?
David Sánchez Escarti, LONGi’s General Manager for Spain & Portugal, expressed gratitude for the longstanding partnership with Naturgy and highlighted Naturgy’s remarkable track record in renewables. He mentioned that these new photovoltaic plants will demonstrate the joint commitment of both companies towards business and technological leadership in the industry.

6. When will the module shipments take place?
All five projects are projected to receive module shipments within this year, contributing to Naturgy’s growth in the renewable sector and Spain’s pursuit of a sustainable energy future.

Definitions:
– MWp: Megawatt peak, a unit of power used to measure the capacity of a solar panel system.
– Bifacial modules: Solar modules that can generate electricity from both the front and rear sides, increasing overall energy production.
– Efficiency rate: The percentage of sunlight that a solar module can convert into usable electricity.
– Gallium-doped technology: A technology used in solar modules to enhance their performance and durability.

Suggested related links:
1) Naturgy Official Website
2) LONGi Official Website
3) Naturgy Contact Information
4) LONGi Contact Information

Categories
Energy Gas Green Energy News Solar Water

Denison University Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future

Denison University is taking significant steps towards achieving its sustainability goals through a newly commissioned report. The university aims to become carbon neutral by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, under the direction of University Presidents Dale T. Knobel and Adam Weinberg. With a focus on green energy and a complete overhaul of heating systems, the report provides valuable insights on how Denison University can pave the way for a more sustainable future.

Jeremy King, the university’s Director of Sustainability and Campus Improvement, emphasizes the need to go beyond carbon neutrality. While purchasing carbon offsets can quickly achieve carbon neutrality, it does not directly impact the campus’s environmental footprint. To truly achieve net-zero emissions, the report suggests eliminating all possible sources of greenhouse gases on campus, utilizing offsets only for emissions beyond the university’s control.

To address these ambitious climate goals, the university sought the expertise of Ever-Green Energy, an energy management and consulting firm. Ever-Green’s experience with advising other colleges on their climate initiatives provided valuable guidance. The need for a comprehensive plan that considers the bigger picture became apparent to avoid duplicity and resource wastage. Jake Preston, the university’s Director of Physical Plant and Capital Projects, emphasizes the report’s importance in aligning efforts towards the university’s overarching climate goals.

The report reveals that a significant portion of the university’s emissions come from sources directly controlled by the university, such as heating fuel and electricity generation. Ever-Green recommends generating all of the university’s electricity through green sources by further expanding existing solar panels and entering into a power purchasing agreement with a green energy utility. Additionally, addressing inefficiencies in heating systems is crucial. The report suggests converting from steam to hot water heating, either through electricity or geothermal exchange.

The recommendations also include smaller-scale initiatives like electrifying university-owned vehicles to reduce the carbon impact. While the report presents options for planning and implementation, the final decision rests with the university’s Board of Trustees. The pace at which the sustainability goals will be achieved, along with the associated costs, will be determined by the trustees in an upcoming meeting.

Denison University’s commitment to sustainability serves as an inspiration for institutions worldwide. By embracing renewable energy sources and rethinking infrastructure, the university is setting a precedent for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

FAQ section:

1. What are Denison University’s sustainability goals?

Denison University aims to become carbon neutral by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.

2. Who is leading the sustainability efforts at Denison University?

The sustainability efforts at Denison University are being led by University Presidents Dale T. Knobel and Adam Weinberg.

3. What is the importance of going beyond carbon neutrality?

While carbon offsets can achieve carbon neutrality, they do not directly impact the campus’s environmental footprint. To achieve net-zero emissions, it is necessary to eliminate all possible sources of greenhouse gases on campus.

4. Who did Denison University seek expertise from for their climate initiatives?

Denison University sought the expertise of Ever-Green Energy, an energy management and consulting firm, for their climate initiatives.

5. What recommendations did the report provide for addressing emissions?

The report suggests generating all of the university’s electricity through green sources, expanding existing solar panels, and entering into a power purchasing agreement with a green energy utility. It also recommends addressing inefficiencies in heating systems, such as converting from steam to hot water heating through electricity or geothermal exchange.

