Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Action Crucial to Cut Pollution, Build New Energy Economy HARRISBURG, Pa.--(Business Wire)
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) president and CEO John Hanger praised the members of the Pennsylvania State House for their passage today of Special Session HB 1 (SHB 1), the clean energy funding bill, which provides $850 million of investments in renewable energy, green buildings and energy efficiency. Included in the bill is $200 million for solar energy. The bipartisan bill passed with a vote of 126 to 74. "With the national economy rapidly deteriorating and job losses mounting, Pennsylvania's elected officials can take action at this critical time to generate great green jobs that will come from our investment in the green energy economy," said Hanger. "Senate approval of both this bill, and HB 2200, the clean energy bill which was passed by the House two weeks ago, would add thousands of additional clean energy jobs to the 3,000 that have already been created," continued Hanger. "Both SHB 1 and HB 2200 will also give consumers real tools to manage increases in electricity prices when electric rate caps, that have already expired in six utility service territories, end in the rest of the state in the next 21 to 33 months," continued Hanger. "And we haven't a moment to lose. Pennsylvania's competitors are already putting up cash to attract renewable energy businesses. Right across the Delaware, New Jersey Public Service and Gas Company has a $100 million program to provide long-term loans to builders and homeowners who install solar energy systems. "Pennsylvanians need the tools to compete, and the energy savings bill and the clean energy funding bill will give us those tools," said Hanger. "By saving energy and money and investing in clean energy industries about to boom, we can create thousands of great green jobs in all parts of Pennsylvania. "House passage of the clean energy funding bill was due to the vision and persistence of a number of representatives, including the bill's prime sponsor, Eugene DePasquale (D-York), Majority Whip Keith McCall (D-Carbon), Appropriations Chair Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), and Greg Vitali (D-Delaware). They, and all the representatives who voted for this bill, showed great foresight in giving Pennsylvanians the means to build our 21st Century green energy economy, full of great green jobs. We look forward to a similar vote in the Senate." PennFuture, which is about to mark the tenth anniversary of the organization's founding, is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy. With offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and West Chester, PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens in public advocacy.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
South Africa Introduces Aggressive Feed-in Tariffs
The tariff for wind energy, 1.25 ZAR/kWh (€0.104/kWh, $0.14 USD/kWh, $0.17 CAD/kWh) is greater than that offered in Germany (€0.092/kWh) and more than that proposed in Ontario, Canada ($0.135 CAD/kWh).
The tariff for concentrating solar, 2.10 ZAR/kWh (€0.175/kWh), is less than that in Spain (€0.278/kWh), but offers great promise in the bright sunlight of South Africa. NERSA's revised program followed extensive public consultation.
Dr. Ruth Rabinowitz, a member of the South African parliament for the Inkatha Freedom Party said that NERSA's tariffs reduce the need for the legislature to act on feed-in tariffs. Rabinowitz was the author of a private members bill 9n 2008 to introduce a system of feed-in tariffs in South Africa. However, she said there is still a need for comprehensive legislation that includes municipalities in developing renewable energy.
Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association said in a release that "South Africa is the first African country to introduce a feed-in tariff for wind energy. Many small and big investors will now be able to contribute to the take-off of the wind industry in the country. Such decentralised investment will enable South Africa to overcome its current energy crisis. It will also help many South African communities to invest in wind farms and generate electricity, new jobs and new income. We are especially pleased as this decision comes shortly after the first North American feed-in law has been proposed by the Government of the Canadian Province of Ontario."
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
On February 17, President Obama signed HR 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus Bill). The bill contains 19 provisions that help grow markets, finance projects, expand manufacturing, access federal lands, build transmission lines, increase research and development, train workers, and reduce the tax burden for solar companies. Combined, solar has access to over $25 billion in government funded construction projects, illustrating the President’s commitment to renewable energy and his specific interest in promoting solar technologies. The Sharp Solar Policy Team has outlined how your business can take advantage of these funds in the most timely and efficient way. Below you will find the 15 provisions that most directly affect your business based on four categories:
· Federal guidance pending: Agency guidance in the next 60 to 90 days.
· Enhanced funding for existing State programs: Federal funds will be directed to States for distribution. State agencies will provide access to funds.
· Agency specific appropriations: Funds directed to specific agencies for programs or projects that are most likely already in the pipeline.
· Tax code provision: Effective upon enactment unless noted otherwise.
The provisions include (solar is eligible for a portion of this funding):
· Grants in lieu of 30% ITC
· Loan Guarantees - $6 billion should support $60 billion worth of loan guarantees
· State Funding - $16.8 billion including $3.1 billion for state energy programs
· Solar on Federal Property - $5.5 billion
· Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) – an additional $1.6 billion
· Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds - $2.4 billion
· Solar for Schools - $9.75 billion
· Green Collar Jobs - $500 million
· Solar Water Treatment Plants - $6 billion
· Department of Interior Funding - $125 million
· Solar for the Military - $400 million
Click here for full details: http://gosolar.cc/solar_universe/stimfunding040709.pdf
Nevada utility seeks rate increase
LAS VEGAS—NV Energy is trying to raise electricity rates for its residential customers by more than 16 percent.
The utility presented its proposed rate hike at a public meeting on Monday. Several opponents called the pricing plan "price gouging."
Company officials say they need to recover costs of changing how NV Energy obtains the power it distributes to customers. The utility says it has spent $1.5 billion on increasing the amount of power it generates in Nevada.
Single-family residential rates would rise 16.7 percent overall, all users would see a general increase of 13.6 percent.
Company officials say they know the rate increase is hitting consumers while their down. They asked the Public Utilities Commission to delay the start date for the higher rates from summer to fall, and they've asked for a rate freeze for low earners.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com
SmallBizResource Blog -- SmallBizResource
Q&A With Franchise King Joel Libava
JL: Most people start by going to one of the numerous franchise directories. They see a handsome tile ad, and they click on it and think it might be interesting to own a chicken wing joint. I was taught to do the reverse. One has to start with himself: What do I bring to the table? What am I good at? What am I not good at? Can I sell? Do I have the ability and desire to call on people, kind of a business-to-business type opportunity, or am I more of an operations, back-of-the-house person? That's how a lot of people really blow it.