Senators Introduce Storage ITC Bill
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced S. 3159 to make energy storage eligible for an investment tax credit (ITC) under section 48. The bill introduced last month would make energy storage systems with a capacity of at least five kilowatt hours, regardless of whether it was supplied by a renewable resource, investment tax credit eligible. For instance, a stand-alone storage project that drew power from the grid would be ITC eligible under this bill. The bill would also allow individuals to own a storage system with a capacity of at least three kilowatt hours used at their homes and to claim a residential energy efficient property tax credit under section 25D.  Like the proposed ITC rules for storage, an individual could qualify for the credit even if the storage system was unrelated to a solar system. Importantly, the bill has a Republican co-sponsor: Senator Dean Heller (NV). To emphasize, the bipartisan support of the bill, Senator Heller issued a press release. Five other Democrats co-sponsored it: Franken (MN), Merkley (OR), Reed (RI) and Hirono (HI); further, Senator King (I-ME) co-sponsored it.  More

Solar Energy Helps Solve Gaza Fuel Shortages
The two engineering students paid for the car with their own money as a way to show solar powered transportation is possible. Like so many requirements of daily life in the Gaza Strip, electricity is in short supply. In many cases, local officials have been forced to adopt a system that shuts down electricity to parts of the region on a rotating basis. And last year, the delivery of diesel fuel and gasoline to the Palestinian enclave nearly shut down. Those troubles led two engineering students at Gaza's Al Azhar University to look to one source of energy that is constant and abundant: the sun. Energy that's constant and clean. "We decided to depend on a power that God gave us," says Khaled Bardawil, "which is renewable, alternative and clean energy. So we decided to make a solar power vehicle." It was a huge undertaking, because most of Gaza runs on electricity called alternating current, or AC, while solar cells produce another form of electricity called direct current, or DC. "The DC motors are not available in our city," says Jamal Al-Meqati. "And, unfortunately, nobody knows how to make them in the city, nobody knows how to create them. So we had to bring a motor and make a lot of changes to it, and these changes were not easy to make."  More

The Price of Solar Is Declining to Unprecedented Lows
The installed price of solar energy has declined significantly in recent years as policy and market forces have driven more and more solar installations.  Now, the latest data  show  that the continued decrease in solar prices is unlikely to slow down anytime soon, with total installed prices dropping by 5 percent for rooftop residential systems, and 12 percent for larger utility-scale solar farms. With solar already  achieving  record-low prices, the cost decline observed in 2015 indicates that the coming years will likely see utility-scale solar become cost competitive with conventional forms of electricity generation. A full analysis of the ongoing decline in solar prices can be found in two separate Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Reports:  Tracking the Sun IX  focuses on installed pricing trends in the distributed rooftop solar market while  Utility-Scale Solar 2015  focuses on large-scale solar farms that sell bulk power to the grid.  More

How can we store solar energy for period when the sun doesn't shine? One solution is to convert it into hydrogen through water electrolysis. The idea is to use the electrical current produced by a solar panel to 'split' water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Clean hydrogen can then be stored away for future use to produce electricity on demand, or even as a fuel. 

California Climate Change Laws: More Electric Cars, Solar Power Expected Under Tough New Rules
California is already a world leader in developing environmental policies that address climate change.  But under a landmark bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday requiring far steeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than anything the state has ever attempted, the next 15 years will likely see big changes for California residents. Among the possibilities, experts say: Rules requiring automakers to make hundreds of thousands of electric cars. Penalties for people who buy gasoline-powered vehicles. New tax credits and incentives for solar farms and wind power. Tighter building-efficiency standards on windows, heating and water systems in homes and businesses.Labels at the supermarket showing each product's carbon footprint. Hydrogen-powered trucks. Landfills that are required to capture natural gas and use it to heat homes. A big push for batteries to store energy at homes.Even with all those changes, however, the new targets will be difficult to reach."This is going to be damn hard," said Jim Sweeney, director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University. "It's a herculean task."  More

Is it public art, or is it a power station? This shimmering design for "The Pipe", a finalist in the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), is intended to blur the lines between the two. Imagined here as a floating installation off the coast of Santa Monica, California, the Pipe is an electromagnetic desalination device, powered by the sun. It also looks great on the horizon.  In that regard, it perfectly reflects the premise of the LAGI design competition, which this year invited participants to come up with aesthetically pleasing concepts for electricity and clean water generation that could potentially be placed in the waters near Santa Monica Pier as examples that our increasing demands for power need not blight the landscape (or seascape).  As was first reported by  Inhabitat , The Pipe was designed by the Canadian engineering firm Abdolaziz Khalili and Associates, which specialises in processing plants for the food, drink and packaging industries. The glittering silver tube could, the firm says, generate 10,000 MWh of electricity annually, powering an electromagnetic filtration system capable of pumping out 1.5 billion gallons of clean drinking water for the city over the same period.  More

Work Program Trains Unemployed Oil And Gas Workers in Solar Technology
The coal industry has been painted with a bleak brush in recent years. Production has plummeted. Plants have closed. Jobs have been lost. And while mining communities grapple with neighbors moving away, increasingly empty schools and fewer tax dollars, a separate industry is blooming: renewable energy. National rhetoric pits the two energy producers against each other. But in Delta County, one organization is targeting unemployed coal miners in the hope of transitioning them into the solar industry - and leaving politics out of the conversation. "We try to steer clear from that in our classes. We try not to get too political," said Chris Turek, spokesman for Solar Energy International. "We all can agree that the technology works and it's getting less and less expensive every year." The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in April gave the Paonia-based solar organization a $401,000 matching grant as part of the WORK Act, legislation passed in May 2015 that aims to fill skills gaps in Colorado industries. SEI used the money to start Solar Ready Colorado, an initiative to attract and train not only unemployed miners but also veterans and workers furloughed from the oil and gas industry and other trades.  More

A shift away from single-entity owned and operated projects is greatly improving microgrid project economics in the U.S. microgrid market. In its newly released report,U.S. Microgrids 2016: Market Drivers, Analysis and Forecast, GTM Research provides an analysis of customer drivers and emerging ownership models, and detailed segmentations of the current market to arrive at future market expectations to 2020. A key driver of recent growth for the U.S. microgrid market, multi-stakeholder ownership models, arose from a surge in regulated utility interest to co-develop microgrids as a "non-wires" alternative to capital infrastructure investments. "These new models can significantly reduce the capex and O&M burden on end customers. At the same time, strategically located, dispatchable generation becomes very attractive to regulated utilities targeting congestion relief and substation peak demand reduction," said Omar Saadeh, senior analyst in the grid edge division, and author of this report. More


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December 13-15, 2016 Orlando, FL

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  • 2 bedroom, 2 bath main house and 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath guest quarters
  • Main house has open floor plan with Viking Professional Range, and jetted master bath
  • Greenhouse
  • Hand built stonewalls with images of local wildlife on handmade gates surround main house
  • Stargazers dream with big sky and low light pollution
  • Abundant elk, deer, turkey and lots of other wildlife
  • Large hand built stone fire pit with surround seating
  • Huge barn with concrete floors, extra high & wide doors at both ends, lots of storage and workspace
  • Partial forest and partial meadowland
  • Beautiful distant view down the majestic canyon 
Approximately 22 miles to Cloudcroft and
42 miles to Ruidoso, New Mexico
Offered for sale $625,000  MLS 154305

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