Renewable Energy Sources Gaining Market Share

Mon, 2013-07-22 08:10Farron Cousins
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Renewable Energy Sources Gaining Market Share

In a positive sign for United States energy consumption, a new report shows that the market share of renewable energy sources grew at a larger pace than fossil fuels for the year 2012.  Additionally, the first half of this year has seen an enormous surge in renewable energy infrastructure and generating capacity.

For 2012, a decline in the cost of solar and wind infrastructure is partly credited with the surge in use.  The International Energy Agency is now feeling more optimistic that renewable sources of energy could make up as much as 25% of global electricity generation by the year 2018.

And in another positive step for America, consumer energy consumption fell significantly in 2012, although that was in the wake of increased consumption from corporations.

A July Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that renewable energy provided 25% of new electricity generation for the first six months of 2013.  

The increased use and infrastructure build-out become even more remarkable when you consider the attacks that have been flowing towards renewable energy standards all over the country.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) launched an all-out assault on renewable energy standards last year, managing to get at least 16 different states with imposed Renewable Portfolio Standards (rules that provide a guaranteed commitment to investment in fossil fuels) to consider legislation that would have either scaled these requirements back, or eliminated them altogether. 

In addition to the attacks from ALEC, the dirty energy industry has scaled back their investments into renewable projects, and instead decided to double down on their efforts to suck the last drops of oil and natural gas out of the ground. 

It is becoming clear that the renewable energy industry is one that might actually be able to stand on its own in the very near future.  While they may still be somewhat dependent upon government assistance, they are clearly gaining ground in the free market. 

And until the oil industry gives up their billions of dollars in federal subsidies, it's only fair that the government would prop up the fledgling renewable sector as well.

Comments

I came across this;

http://grist.org/climate-energy/solar-panels-could-destroy-u-s-utilities...

Which is a review of an opinion of the energy industry to the booming solar industry.  The crux of all this is that with increasing use of solar (22% compounded), you can start to see an increase in your home utility bill.  You see, with less customers paying utilities, they are looking at a short fall in income.  Those coal power plants are expensive to build and maintain.

I was talking to a B&B owner in Calgary who bankrolled her own solar system.  She spent $15k putting in a rather large system. As a business owner, she can write off the expense. It almost covers all of her energy needs (the B&B is a busy place), and she dumps the excess back to the grid.  Interestingly during the floods, they cut power to her area, and that killed her grid connected solar system.  So, starting this year, she's putting in the batteries, in preparation to drop off the grid completely.

IMO the utilities need to get on board with speeding up the solar roll out, and adapt their business model to that of power backup.  Otherwise we can expect to see them in bankruptcy court, and getting snapped up by someone who will.

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Today, legislative and lobbyist members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) voted on model legislation promoting both exports of gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG)

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