6. What smaller-scale initiatives are included in the recommendations?

The recommendations include electrifying university-owned vehicles to reduce carbon impact.

7. Who makes the final decisions on the implementation of the sustainability goals?

The final decision on the implementation of the sustainability goals rests with the university’s Board of Trustees.

Definitions:

1. Carbon neutrality: Achieving a balance between the amount of carbon emitted and the amount of carbon removed from the atmosphere.

2. Net-zero emissions: Achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and the amount removed or offset from the atmosphere.

3. Greenhouse gases: Gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

4. Power purchasing agreement: A contract between a buyer and a renewable energy provider for the purchase of electricity generated from renewable sources.

5. Geothermal exchange: A heating and cooling system that uses the natural heat storage ability of the Earth to transfer heat between the ground and a building.

Suggested related link:

Denison University – Official website of Denison University.

Categories
Coal Energy New York News

Binghamton University-Led Energy Storage Project Receives Federal Funding

Binghamton University’s Upstate New York Energy Storage Engine has been awarded millions in federal funding through the U.S. National Science Foundation’s “Innovation Engines” competition. This funding will support the growth and research of battery development and manufacturing in upstate New York over the next decade.

The project, led by Binghamton University and its coalition of partners known as New Energy New York (NENY), will receive an immediate $15 million with the potential for up to $160 million in total funding. The NENY website highlights the collaborative efforts of Binghamton University and its partners in creating this energy storage engine.

The NSF Engines program, created through the efforts of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, aims to establish upstate New York as a hub for battery research and innovation. Senator Schumer expressed his excitement at the news, saying, “Thanks to my CHIPS & Science Law, Binghamton will be the beating electric heart of federal efforts to help bring battery innovation and development back from overseas to spark growth of this critical industry vital to our nation’s national and economic security.”

The Binghamton University-led proposal focuses on strengthening the battery supply chain, accelerating the transfer of battery technologies to the market, and encouraging research and development. M. Stanley Whittingham, Chief Innovation Officer of the Energy Storage Engine and Nobel Laureate recipient, emphasized the importance of domestic battery production and a secure supply chain in the U.S.

This recent funding award follows over $113 million granted to Binghamton University in 2022 to establish its battery manufacturing and innovation hub. Senator Schumer’s support has also led to the federal tech-hub designation for Binghamton University’s NENY project.

The NENY coalition includes entities from 27 counties in upstate New York, with Binghamton University at the helm. Cross-sector partners, including research universities like Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Syracuse University, along with organizations like NY-BEST and Launch NY, are collaborating to drive research, development, and industry-informed projects.

Since being awarded funding, the NENY coalition has facilitated the growth of over 30 high-tech startups in the battery and energy storage technology sector. Additionally, innovative programs have been introduced to support the development of the battery manufacturing industry and have trained hundreds of individuals.

This funding will undoubtedly propel the growth and innovation of energy storage in upstate New York, solidifying Binghamton University’s position as a leader in battery research and development.

An FAQ based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

Q: What is the purpose of the “Innovation Engines” competition by the U.S. National Science Foundation?
A: The “Innovation Engines” competition aims to provide funding for battery development and manufacturing in upstate New York.

Q: How much federal funding has Binghamton University’s Upstate New York Energy Storage Engine been awarded?
A: The project has received an immediate $15 million, with the potential for up to $160 million in total funding.

Q: Who is leading the project and the coalition of partners known as New Energy New York (NENY)?
A: Binghamton University is leading the project and the NENY coalition.

Q: What is the goal of the NSF Engines program?
A: The NSF Engines program, created through the efforts of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, aims to establish upstate New York as a hub for battery research and innovation.

Q: What is the focus of the Binghamton University-led proposal?
A: The proposal focuses on strengthening the battery supply chain, accelerating the transfer of battery technologies to the market, and encouraging research and development.

Q: Who is M. Stanley Whittingham and what is his role in the project?
A: M. Stanley Whittingham is the Chief Innovation Officer of the Energy Storage Engine and recipient of the Nobel Laureate. He emphasizes the importance of domestic battery production and a secure supply chain in the U.S.

