Las Vegas Sun: NV Energy, SolarCity Send Deal on Rooftop-Solar Grandfathering to PUC
NV Energy customers who applied for rooftop solar before 2016 -- when the utility began charging a higher rate -- would be allowed to keep their prior, more favorable billing rate under a deal submitted Monday for regulatory approval. The Public Utilities Commission, which has objected to similar deals in the past, could take up the proposal as early as Friday.
If the three-member panel changes course and approves the deal, it will solve one of the most controversial issues arising from the new charges it approved in December. In an unexpected move, it applied the new rates to all solar customers, including those who purchased rooftop solar panels months, sometimes several years, before the decision.
Vox: Electric Vehicles Can Go Far Enough. People Just Don't Know It Yet
Surveys show that many potential electric-vehicle customers are held back by "range anxiety," the concern that an EV won’t go far enough, that it will run out of juice just when they need it.
Range anxiety already makes little objective sense. Research shows that even the modest 2013 Nissan Leaf, with its range of 80 miles, can cover 87 percent of the daily trips ordinary Americans make. That’s more than enough for a second car, or a first car for someone who mostly relies on walking and transit.
Now, however, new vehicles are coming along that, by any sane accounting, ought to put the range-anxiety issue to bed entirely.
Wired: We Drive the $30K Chevy Bolt, GM's Tesla-Walloping Electric Car
For nearly two years, General Motors has promised that the Chevrolet Bolt, its affordable, long-range electric car, would deliver at least 200 miles on a charge and cost no more than $30,000 after the requisite federal tax credit.
Those two numbers are in many ways the Bolt’s raison d’être, because they are widely seen as the key to overcoming range anxiety -- the fear of being stranded with a dead battery -- and pushing electric vehicles into the mainstream. “The 200-mile mark is huge, it’s a huge thing in customers’ minds,” says Josh Tavel, the Bolt’s chief engineer. “They believe they need it. So we gave it to ’em, in surplus.”
Fortune: China's Solar Panel Glut Undermines Its Agreement With the EU
A sharp increase in solar power production in China and a sharp fall in domestic demand have sparked a sudden surge of cut-price exports, undermining a China-EU agreement to limit damage to European producers.
China produced 27 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic modules in the first half of 2016, an increase of 37.8 percent, and installed 20 GW of new solar power capacity in the same period, three times as much as the same period a year ago.
However, demand has since tailed off. Solar projects operational since July face a reduced price paid by grid operators for their power. The China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) has forecast total new capacity by the year-end will be 30 GW, implying just 10 GW in the second half.
Bloomberg: Community Solar Offers Alternative to Rooftops That Utilities Like
If rooftop solar is the clean-energy threat to utilities, then community solar farms are the middle ground traditional power companies can live with.
Both produce electricity that utilities are required to buy under state incentive programs. And as the two models become more popular, they’re becoming a growing drag on revenue. The key difference is that community solar developers also invest in local power grids, helping share the cost of upkeep that’s become a significant complaint about the burgeoning rooftop power industry.
“Our members are definitely interested in community solar,” said Richard McMahon, vice president of energy supply and finance at the Edison Electric Institute, a utility industry group in Washington.