Earth News

As Xcel Follows National Playbook to Attack Solar, Ballot Results Say ‘Not in Colorado’



xcel energyOn the heels of Xcel’s second failure to stop the citizens of Boulder from taking control of their electricity, the utility is attacking energy choice on another front: rooftop solar. Xcel wants to penalize solar customers and eliminate the fair credit they receive for excess clean energy they deliver to the grid. The utility’s disregard for consumer choice is an attempt to protect its monopoly status and inflated profit margins.

Tuesday’s election results show that Xcel faces an uphill battle in trying to stifle rooftop solar and consumer demands for choice and independence on energy matters. On two separate votes related to Boulder’s effort to create its own utility, pro-municipalization positions outpolled pro-Xcel positions 2:1. Meanwhile Lafayette, Boulder, and Fort Collins all passed restrictions on hydraulic fracking.

“These results demonstrate a clear public desire for more choice, local control and more renewable energy,” said Meghan Nutting, Colorado resident and representative of The Alliance for Solar Choice. “Coloradans know last century’s fossil fuel status quo and a centralized monopoly doesn’t work for a 21st Century Colorado.”

In 2011 and 2013, Xcel spent more than $ 2 million telling the citizens of Boulder that the utility knows better than the community. Consumers did not buy it. Now Xcel is asking the Public Utilities Commission for permission to pay rates below market value to rooftop solar customers who feed electricity back into the grid.  Xcel’s proposal would undermine a policy called net metering and prevent consumers from receiving fair credit for the rooftop solar power they produce. Net metering is currently in place in 43 states.

“We all should have the choice to produce our own power from the sun without being penalized,” said Nutting. “But Xcel wants to increase their monopoly over our power sources and eliminate this freedom.”

Xcel’s attempts to end net metering and rooftop solar align with a national playbook outlined by the utility’s own trade association Edison Election Institute (EEI). EEI’s January 2013 report “Disruptive Challenges” warns that increased consumer adoption of distributed solar will lead to “declining utility revenues, increasing costs, and lower profitability potential, particularly over the long-term,” and proposes efforts to eliminate or counter net metering. Utility monopolies across the country have responded with political force. Just this month, EEI disclosed that it spent more than half a million dollars over a ten-day period on anti-rooftop solar advertising in Arizona.

Photo Credit: jpellgen / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

As Xcel Follows National Playbook to Attack Solar, Ballot Results Say ‘Not in Colorado’ was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Electric Velocipede (i.e. Electric Old-Timey Bike)



The velocipede is a classic. Its that cool old bike with the big wheel in the front and a small one in the back, with the pedals connected to the front wheel. German design studio Ding3000 and German corporate giant BASF have now created an electric version of a velocipede, Concept 1865.

electric velocipede

Image Credit: Ding3000

Pretty cool eh? As Leslie Katz of CNET humorously writes, “I’m so excited about the Concept 1865 electric velocipede I might have to lie down on my Victorian fainting couch for a moment.”

concept 1865

Image Credit: Ding3000

Here are some of the details about the Concept 1865:

  • 250-watt electric drive
  • detachable seat with an integrated battery
  • 39-inch front penny-farthing wheel
  • 24-ince rear wheel with electric drive inside
  • aside from the metal brake, axles, and motor, the electric velocipede is made of BASF plastics (not sure how green that part of the velocipede is)
  • “The vehicle’s forks integrate LEDs and inlaid optical waveguides that make conventional bike lighting systems superfluous.”

Why is the electric velocipede named after the year 1865? Apparently, that’s the year BASF was founded.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this electric velocipede will be hitting the markets anytime soon. It is simply an advertisement for BASF’s advanced plastics, and how its customers could make innovative use of those in new products.

However, it seems that Concept 1865 could sell well. So, hopefully someone will reconsider and actually bring this electric beauty to market!

To keep up with the latest electric vehicle news, keep an eye on our electric vehicle stories and even subscribe to our free EV newsletter.

Electric Velocipede (i.e. Electric Old-Timey Bike) was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Report: Shell Nigeria Falsely Reports Oil Spills – ABC News


The Guardian

Report: Shell Nigeria Falsely Reports Oil Spills
ABC News
Amnesty International accuses Nigeria's biggest petroleum producer, Shell, of manipulating oil spill investigations and documents in cases where the rights group says the company has wrongly reported on the cause and volume of pollution devastating the 
Shell made false claims about Niger delta oil pollution, says AmnestyThe Guardian
Shell accused of misreporting oil spillsAljazeera.com
Amnesty accuses Shell of making false claims on Niger Delta oil spillCNN
Voice of America –News24 –Amnesty International
all 45 news articles »

oil spill – read more

China eyes Antarctica’s resource bounty – The Guardian


The Guardian

China eyes Antarctica's resource bounty
The Guardian
China's colossal red icebreaker, the Xuelong or Snow Dragon, embarked on a 155-day expedition to Antarctica on Thursday. The voyage marks China's 30th trip to the continent, and many of the 256 crew are scientists hunting meteorites. Also onboard are 
Icebreaker "Snow Dragon" sets sail from ShanghaiCCTV

all 3 news articles »

antarctica – read more

ABB’s Huge Solar Push — Shifting Solar Into The Next Gear?



ABB today gave a very powerful presentation regarding its strong and long-term push into the solar industry. I’m here in Vegas for the presentation and filmed the presentation and part of the Q&A for you*. Following the initial summary of the ABB solar story presented by Maxine Ghavi, the global head of ABB’s Solar Industry Segment Initiative, I’ll include some follow-up articles that go into some of these matters in a little more depth. As a part of that, I’ve got several videos from a couple of one-on-one interviews with Maxine that I think you’ll love. Check back in for all of that.

To start with, it’s worth noting that ABB isn’t new to the solar space. It is one of the world’s leading power and automation companies, and it has been providing underlying technologies for solar power systems for awhile. However, these various technologies have been developed or housed underneath a number of ABB’s 26 or so business divisions. And, actually, this ABB solar initiative is already about 2½ years old. However, with ABB’s new CEO, there is a strong push to go much further. Also, it seems that ABB recently arrived at the point where it made sense to show the world what it has been doing to integrate its various solar-related solutions.

So, with that long intro out of the way, here’s the presentation given by Maxine earlier today:

In the first question following the presentation, one of the other journalists asked whether or not shale gas threatened solar power growth in North America and the business case for solar here. ABB’s North America Solar Director, Bob Stojanovic, stepped in to answer that question. Following the initial answers, I threw in a few related questions. Bob and Maxine had some interesting responses. Here’s the video:

*Full disclosure: my trip to Las Vegas was supported by ABB.

ABB’s Huge Solar Push — Shifting Solar Into The Next Gear? was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Greenville, Texas Oil Spill: Plains Pipeline Leaks Northeast Of Dallas – Huffington Post


KVUE

Greenville, Texas Oil Spill: Plains Pipeline Leaks Northeast Of Dallas
Huffington Post
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omoyele-sowore/the-oilspill-no-ones-tal_b_649220.html" target="_hplink">HuffPost blogger Omoyele Sowore explained</a> in July 2010 that an oil spill from ExxonMobil operations was nothing new to the country.
Cleanup of 400-barrel oil spill continuesKVUE

all 18 news articles »

oil spill – read more