Q: How much funding has Binghamton University previously been granted for its battery manufacturing and innovation hub?
A: Binghamton University has previously been granted over $113 million in funding in 2022 for its battery manufacturing and innovation hub.

Q: Who are the partners in the NENY coalition?
A: The NENY coalition includes entities from 27 counties in upstate New York, with Binghamton University at the helm. Partners include research universities such as Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Syracuse University, along with organizations like NY-BEST and Launch NY.

Q: What has the NENY coalition achieved so far?
A: Since being awarded funding, the NENY coalition has facilitated the growth of over 30 high-tech startups in the battery and energy storage technology sector. They have also introduced innovative programs to support the development of the battery manufacturing industry and have trained hundreds of individuals.

Definitions:
1. Energy Storage Engine: Refers to the project led by Binghamton University and its partners focusing on battery development and manufacturing in upstate New York.
2. Innovation Engines: Refers to the competition organized by the U.S. National Science Foundation to provide funding for innovation in various fields, including battery development in this case.
3. Battery Supply Chain: Refers to the process and network involved in the production, distribution, and sale of batteries.
4. NSF Engines Program: Refers to the program established by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer to support battery research and innovation in upstate New York.
5. Nobel Laureate: A recipient of the Nobel Prize, a prestigious international award given annually in several categories, including physics, chemistry, and medicine.

Suggested Related Links:
Binghamton University’s Energy Department
National Science Foundation’s Official Website
Binghamton University’s Official Website

Categories
Energy Gas News

Understanding Duke Energy Bills: Shedding Light on the Summary of Rider Adjustments

If you’ve recently scrutinized your Duke Energy bill, you may have noticed a section called the Summary of Rider Adjustments. This line item has caught the attention of many customers, with some expressing concerns about it being a new charge. However, Duke Energy clarifies that these adjustments have always been a part of your bill, although they were not previously itemized.

Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, explains that the company redesigned the bill format to enhance transparency and provide more information about various charges included in the total bill. The Summary of Rider Adjustments encompasses eleven different components, ranging from fuel costs for power generation to software expenses for customer billing and energy efficiency programs.

Interestingly, each rider in the Summary of Rider Adjustments is calculated individually using a cents per kilowatt computation before being combined for a sum total. Therefore, the specific amount you see on your bill may differ from that of your neighbors, as it depends on the energy you have consumed.

It’s essential to note that Duke Energy emphasizes that these adjustments are not new charges but rather existing components that have now been itemized for improved clarity. Brooks advises customers to compare their current bill with the previous year’s bill rather than looking at month-to-month variations, as energy usage tends to differ between seasons.

To illustrate this point, in a test conducted by 2 Wants To Know, a comparison of January bills from 2021 to 2024 displayed fluctuations in amounts. While the recent bills included the Summary Rider Adjustment, it became evident that the changes in overall cost were not solely attributed to these adjustments.

Understanding your bill breakdown provides valuable insight into how your charges are calculated. It’s important to note that despite the increased visibility of the Summary of Rider Adjustments, you may still observe an increase in your bill. Duke Energy had received approval to raise the rate of the price per kilowatt, which contributes to the overall cost.

By shedding light on the Summary of Rider Adjustments, Duke Energy aims to enhance transparency and ensure customers have a clearer understanding of their bills. Remember to review your current bill alongside the previous year’s bill for a more accurate comparison, considering the variations in energy usage across different seasons.

FAQ Section:

Q: What is the “Summary of Rider Adjustments” section on my Duke Energy bill?
A: The “Summary of Rider Adjustments” is a section on your Duke Energy bill that itemizes various components of charges included in your total bill.

Q: Are the Rider Adjustments a new charge?
A: No, the Rider Adjustments are not new charges. They have always been a part of your bill but were not previously itemized.

Q: How many components are included in the Summary of Rider Adjustments?
A: The Summary of Rider Adjustments encompasses eleven different components, such as fuel costs for power generation, software expenses for customer billing, and energy efficiency programs.

Q: How are the Rider Adjustments calculated?
A: Each rider in the Summary of Rider Adjustments is calculated individually using a cents per kilowatt computation before being combined for a sum total.

