Is Cleantech Ignoring Energy Fundamentals?

The energy and utility landscape is changing rapidly and radically as a consequence of the recession, state mandates for renewable energy, demand response and energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.  As regulators try to implement the climate change and clean energy aspirations of politicians the opportunities presented are attracting new players bringing new technology. There is probably more fundamental change in the energy and utility industry today as a result of …Continue Reading »

WHAT IF? Scenario Ideas for the Energy Business Cycle Recovery

What If? That is the question that always comes to mind when we consider alternatives. What if things had been different? What is prices had been higher or lower? What is we had thought of that idea first? For many years at Global Energy Decisions, a best practice that served us well was to look at the pattern of consulting requests incoming from clients to take the pulse of the changing energy market place.  We had many uses for this insight: Identify Customer Pain Points.  By …Continue Reading »

The Dirty Secret of Sustainable Energy

The quest for clean energy sustainability has been waged on a strategy that can be summarized as ‘subsidize the good stuff, and demonize the bad’.  This post is not about climate change risks, it is a focus on a condition precedent to a practicable achievement of emissions reduction goals----baseload generation. Climate change advocates do not want to talk about baseload because it requires consideration of coal or nuclear generation.  Renewable energy advocates do not want to talk about …Continue Reading »

Is California Proposition 23 Strike 3 for Climate Change?

First it was meltdown of a global climate change treaty at COP15 then Waxman-Markey legislation failed to thrive in Congress---now Proposition 23 to suspend the California Global Warming Solutions Act could be the third strike for environmental advocates. The political calculus is being reset after the Senate failed to muster the 60 votes to pass a climate change bill like Waxman-Markey.  According to Politico, the new Plan B strategy for advocates of global warming action is to focus on many …Continue Reading »

EIX Sticks with Coal

“The Electric power business has the potential to change more in the next 10 years than it did over the last 100 years.”[1] That was the unsurprising statement in the Southern California Edison (EIX) second quarter conference call for investors.  The slide presentation provides an interesting snapshot of SCE’s view of the current markets and regulatory environment. EIX missed its earnings target for 2Q but tried to put a good news spin on its overall market story. About 88% of EIX earnings come …Continue Reading »

Climate Change Plan B: Exercise Presidential Authority

“Congress’s inability to cap U.S. carbon emissions contributed to the failure to reach a global climate treaty last year in Copenhagen,” said PCAP Executive Director William Becker. “It now appears that Congress has failed again just months before international negotiators are set to reconvene. “Congress has passed the ball back to President Obama,” Becker said. “He should run with it.” The Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP) is a foundation-funded organization of Natural Capitalism …Continue Reading »

What Can We Do with CO2 after We Capture It?

The US Government has at least twelve answers to this question. This is the question the Federal government is asking six companies to demonstrate with $106 million in stimulus money.  Six companies will have to match the grants with $156 million in private investment on conversion projects.  Another six projects will receive $4.4 million in US DOE funding to demonstrate reuse applications for converted CO2.  These projects emerged from the $1.4 billion in first round of stimulus money devoted …Continue Reading »

Climate Change Hits the Fan

Senate Majority Leader announced that he did not have the 60 votes to pass a climate change bill so the Senate was moving on to other business.  This was not new news, but it set off a food fight among the advocates of Waxman-Markey or variations of it to deal with climate change. The irony was the food fights was mostly an intramural contest on the Democrat side of the aisle. Environmental groups accused the Obama Administration of not providing enough leadership to get this legislative …Continue Reading »

Peak Day Pricing Day at PG&E

Today a Peak Day Pricing Day at PG&E As I write this on July 16, 2010 it is an expected peak day event day at Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) for business customers.  This means that peak day pricing will kick in to reduce demand this afternoon or business customers will pay a much higher price for electricity. Time of use pricing is not a new concept.  It has been around for years especially for commercial and industrial customers.  The California Public Utilities Commission …Continue Reading »

Defining Our Energy Sweet Spot

Today the energy buzz largely revolves around the rapid growth of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, smart grid and the use of new information technologies for demand response, energy efficiency and automation.  Clearly energy technology is playing a dramatic role in transforming the energy future to meet key public policy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the market penetration of cleaner, renewable energy resources in our portfolio mix, and making more …Continue Reading »