Smart Grid / Smart Energy

Archives for February 2010 « Recent Articles

Photo of Sam JaffeOffline

Someone at fuel cell manufacturer Bloom Energy knows the recipe to get journalistic coverage of a product: Claim a heritage from the space program (the company’s founder K.R. Sridhar was involved in Mars mission research), get a big-name venture capital firm (Kleiner Perkins) to invest a lot of money (reportedly $400 million) and then let the whole operation bake in stealth mode for an inordinate amount of time (seven years). Finally, get Google involved somehow (the Mountain View, CA Internet colossu

Photo of Jill FeblowitzOffline

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) recently issued a statement opposing the regulation of power markets by the CFTC.  Their concern is that a a House bill on financial regulatory reform contains a clause that could be construed as  moving oversight for the power markets from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).   Just thinking about the complexity of adding another layer of oversight -

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First Solar is Starting to Look Like a Bank

By Sam Jaffe

First Solar held its fourth quarter conference call today and made its usual announcements of stunning profits ($7.53 per share for the last four quarters), revenue growth (more than $2 billion for the fiscal year) and decreasing production costs (down to 80 cents per Watt). The company also made a lot of fuss over its credit rating, which it expects to give it a prominent competitive edge going forward.

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IT and the Nuclear Renaissance

By Jill Feblowitz

This week is filled with news about the nuclear industry in North America.  The Obama administration announced $8 billion in load guarantees for nuclear, the Wall Street Journal has a front page article on small nuclear reactors, and road blocks have been removed for nuclear development on at least one project.  The big action, however, has been in the emerging economies.   The nuclear renaissance is fueled in part by concerns about climate change and the fact that nuclear gene

Photo of Rick NicholsonOffline

Boulder's local newspaper, the Boulder Daily Camera, recently reported that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission has decided to take a larger role in regulating Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity project in the same manner that it regulates other large capital investments like power plants.  This will increase the transparency of the project and is primarily a reaction to rising costs.  In March 2008, Xcel Energy projected that capital expenditures for SmartGridCity would be about $15.3 million. 

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10 Gigs of Wind Here, 10 Gigs There

By Sam Jaffe – 2 Comments

Just a week after the American Wind Energy Association released its initial installation numbers for North America, with the startling finding that more than 9 and half Gigawatts of new wind capacity was added in 2009, Europe has actually done even better. The European Wind Energy Association announced that the continent had more than 10 Gigawatts of installations last year. This vindicates IDC Energy Insights' bullish position on wind last year (but even we were too timid--predicting 7 GW in North America)

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