Q: Why do the amounts of Rider Adjustments differ among customers?
A: The specific amount of Rider Adjustments on your bill may differ from your neighbors’ bills because it depends on the energy you have consumed.

Q: Do the Rider Adjustments contribute to the overall cost increase on my bill?
A: While the Rider Adjustments are not new charges, Duke Energy had received approval to raise the rate of the price per kilowatt, which can contribute to an overall cost increase on your bill.

Key Terms and Jargon:

– Duke Energy: A company that provides electricity and natural gas to customers in various states in the United States.

– Rider Adjustments: Components on a Duke Energy bill that itemize various charges, such as fuel costs for power generation, software expenses for customer billing, and energy efficiency programs.

– Kilowatt: A unit for measuring electric power equal to 1,000 watts.

Suggested Related Links:

Duke Energy Official Website

Categories
Coal Energy Gas News North Carolina Nuclear Solar Wind

Duke Energy Accelerates Plans for New Hydrogen-Capable Natural Gas Power Plant to Meet Growing Energy Demand in North Carolina

Duke Energy is fast-tracking its proposal to construct a state-of-the-art hydrogen-capable natural gas power plant in Person County, North Carolina. The decision comes as the region experiences a remarkable surge in population growth and business development. Duke Energy updated its Carolina Resources Plan to reflect the urgent need for the new facility to keep pace with the escalating demand for electricity.

The economic boom in North Carolina has been extraordinary, with a staggering 14,000 new business applications filed in January alone. Small businesses have played a significant role in driving this expansion, as evidenced by last year’s record-breaking number of filings—over 171,000 new entities registered, second only to 2021’s all-time high of over 178,000.

Bill Norton, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, acknowledged the substantial growth and electricity demand in the Carolinas, surpassing the company’s earlier forecasts. Recent energy consumption figures have far exceeded expectations, prompting a 2,000 megawatt increase in the most recent usage projection. Norton emphasized the need for strategic planning to meet the projected eight-fold increase in electricity demand by 2030 compared to just two years ago.

To cater to the energy requirements of the people in North Carolina, Duke Energy is developing a diverse energy mix that includes new nuclear, hydrogen natural gas, solar, and wind power. The construction of the new hydrogen-capable natural gas power plant aligns with the company’s commitment to completely eliminate coal usage by 2035. Currently, Duke Energy’s Person County Energy Complex relies on coal but will be phased out and replaced by the advanced facility.

Specific construction details and operational timelines for the new power plant will be announced during an upcoming media event. However, it should be noted that these plans are still pending regulatory approval. Public meetings are scheduled for April, followed by an evidentiary hearing in the summer. The North Carolina Utilities Commission will make the final decision by December regarding the feasibility of the proposed plan.

Duke Energy’s proactive approach to address the surging energy demand in North Carolina reflects a commitment to sustainable energy solutions, economic growth, and environmental stewardship.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is Duke Energy’s proposal in Person County, North Carolina?
A: Duke Energy is proposing to construct a state-of-the-art hydrogen-capable natural gas power plant in Person County, North Carolina.

Q: Why is Duke Energy fast-tracking this proposal?
A: Duke Energy is fast-tracking the proposal to keep pace with the escalating demand for electricity in the region due to a remarkable surge in population growth and business development.

Q: How has the economic growth been in North Carolina?
A: The economic growth in North Carolina has been extraordinary, with 14,000 new business applications filed in January alone. It has been driven by small businesses, with over 171,000 new entities registered last year.

Q: What has Duke Energy acknowledged about the electricity demand in the Carolinas?
A: Duke Energy has acknowledged that the electricity demand in the Carolinas has surpassed their earlier forecasts. Recent energy consumption figures have exceeded expectations, prompting the need for strategic planning.

Q: What is Duke Energy doing to meet the energy requirements?
A: Duke Energy is developing a diverse energy mix that includes new nuclear, hydrogen natural gas, solar, and wind power to meet the energy requirements of people in North Carolina.

Q: What is the company’s commitment regarding coal usage?
A: Duke Energy is committed to completely eliminating coal usage by 2035. The new hydrogen-capable natural gas power plant will replace the current coal-dependent Person County Energy Complex.

