As reported by triplepundit

Geothermal is the bastard child of renewable energy.

Constantly overlooked in articles and headlines in lieu of the much sexier solar and wind, which have become the go-to cleantech representatives, geothermal energy use could quietly double in the next six years.

It requires no fuel, can provide baseload power, and is emissions-free after initial plant construction. Yet not many people know about geothermal’s immense advantages and capabilities.

Here’s to changing that.

Without getting all Wikipedia on ya’, geothermal energy is basically using the natural heat below the earth’s crust to generate electricity–hence geo and thermal.

Though there are many ways to do that, the most common is to inject water into a pre-drilled hole. The naturally heated water is then introduced to heat transfer fluid. The hot water vaporizes the fluid, which drives a turbine, creating electricity.

That two-step process is intuitively called a binary cycle plant.

Gaining steam (pun intended) in the geothermal world is a process called enhanced geothermal systems, in which a heat transfer fluid is heated directly by being injected down hold drilled deep in dry rock.

For individual household applications, geothermal heat pumps pass air through a pipe below ground that stays a constant 50 to 60 degrees, heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, saving boatloads on utility costs in the process.

Not as exciting as getting power from giant wind turbines or panels that take in the sun’s rays, but clean, efficient, and deserved of our attention nonetheless.

And it’s much easier to get excited about geothermal power once you see the growth numbers.

Geothermal Energy Forecast

Global geothermal energy capacity will grow 89% between now and 2015, according to the most recent information available from GlobalData. Capacity will surge from 11,0007 MW at the end of 2008 to over 20,800 MW in the next six years.

Here’s the chart:

geothermal energy capacity

And in case you’re interested, here’s how the market share shakes out by region:

  • Asia-Pacific, 47.6%
  • North America, 42.3%
  • Europe, 10.0%
  • South America, <0.10%

Here in the States, forecast growth is on par with global growth on a percentage basis, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% each. In the next six years, geothermal energy capacity in the U.S. will grow 89%, from 3,112 MW to 5,884 MW. That’s a world-leading sum.

Notable mentions in the geothermal growth category include Indonesia (3,200 MW by 2015), the Philippines (3,246 MW by 2015), and Mexico (1,481 MW by 2015). Iceland’s success with geothermal almost goes without saying.

As you can see, geothermal energy is no slouch, and probably deserves a bit more attention and respect, as does the investment potential of the sector.

Geothermal Energy Investment Forecast

Like most other market sectors, geothermal stocks have lost significant value over the past year. Here’s the visual:

geothermal energy stocks

That’s a two-year chart of Ormat Technologies (NSYE: ORA), U.S. Geothermal (AMEX: HTM), and Raser Technologies (NYSE: RZ), three of best pure play public geothermal companies around.

Losing 50% of your value in two years is no joke. But indicators are pointing to a rebound in the geothermal sector that will coincide with growth in geothermal capacity. It only makes sense, right?

The recently-passed stimulus did its part to ensure investing in geothermal energy remains attractive. The bill extends the production tax credit (PTC) until 2013, allowing project developers to recoup 30% of a new plant’s cost. The stimulus creates a cash grant program to support the industry as well.

It’s a win-win according to Geothermal Energy Association executive director Karl Gawell:

We estimate that the geothermal power industry has doubled its workforce in the US in the past two years, and the economic stimulus bill provides a framework of support that will continue if not accelerate growth in this industry adding tens of thousands of new jobs with even greater positive effects across the economy.

Federal incentives will lure private capital to the sector, allowing financing to go through for new projects. Banks will be more likely to lend given a 30% credit that gives stability to and reduces payback times.

Here’s Karl Gawell once again: “All of this adds up to making significant progress towards expanding our use of this largely untapped energy resource, which is good news for the environment and the economy.” A double bottom line. . . you don’t say?

What’s more, positive financials are once are once again returning to the sector.

Ormat recently reported strong fourth quarter results, beating even the high-end of estimates despite ongoing global financial recession.

This trend for Ormat, and other geothermal stocks, will only continue as western States move toward more aggressive renewable portfolio standard with targeted geothermal carve-outs. And Asian countries are also making a strong push to exploit geothermal energy, as noted earlier.

Most analysts have a price target on Ormat above $40.00, which implies a near doubling of price–in line with global and U.S. capacity growth estimates.

That should be enough to get anyone excited about geothermal.

Geothermal energy, despite its lackluster reputation, is gaining steam both as a clean energy source and investment catalyst.

Be sure to spread the word.

