Saturday, May 31, 2014

It’s an energy breakthrough for Long Island!

by Karl Grossman

It’s an energy breakthrough for Long Island!

The recent action by the Town of East Hampton setting a goal of 2020 for meeting 100 percent of the town’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources led by solar and wind power opens a new energy chapter for Long Island.

“Making the switch to clean energy is just the right thing to do. Both for the environment and for keeping more money in the local economy and creating jobs here,” stated Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

“It takes guts for elected officials to take bold action like this,” commented Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, based in East Hampton, after the unanimous town board vote. Raacke, also on the Town Energy Sustainability Committee, said the board essentially declared: “We, the people of East Hampton, will take action on climate change and at the same time we’ll keep more of our energy dollars here in the local economy.”

East Hampton will be offering a “showcase” for the “rest of the island and the rest of the country,” said Raacke. “It will be showing that we have all the energy solutions we need—and all that’s necessary is the political will. If East Hampton can do it, the rest of the island and the rest of the country can do it.”

It’s a breakthrough for Long Island and, indeed, New York State for an area to move to getting 100 percent of its electricity from safe, clean, renewable energy sources. But similar initiatives are happening elsewhere nationally and globally.

more: It’s an energy breakthrough for Long Island! | : Long Island's Political Network

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy | Rocky Mountain Institute

It’s been three months since we released The Economics of Grid Defection exploring when off-grid solar-plus-battery systems could reach economic parity with retail electric service.  These systems could become competitive with retail electric service within the next decade for many commercial customers and for many residential customers in the decade thereafter. Since the release of our results, the industry has been abuzz with follow-on commentary considering the implications for utilities, consumers, and third-party service providers.
Of course, favorable economics do not equate to adoption. Just because customers could defect doesn’t mean they will. For the individual customers actually considering these investments many other factors come into play, such as performance risk, hassle/convenience factor, and simply the plain, easy inertia of continuing to get their power as they always have.
Even so, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine a day when large segments of customers choose to go mostly or even entirely off-grid with clean, quiet, distributed solar-plus-battery systems. In fact, could owning your own power plant become as convenient and practical—if not quite as ubiquitous—as the consumer appliances and electronics already so commonplace that we take them for granted in our daily lives—a refrigerator, a clothes dryer, or a computer?

more >> Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy | Rocky Mountain Institute

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