Q: What are the next steps for the proposal?
A: Specific construction details and operational timelines for the new power plant will be announced in an upcoming media event. The plans are still pending regulatory approval, with public meetings scheduled for April and a decision expected by December from the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Q: What does Duke Energy’s proactive approach reflect?
A: Duke Energy’s proactive approach reflects their commitment to sustainable energy solutions, economic growth, and environmental stewardship in addressing the surging energy demand in North Carolina.

Definitions:
Hydrogen-capable: Refers to a power plant that can use hydrogen as a fuel source.
Megawatt: A unit of power equal to one million watts, used to measure the capacity or consumption of electricity.
Evidentiary hearing: A hearing in which evidence is presented and analyzed to assist in making a decision.
Feasibility: The practicality and likelihood of successfully implementing a plan or project.

Suggested Related Links:
Duke Energy Official Website
North Carolina Utilities Commission

Categories
Energy News South Dakota Water Wind

South Dakota Receives Funding for Renewable Energy and Agriculture Projects

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently allocated a substantial amount of funding towards renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects across the country. One of the states set to benefit from this initiative is South Dakota, which is estimated to receive over $3 million in grants.

Through the Federal Inflation Reduction Act, the USDA aims to support rural development and advance sustainable practices in agriculture. South Dakota, with its rich agricultural resources and potential for renewable energy, is an ideal candidate for such funding.

The specific projects planned for South Dakota under the Rural Development loans and grants program are diverse and promise to have a positive impact on the state’s economy and environment. These include the installation of a grain dryer near Cavour, a 20-loop geothermal heat pump system near Bath, and a refrigeration system in Meade.

By investing in these projects, South Dakota stands to benefit in multiple ways. Firstly, the implementation of a grain dryer will improve storage capacity and reduce post-harvest losses for farmers in the region, leading to increased profitability and food security. Secondly, the geothermal heat pump system will provide efficient and sustainable heating solutions, reducing reliance on traditional energy sources and minimizing carbon emissions. Lastly, the refrigeration system in Meade will enhance the storage and preservation of locally produced agricultural products, contributing to the growth of the state’s agricultural industry.

With this funding, South Dakota has the opportunity to showcase its potential as a leader in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. By pursuing these projects, the state affirms its commitment to a greener future while simultaneously supporting and boosting its rural communities.

To explore the full list of projects planned for South Dakota under the Rural Development loans and grants program, visit the USDA’s official website. The efforts made by the USDA and the state of South Dakota exemplify the significance of investing in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture for a more prosperous and environmentally conscious future.

An FAQ section based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

1. What is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) doing to support renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects?
The USDA has allocated a substantial amount of funding towards these projects across the country, including in South Dakota.

2. How much funding is South Dakota estimated to receive for these projects?
South Dakota is estimated to receive over $3 million in grants from the USDA.

3. What is the aim of the USDA’s initiative?
The USDA aims to support rural development and advance sustainable practices in agriculture through the Federal Inflation Reduction Act.

4. Why is South Dakota an ideal candidate for funding?
South Dakota has rich agricultural resources and potential for renewable energy, making it a suitable recipient for the USDA’s grants.

5. What specific projects are planned for South Dakota?
The projects include the installation of a grain dryer near Cavour, a 20-loop geothermal heat pump system near Bath, and a refrigeration system in Meade.

6. How will South Dakota benefit from these projects?
The grain dryer will improve storage capacity and reduce post-harvest losses for farmers, the geothermal heat pump system will provide sustainable heating solutions, and the refrigeration system will enhance storage and preservation of locally produced agricultural products.

7. How does this funding contribute to South Dakota’s agricultural industry?
By improving storage and preservation techniques, the funding supports the growth of the state’s agricultural industry.

8. What is the overall goal of South Dakota’s pursuit of these projects?
South Dakota aims to showcase its potential as a leader in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, while also supporting and boosting its rural communities.

Suggested related link: USDA official website

Definitions for key terms or jargon used within the article:
– Renewable energy: Energy derived from resources that can be naturally replenished, such as sunlight, wind, and water.
– Domestic fertilizer projects: Projects focused on developing and promoting the production and use of fertilizers within a country’s own borders, rather than relying on imports.
– Rural development: The process of improving economic, social, and environmental conditions in rural areas through targeted initiatives and investments.
– Agricultural resources: The natural assets and inputs, such as land, water, and climate, that contribute to the productivity and success of agricultural activities.