To learn more about Geothermal opportunities and the financial models available to make this investment affordable email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230

Many companies and government entities are choosing to go solar through a recent financing mechanism known as a power purchase agreement or a PPA.

A PPA is a long-term agreement to buy power from a separate company that finances and owns the solar system and then sells the end-user the electricity generated by the system.

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) PPA partners use their own funds to finance the installation of a solar power system for your facility. The same PPA partner maintains and operates the solar power system, typically for 15 years or more.

In purchasing, operating and maintaining the solar system, the PPA partner assumes all the risks and responsibilities of ownership. At the end of the PPA term you can either purchase the solar system at fair market value or extend the PPA.
With a PPA you reap all the advantages of going solar, from lower electricity costs to public relations benefits, while conserving precious capital for other needs and opportunities.
We feel that a Power Purchase Agreements provide the best funding vehicle for Municipal and Non Profit Organizations. The Federal and State Governments have provided many financial incentives.
A Power Purchase Agreement allows these organizations to take advantage of these incentives with no upfront investments and save on electric cost.
 
PPAs at a glance:
  • Third-party financing company purchases a solar electric system for your facility, then charges you for the electricity generated.
  • No up-front capital required.
  • No maintenance work or risk.
  • You secure a long-term contract for power, often below current utility rates.
  • Stabilize an operating cost that was once highly variable.
  • Fixed electricity rates are a hedge against rising energy costs or spikes.
 
To learn more about how a Power Purchase Agreement may benefit you call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Federal and state tax incentives have increased the demand for solar adoption in the for-profit world, but tax-exempt agencies in the non-profit sector have remained particularly challenged to afford green energy options.

With a Power Purchase Agreement , a non-profit organizations can immediately reap the rewards of clean, renewable solar electric power while assuring long-term affordability in an uncertain traditional energy market. Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS)  serves a growing need among tax-sheltered non-profit organizations by providing affordable solar electric power. With a Power Purchase Agreement, we offer competitive energy pricing and green benefits without the upfront expense or ongoing maintenance cost of owning or leasing a solar facility.

Non-Profit Power Purchase Agreement: Agreements Under the Sun

A HBS Power Purchase Agreement addresses all necessary phases of employing renewable solar energy, including:

  • Partner-led solar array installation built to demand
  • Initiation of system power and completion of certifications and regulatory requirements
  • Ongoing system monitoring, maintenance and service
  • Cost savings and energy tariff optimization
  • System design, financing and purchase
  • Site and energy demand assessments

Your organization doesn’t need to be distracted from its goals by the complexities of solar energy, but you do need an affordable way to put renewable energy to work for you. What if your renewable energy source was as easy to manage as a single line-item in your budget? That’s the advantage of a Power Purchase Agreement from HBS.

You may have asked yourself some of these questions:

 How can we afford the up-front investment fo solar energy?

Can we devote the time, energy, and money to maintaining the equipment?

Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

A Power Purchase Agreement addresses all of these concerns and allows your organization to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy without the risk. The energy solution for your organization is a Power Purchase Agreement from Hutchinson Business Solutions.

You may contact us at 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadavantage.com

We bring Solar to You!

As reported in New Jersey”s Clean Energy program

New Jersey’s clean energy goal is simply stated to be 20% by 2020. More specifically, the state hopes to achieve 20 percent reduction in GHG by 2020; 20 percent reduction in energy use by 2020, 20 percent use of renewable energy by 2020, and 2.12 percent of its energy to come from solar PV by 2021, as mandated by the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Today, with over 3100 solar pv systems installed across the state, New Jersey is second only to the state of California in the number solar panels installed. New Jersey’s favorable net metering and interconnection rules have allowed for this impressive solar push by allowing PV systems to connect to the electricity distribution system (the grid) and be compensated for the generation of clean, emission-free electricity that is fed back into the grid.

New Jersey’s success has been accomplished through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, administered by the NJ Board of Public Utilities, that has provided over $227 million dollars in funds from May 2001 – June 2008 to promote solar energy through rebates on the cost of installations of PV systems in New Jersey. Historically, NJ’s upfront rebates to solar PV owners have provided up to 50 percent or more of the installation costs.

New Jersey will seek to grow its cumulative solar capacity to as much as 2300 MW by 2021, up from the 57 M-dc installed, grid connected cumulative capacity as of June 2008. However, if the current rebate program were to continue, it was estimated that the cost to achieve the 2.12 % solar RPS requirement by 2021 would be almost $10 billion dollars. Because of this and other factors, the NJ Board of Public Utilities decided in September of 2007 to move NJ away from a rebate program to advance solar and to begin a market-based Solar Financing Program to ensure continued growth of NJ’s solar market. NJ will phase out rebates by 2012 and rely on Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and a Solar REC-based financing to spur private investment and market development for solar technologies.

