Editorial: CT right to reconsider future power needs – New Haven Register

“It hasn’t emerged as a major issue in the pending state legislative session, but a speech this month from Katie Dykes, the state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection, could be a precursor to a major change on how the state procures its power supply.

As in many states, Connecticut talks a good game when it comes to climate change, and has enacted policies that aim to limit emissions while preparing resilience plans for coastal communities that are likely to be the hardest hit by rising global temperatures. But the state also continues to follow old policies that exacerbate the problem, whether by encouraging suburban sprawl by focusing transit plans on highways or by continuing to build power plants that rely on fossil fuels.

This is a pressing issue. A recently opened power plant in Oxford can generate up to 800 megawatts of electricity, but it relies on burning natural gas. Another gas plant underway in Bridgeport will be smaller but also work against the state’s long-term goals of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. And an approved but as-yet-unbuilt natural gas plant in Killingly has drawn protests from around the state, with opponents saying the project is outdated and unnecessary.

Dykes appears to agree, which is striking given that DEEP, under previous leadership, approved the plant.

Natural gas has been held up by many officials as a necessary improvement from dirtier coal and oil, but while the emissions from newer plants are not as severe as the older facilities they are replacing, the overall impact of natural gas is far from benign. From the hydraulic fracturing that frees it from under the ground to inevitable leakage along the way, natural gas may on balance be just as harmful in the long term as coal and oil. Any real move forward on limiting emissions must reckon with the harms of natural gas power plants.

Dykes said a big part of the problem lies with ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid and holds auctions for new power generation. The facilities still need to be approved by local and state governments.

Source: Editorial: CT right to reconsider future power needs – New Haven Register

How Does Your State Make Electricity? – The New York Times

Overall, fossil fuels still dominate electricity generation in the United States. But the shift from coal to natural gas has helped to lower carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution. Last year, coal was the main source of electricity generation for 18 states, down from 32 states in 2001.

Top Source of Electricity Generation In Every State

Opinion | To Make Headway on Climate Change- Let’s Change the Subject – The New York Times

“. . . .  As the economic case for renewables grows more compelling, the issue becomes how much faster we can go in cleaning up the grid. The tactical goal for Democrats is not to get Republicans to admit they have been wrong about climate science; the only thing that matters is to pass measures to speed the energy transition.

Understanding all this, Democrats can still run hard on climate change in party primaries. But in general elections and upon taking office, they need to make the subtle shift from talking about the climate crisis to talking about the benefits of clean energy — something that Mr. Polis, for one, is skilled at doing.

The polls have told us, over and over, that right below the surface in this country lurks a powerful consensus to go all out on the energy transition. The falling costs offer a fresh opportunity to talk about competition and freedom of choice in the market for electricity, a language that many Republicans understand.

That unanimous measure in South Carolina tells you that for the right policies advocated in the right language, the votes are there.

No Pipelines- No Service: Con Ed Cuts Off New Gas Hookups – By Debra West – The New York Times

By Debra West
March 21, 2019

YONKERS — “Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are in the works in more than a dozen towns, along with spaces for restaurants and shops.

But the boom unfolding in Westchester County is under threat — not from any not-in-my-backyard opposition or a slumping real estate market.

Instead, it is coming from something unexpected: a lack of natural gas.

Con Edison, the region’s main utility, says its existing network of pipelines cannot satisfy an increasing demand for the fuel.

As a result, the utility has taken the extreme step of imposing a moratorium on new gas hookups in a large swath of Westchester, including for residential buildings planned in Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle. The only other places in the country with similar restrictions are in Massachusetts, gas industry officials said.”

Solo Energy

“at Solo, we’re creating the future of energy.
here’s how…
EV + Battery Icon.png
energy storage
Solo deploys and operates distributed energy storage systems such as home batteries and electric vehicle chargers to store excess renewable generation

p2p.png
blockchain – p2p
We use blockchain technology to create a shared peer-to-peer energy trading economy so consumers can share locally generated renewable energy across the grid

VPP Icon.png
virtual power plant
Solo’s FlexiGrid software controls energy storage systems to operate as a Virtual Power Plant, shaping demand to follow renewable supply”

Source: Solo Energy

Clean Energy Is Surging- but Not Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming – By Brad Plumer – The New York Times

Quote

By Brad Plumer
Nov. 12, 2018

+
Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.

WASHINGTON — Over the next two decades, the world’s energy system will undergo a huge transformation. Wind and solar power are poised to become dominant sources of electricity. China’s once-relentless appetite for coal is set to wane. The amount of oil we use to fuel our cars could peak and decline.

But there’s a catch: The global march toward clean energy still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous global warming, at least not unless governments put forceful new policy measures in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency, which on Monday published its annual World Energy Outlook, a 661-page report that forecasts global energy trends to 2040. These projections are especially difficult right now because the world’s energy markets, which usually evolve gradually, are going through a major upheaval.

via Clean Energy Is Surging, but Not Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming – The New York Times

Affordable Solar Program Launched in Connecticut for Middle-Class Homeowners – Green Energy Tribune

Connecticut is one of the best places if you want to go solar – but only if you’re rich enough. Due to the steep upfront costs of around $32,000 in cash, only those upper-income families can afford to install solar arrays. Green Energy Tribune is, however, looking to change that. This new project hopes to help middle class communities see the sun in a different light.
The cost for the installation to the middle class families is little to $0 down. The homeowner gets solar panels on their roof and a new reduced electric rate. If interested you can sign up at SolarVisit.com. Green Energy Tribune predicts that it could save individual families up to $2,400 a year, which they hope could then be spent on other essential bills.

Source: Affordable Solar Program Launched in Connecticut for Middle-Class Homeowners – Green Energy Tribune

America’s Natural Gas Hurdles – by Agnia Grigas – NYT

These changes would strengthen America’s domestic energy sector, limit calls to curtail America’s L.N.G. exports, reduce the need for imports, and help the country compete with Russia in the global natural gas markets.

Policy and infrastructure has not kept pace in the United States as the country has sought to turn into a net exporter of natural gas. But with thoughtful legislation and investments in infrastructure, the United States has the resources, technology and ambition to claim a position as the global leader in the coming golden age of natural gas.

Agnia Grigas (@AgniaGrigas), a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, is the author of “The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas.”

via America’s Natural Gas Hurdles – The New York Times

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists – The New York Times

“Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate.That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A number of factors are driving the reversal, from saturation in markets like California to financial woes at several top solar panel makers.But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

Utilities argue that rules allowing private solar customers to sell excess power back to the grid at the retail price — a practice known as net metering — can be unfair to homeowners who do not want or cannot afford their own solar installations.”

How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy

“How do Fuel Cells Work?Fuel cells produce energy electrochemically — without combusting the fuelDFC-schematic_smFuel cells cleanly and efficiently convert chemical energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and usable high quality heat in an electrochemical process that is virtually absent of pollutants.

Similar to a battery, a fuel cell is comprised of many individual cells that are grouped together to form a fuel cell stack. Each individual cell contains an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte layer. When a hydrogen-rich fuel such as clean natural gas or renewable biogas enters the fuel cell stack, it reacts electrochemically with oxygen (i.e. ambient air) to produce electric current, heat and water. While a typical battery has a fixed supply of energy, fuel cells continuously generate electricity as long as fuel is supplied.”

Source: How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy