POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Oct. 6, 2015

Renewables "cycle"; rooftop solar in CA; gas prices uptick


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily round-up of news for your consideration:

  • A “virtuous cycle” has emerged with respect to alternative energy, Bloomberg writes, as widespread adoption of renewables is effectively lowering the capacity factor for fossil fuels. The thinking is that once a solar or wind project is built, the marginal cost of the electricity it produces is pretty much zero—free electricity. Bloomberg’s assessment: “It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. As more renewables are installed, coal and natural gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are used less, the cost of using them to generate electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas power rises, more renewables will be installed.”
  • The New York Times reports that California is leading a “quiet revolution” as half of the nation’s solar rooftops are located in the state with thousands added each week. As one analyst notes, “It’s hard to overstate the importance of California in terms of renewables.” The catalyst for this change dates to 2005, when then-Governor Schwarzenegger issued an order that California slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.
  • While gas prices have slumped over the past month, prices in fact rose on Monday for the second day in a row, Bloomberg reports. With prices hovering at three-year lows, demand from power plants is on the rise – particularly as colder nights mark the transition toward the peak heating season.
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