SRECs represent the renewable attributes (clean energy benefits) of solar power generated from a solar electric system, and they can be bought or sold separately from the electricity, thus providing the PV system owner with a source of revenue to help offset the cost of the system installation. An SREC is issued to a solar facility for each 1000kWh (1 MWh) of solar energy it generates.

If a generator has accumulated a fraction of an MWh by the end of a reporting year (May 31), the fraction may be carried over and combined with energy generated in one or more subsequent reporting years in order to make a full MWh that is eligible for sale. Under existing rules, one or more full MWh (SRECs) may not be carried over to subsequent years.  However, “bankablity” or the extension of the utility of a SREC for an additional year is one of several rule changes proposed as part of the Solar Transition that is currently before the Board.

Under existing rules, an annual estimate can be used, at the option of the owner, to calculate the monthly SREC generation for systems with a capacity less than 10 kilowatts (kW). The program’s web site allows owners of systems 10 kW and larger to upload monthly meter readings and/or production information. When a generator has at least one SREC in an account, the generator can use the electronic bulletin board on the SREC web site to announce a sale offering. Interested buyers can also use the web site to request an SREC purchase. Buyers and sellers contact each other offline and execute a sale. After the sale is executed, the seller uses the web site to transfer SRECs to the buyer. Electricity suppliers can also use the web site to retire SRECs that have been used to meet their RPS requirements. Generators also have the option of recording and retiring SRECs for purposes other than for RPS compliance.

PV system owners can choose to sell their SRECs to a broker, aggregator or Load Serving Entity (an electric supplier or provider in New Jersey’s restructured electric industry not a utility) that must buy SRECs to meet its RPS obligation. Some solar installers or project developers will offer to buy the SRECs as part of the project financing, thereby reducing the amount of capital needed up front to finance a project. All residential and commercial customers considering financing options for a solar installation should ask about the value of SRECs and who will have the rights to claim them. By increasing the value of SRECs paid out over the life the system, the amount of the rebate needed up front can thus be reduced or eliminated.

The SREC value is determined by the market with supply of SRECs a function of installed capacity and demand determined by the RPS percentages and the level of retail electricity sales by regulated entities.  The price is effectively capped by the level established for Solar Alternative Compliance Payments (SACP) in a particular Energy Year. The SACP is a tool within NJ ‘s RPS that enables compliance during times of insufficient supply of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates.  The regulated entities in NJ’s RPS rules, electric suppliers and providers (not utilities or EDCs), must supply either SRECs or SACPs in proportion to their retail sales to comply. 

The SACP level had been $300 per MWH since it was established in 2004.  In September 2007, the Board of Public Utilities approved an increase in the SACP for Energy Year 2009 to $711 per MWH as part of our state ‘s effort to transition the solar subsidy delivery system away from a heavy reliance upon rebates toward greater emphasis on the RPS.  The Board also established a schedule for the SACP level for eight years and a process for setting the level for the “new” eighth SACP amount annually.  The current schedule for eight years of SACP decreases by 3% from $711 per MWH and currently culminates at $549 per MWh in 2016. This Fall the Board will convene an Advisory Panel to recommend an SACP level for the new eighth year, i.e., 2017.

For smaller PV systems, solar rebates will still be available for the years 2009-2012. A funding level of $53 million has been recommended for these rebates over that time period, and they will be administered from the NJ Clean Energy Program.  The funding levels proposed by staff for solar PV as well as other clean energy measures are currently being considered by the Board with a decision expected before the Fall of 2008.

Finally, under the recently proposed rule amendments, PV systems can be qualified for SREC revenues for a period of 15 years, after which the system will be considered eligible for Class I RECs in NJ’s RPS.  And each SREC will have a two-year vintage, meaning that an unused SREC may be carried forward for one year in the market.  As a financial safety valve for ratepayer funding, a cap on overall state solar incentives has been recommended to approximately 2 percent of total electricity sales (ratepayer bills) on an annual basis. The NJ BPU will monitor the costs of solar installations relative to the total retail market electricity costs to provide for a “safety valve” in the RPS rule making as needed.

By transitioning to the Solar REC-based financing program, NJ will use market forces to achieve its clean energy goals by shifting away form up-front rebates and toward a performance-based SREC revenue stream.  A chronology of documents used to support the stakeholder proceeding which culminated in the Solar Transition adopted by the Board is available at http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/program-updates/program-updates.

