Susan Kraemer's Comments

April 17, 2015

Solar Flux Solution Brightens Future of Concentrated Solar Power

John, it is just nonsense that there is no independent monitoring of avian mortality at solar sites already.

An independent firm is onsite at Crescent Dunes and they report numbers directly to the BLM. At Ivanpah independent firm HT Harvey & Assocs is doing that for the CEC in CA.

Here is an example of such a filing with the CEC for Ivanpah from HT Harvey : (91 pg pdf)

http://docketpublic.energy.ca.gov/PublicDocuments/07-AFC-05C/TN202617_20140626T131025_Ivanpah_Solar_Electric_System_Avian__Bat_Monitoring_Plan;_20132.pdf

April 17, 2015

Solar Flux Solution Brightens Future of Concentrated Solar Power

Interesting point Joe, the race between two kinds of storage. But it doesn't have to be a competition, it seems. Each has its best side. PV is great for day.

For example, in South Africa, the REIPPP will only accept bids for daytime solar from PV - X MW for PV with no batteries --- along with a separate X MW set aside for only CSP-plus-storage projects.

February 22, 2015

Geothermal Visual: Capacity Factors for Assorted Energy Systems

Interesting point point about nuclear.

Also, the capacity factor of CSP - with molten salt storage - is in the 90% range too, depending on how many hours of storage are included, and - importantly - what is asked of it. If the utility wants generation from noon to midnight, but does not want any from midnight till daybreak, and gets 90% of that noon to midnight PPA, which it can do with storage --then that should be counted as capacity factor of 90%.

That a plant produces round the clock is becoming increasingly ridiculous. Utilities and grids have time sensitive load needs, and they should not have plants that run 24/7 if they don't need any more.

That said, geothermal is a great renewable resource and we should develop more to substitute for coal and gas running round the clock currently.

February 22, 2015

Two Ways PG&E Community Solar Gardens Enable 100 Percent Solar for All

To anonymous in SCE territory, stay tuned: as it is very likely that SCE and SDG&E will follow PG&E in this - AB43 applies to the whole state, it is just that it takes a while to set up with the CPUC, and PG&E got through that process first.

January 28, 2015

Solar Outlook 2015: Still Growing, But No Longer Energy’s Young Kid

I think you assume this sharp rise will continue.

First, you do it by underestimating the effect of the California 33% by 2020 mandate that has ratcheted up all the big solar - 550 MW for example - that has sharply increased solar penetration. Big solar in California accounts for much of the solar numbers you cite.

However, a look at new PPAs signed this year shows there is now a very sharp drop in big solar PPAs, because CA utilities have now met their 33% requirement. They are not signing more.

Gov Brown did not mandate a higher RPS than 33%. All the talk of 50% was not enshrined in regulation as it needs to be.

There will be no new big > 500 MW projects as the 30% ITC won't get expanded. Republicans control both houses and may continue to even after a Clinton presidency, due to gerrymandering, so it may never come back.

In the same way, rooftop still accounts for less than 1/2 a percent of US households. Once the ITC drops in 2017, it will be over. 30% off is a big incentive. With Republican governors now installed in most states, state incentives will not pick up the slack.

I think the solar industry is way too complacent about the very dire future without more incentives or mandates like a higher RPS.

November 09, 2014

US Midyear Elections Offer Opportunities and Challenges for Renewable Energy

I agree with James. You have to judge based on actions, not words on websites.

These Republicans are doing nothing to advance clean energy, and some like Susanna Martinez have actively worked to prevent it, in her case by pulling out of the western regional greenhouse gas cap and trade plan her predecessor had signed on to.

http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/2012/02/nms-cap-and-trade-regulation-repealed/

The one exception is the excellent Republican governor of Iowa, who has indeed created a miracle with wind power for his state. Wish there were others.

October 24, 2014

California’s Conservation Proposal Kneecaps Utility-scale Solar

Yes Brian, actually DRECP does expect that rooftop solar distributed generation will provide most of the renewables California will need. But it's not their job to permit if someone can put solar on their roof, so these 4 agencies don't deal with DG.

However, DRECP's very careful and well researched assessment (8,000 pages) during the past five years is that we do need to ALSO have some big scale solar.

--and of course wind, which cannot be DG at all: little home wind is totally inefficient. Big solar is more efficient than rooftop as well, but a rooftop is enough to power a home so it doesn't really matter.

So the wind industry simply wouldn't exist in California if it gets chased off wide open spaces.

The question was, should renewables be allowed on public lands like oil and gas have been since the 1920s. Obama put the first ever big solar and wind projects on BLM land, but NIMBYs - and others just opposed to renewable energy - are fighting back and making it impossible.

So this was a more careful approach to see a way to avoid the opposition by bending to everyone else's needs first, not just conservation, but military space, recreation areas, off road vehicle people, etc, etc.

But from everyone I talked to, it bends too far.

October 24, 2014

California’s Conservation Proposal Kneecaps Utility-scale Solar

Well, you will like part of DRECP then, Brian.The land available for solar and wind was cut by two thirds.

October 25, 2014

California’s Conservation Proposal Kneecaps Utility-scale Solar

Barry, yes, actually, one important and very useful aspect of DRECP was precisely on siting near transmission lines. Sorry I forgot to mention it.

October 25, 2014

California’s Conservation Proposal Kneecaps Utility-scale Solar

Brian, (I don't have any clients: I am just a writer)

Wind farms don't fit on a CostCo roof and wind resources are typically greater where people don't live (people didn't pick windy places to settle and grow into cities).

CSP is also not possible in the city: it needs high desert DNI. We need to allow that technology to develop past these first 2 or 3 projects in order to get costs down like PV has, because CSP is the potential night time renewable because of the thermal storage. It is how we can stop fracking up the ground under us to destroy our climate with gas.

We need all the renewables.

October 26, 2014

SEIA Launches New Campaign to Extend Solar Investment Tax Credit

Clean energy should demand a level playing field with dirty energy - 50% ITC - and permanent.

The tax credits for fossil energy are permanently embedded in the tax code, they never expire - oil refineries refining the Keystone pipeline types of oil get a 50% ITC - it is permanent.

If the most dangerous industry in human history gets a 50% ITC for ever, why should an industry with a solution to climate change lose its 30% ITC after just 5 years?

Susan Kraemer

Susan Kraemer

Susan Kraemer reports on renewable energy for CSP Today, Wind Energy Update, PV Insider and Renewable Energy World, and has written about renewables for Cleantechnica, Green Prophet and other sites.

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