February 24, 2015

Will Solar Plunge Off the Tax Credit Cliff?

To: M.Simon, Feb 24, 2015, reference "do not account for hot backup required for grid stability"

I see this comment a lot, but I don't think it is valid. An typical household load is variable and intermittent. No one knows when I am going to turn on a heater or when my A/C is going to come on. Forecasting for weather is probably easier. In traditional central generation power plants, a hot standby is required in case a 500MW-1GW plant inadvertently has a fault and goes offline. The load a of home with rooftop solar probably looks no different on average to the grid than a person that has an extremely energy efficient home or habits. Where I live, in Texas, we generally use more electricity during the day when the sun is shining, so rooftop solar electricity provides a pretty good fit.

Can you provide one reference to date where a utility has had to have "hot backup" due to rooftop solar? And if so, how much rooftop solar is requiring it?

February 24, 2015

Will Solar Plunge Off the Tax Credit Cliff?

to: Will Marder, February 24, 2015

The Fed ITC does go from 30% to ZERO at the end of 2016 for residential consumers. For businesses it goes from 30% to 10%. This doesn't seem correct for residential rooftop solar to not receive the investment tax credit but businesses continue to receive it. In both cases, isn't an investment?

May 29, 2014

Debunking the Myths of Ohio's Proposed Clean Energy "Freeze"

Question to Tom Stacy - I see by your bio that your goal is to "expose misleading claims made by the wind energy industry that have gotten them so deep into taxpayers pockets. Period." I too am not a big fan of government subsidies, so when I spent some time to research historical subsidies, I was quite surprised to find that the oil & gas industry has been the biggest beneficiary of government subsidies when evaluated from a historical perspective. Here are a few example historical analysis:
1. The Historical Role of Federal Subsidies in Shaping America’s Energy Future -
2. Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry Deployment - examines the impact and looks to the future of solar energy as compared with other energy sources. See article at
3. THE RHETORIC: Renewable energy is subsidized at higher rates than fossil fuels. See

Do you have analysis reports that show differently?

September 06, 2013

Wind Power Surge in Texas Curbing Utility Profits

So let's now UPDATE the Texas energy market design to take advantage of distributed generation PV solar - tapping that untapped natural energy resource. Electricity generated from PV solar is generated primarily at the peak demand periods.

Combining wind energy, distributed PV solar, and in the longer term - distributed energy storage - will give us a 21st century renewable energy grid in Texas - one that will be much less volatile and much CLEANER than one dependent on fossil fuels!

August 23, 2013

Rethinking Our Energy System; Leveraging Distributed Generation

Excellent article! In Texas, the Public Utility Commission has been wrestling with resource adequacy primarily related to peak demand. They seem to be trying all kinds of market design tweaks, but to this point, seem to be ignoring the obvious opportunity - leverage distributed generation using PV solar. The sun causes our peak demand needs, why not encourage ways to take advantage of it? I would appreciate any assistance you could bring to get the attention of the Texas PUC to seriously consider ways to leverage distributed generation vs just looking a the traditional central generation model.

February 21, 2013

10th Annual ACORE Conference Calls for Bipartisan Support and Continued Financial Innovation for Renewable Energy

I am a conservative. Renewable Energy must be a bipartisan issue. It is unfortunate that it gets lumped into partisan gridlock. As I stated, I am a conservative. Everyone should read the report referenced at the end of this article - "What Would Jefferson Do?" If we think we should phase out subsidies for renewable energy, shouldn't we first stop all subsidies for energy sources that have been receiving subsidies the longest?

February 22, 2013

10th Annual ACORE Conference Calls for Bipartisan Support and Continued Financial Innovation for Renewable Energy

Clarification to Anonymous - My comment that RE should be a bipartisan issue was not related to support for federal legislation, but that it should not be used by either side as their "own" rally cry. RE is not for/against one side or the other, it is a technology that will continue to advance and most likely be a big part of the world's energy supply in the future. Check out this article - "Solar PV will do to grids what mobiles did to telephony",

September 08, 2012

Should Solar Marketers Focus on Preaching to the Choir or to the Skeptics?

If we are discussing ending subsidies for renewable energy, then what about ending subsidies for other existing energy sources and farm/crop subsidies? The issue of subsidies for renewable energy is a concern to me as well as to most people, so I have begun to research this topic in more detail. Although the message we generally hear is that renewable energy sources are receiving too much in subsidies, what I have found in various studies is that when taken in the context of a longer period of history, all energy sources have benefited from significant and long-term subsidies. So, if we think we must phase out subsidies on renewable energy sources any time soon, then shouldn't we first make sure that other more mature energy source subsidies are phased out first?

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