Categories
Energy Gas News Solar Water Wind

Renewables Enter a New Decade: Challenges and Opportunities

Global investment in renewable energy generation and storage projects saw a steady 8% increase in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching a total of $623 billion, according to a report by BNEF. While this growth is commendable, the electric transport sector outpaced renewables, becoming the largest sector for spending for the first time, with a 35% year-on-year increase, totaling $634 billion.

China remains the global leader in renewable energy investment, with a staggering $675.9 billion in 2023, representing 38% of the global total. The United States follows as the second-largest funding destination with $303 billion, followed by Germany with $95 billion and the United Kingdom with $74 billion. When considering the 27 EU member states collectively, their investment amounted to $341 billion, making the EU the second-largest contributor overall.

The growth of renewable energy investment in the US is particularly noticeable in the generation and grid sectors, with investments nearing $100 billion each, surpassing all other nations except China. This surge is primarily attributed to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides over $360 billion in tax credit incentives for renewable energy investments. As a result, the US is emerging as a significant alternative to China’s dominance in the industry.

Despite these positive developments, BNEF reports that achieving the Net Zero scenario aligned with the Paris Agreement will require almost triple the current level of investment. To reach net-zero emissions, an annual investment of $4.84 trillion is required between 2024 and 2030, increasing to $6.5 trillion in the following decade, and eventually reaching $7.5 trillion per year from 2041 to 2050.

One notable challenge identified by the report lies in renewable energy manufacturing, particularly in the solar sector. Currently, investments in solar module production, battery production, and metal mining exceed the levels required for BNEF’s global Net Zero scenario. This oversupply is primarily attributed to the substantial expansion and overcapacity of solar module production in China. As a result, the market faces a glut that will continue to depress solar module prices and weaken the case for localized production in markets lacking existing manufacturing infrastructure.

These dynamics have led to concerns in the European solar manufacturing industry, where oversupply and price dumping by Chinese manufacturers pose threats. European companies such as Meyer Burger and REC Group have already been forced to shut down facilities due to unsustainable market conditions. However, in the US, the IRA presents an opportunity for solar manufacturers. Companies like Meyer Burger and several major PV players are establishing production bases in the US, demonstrating the potential for localized manufacturing to thrive in favorable market conditions.

Looking ahead, the report highlights that energy storage is set to drive clean energy manufacturing investment in the coming years. Battery plants are expected to account for approximately 70% of the required spending between 2024 and 2030. This emerging trend presents significant opportunities for stakeholders to capitalize on the growing demand for energy storage solutions, further accelerating the transition towards a renewable energy future.

Article Summary:
According to a report by BNEF, global investment in renewable energy generation and storage projects increased by 8% in 2023, reaching a total of $623 billion. The electric transport sector saw the largest increase in spending, surpassing renewables, with a 35% year-on-year increase, totaling $634 billion. China leads the world in renewable energy investment, followed by the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The report highlights the need for increased investment to achieve the Net Zero scenario of the Paris Agreement. One challenge identified is the oversupply of solar module production, mainly due to China’s expansion, which depresses prices and threatens the European solar manufacturing industry. However, energy storage is expected to drive clean energy manufacturing investment in the future.

Key Terms and Definitions:
– BNEF: BNEF stands for BloombergNEF, a research organization that provides analysis and research on various aspects of the energy transition.
– Renewable energy: Renewable energy refers to energy derived from naturally replenishing sources like sunlight, wind, and water, which are not depleted when used.
– Net Zero: Net Zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, resulting in no net increase in emissions.
– Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement is an international treaty adopted by nearly all countries in 2015, aiming to combat climate change. It sets goals for limiting global warming and facilitating adaptation to its impacts.
– Battery plants: Battery plants refer to facilities where batteries, such as those used for energy storage, are manufactured.

Related Links:
BNEF: The official website of BloombergNEF, providing research and analysis on clean energy, sustainability, and other related topics.