 

To know more about Solar financing opportunities you may email george@hbsadvantage.com

We can design a program that makes sense to go solar.

A set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the New Jersey Solar Market Transition can be found at:

http://www.njcleanenergy.com/files/file/SOLARTransitionFAQs121707%20fnl2(2).pdf

The NJ Clean Energy Office Solar REC Program is one of five awarded the Clean Energy States Alliance “State Leadership in Clean Energy” awards in 2009.

By MICHELLE CONLIN, BUSINESSWEEK
Posted: 2009-03-10 23:55:34

 

 
Eve Gelb’s life was once a blur of hour-and-a-half commutes on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. What memories: The NPR fatigue. The stale minivan air. The deep identification with the characters in Waiting for Godot. But that’s all in the past. Gelb, a project manager at a giant HMO, SCAN Health Plan, has given up her Ethan Allen-style office, yanked down the family photos, and moved into her home office. Members of the professional class normally have to beg their managers — or at least delicately negotiate — to allow them to work remotely. But in Gelb’s case, it was her boss’s idea.
SCAN is one of a growing number of companies encouraging workers to toil from home. Sure, employers have been doing this for years. But as the recession bites and companies look to save money on real estate costs, what was once a cushy perk is now deemed a business necessity. And that, along with a few choice enticements — voila!, a shiny new BlackBerry — is how companies are selling it to employees, whose emotions range from ecstasy to befuddlement.

The health-care sector is one of the few industries that is still expanding these days, and SCAN is no exception. “We needed to find a way to grow without incurring any more fixed costs,” says Chief Financial Officer Dennis Eder. To encourage more of its workforce to become post-geographic, the company has been offering free high-speed Internet access and gratis office furniture, complete with a couple of delivery guys to set it all up.

Gelb jumped at the opportunity but still found herself struggling to adjust. “I never thought to myself: What would I do with all that extra time that I wasn’t sitting in my car?” So she set about building new routines. “Instead of going on my commute in the morning, I go for a walk,” says Gelb, 40. That makes up for the cardio workout she used to get running up and down SCAN’s four flights of stairs attending meeting after meeting. Now that she simply dials in, “I don’t really move much,” she concedes. On the days when she does come into the office, Gelb shares her old digs with her three direct reports, who also work flexibly. She says they see each other more now than they did when they were squirreled away in their corporate warrens.

Still, persuading managers to embrace no-collar work isn’t always easy. Jack Weisbaum, CEO of accounting firm BDO Seidman, has spent endless hours over the past year managing what he calls the “yeah buts.” These are the old-school execs among his crew who have an arsenal of reasons why untethering workers is a lousy idea: They’ll become Facebook addicts, ignore clients, develop a bad case of alienation. Weisbaum went on the road to nearly all 37 of the firm’s offices to explain how he sees flexibility as a business strategy. He told the troops that allowing people to work where and when they want is enabling BDO to prevent layoffs. The real estate savings are a big reason for that. When BDO moves into its new Los Angeles offices in June, it will be taking over a radically reduced space. “Bricks and mortar are like a noose around your neck,” says Christopher Tower, BDO’s leader for the Western region.

“Homeshoring” has enabled BDO Seidman’s controller for the Western U.S., Grace Renteria, to essentially give herself a raise: the amount of money she saves by working at home, a café, a club—anywhere, in short, that doesn’t require a commute. There’s the $15 a day Renteria used to lay out for lunch. Then her $70 a week in gas. Add wear and tear on her Lexus LS 400. On top of that, she no longer has to lose productivity from co-worker interruptions. “I only go into the office,” Renteria says, “when I don’t have a lot going on.”

“THIS IS DESTINY”
Capital One is one of many companies where status has long been measured in square footage. The bank’s human resources chief, Matt Schuyler, has had to deal with executives made anxious by the prospect of losing their wood-paneled lairs as they begin new lives as laptop hobos. Schuyler, who is also in charge of corporate real estate, meets with them one on one, whipping out the stats showing how much a skinnier footprint benefits the bank. Then he delivers his sweetener: “The bad news is, I’m taking away your office. The good news is, here’s your new laptop and your shiny new BlackBerry.” Another enticement is the $1,000 managers can dole out to workers to freshen up their home offices. So far the company has cut 20% of its real estate costs. “This is destiny, and other companies will have to get there,” says Schuyler. “We’re at the tip of the iceberg with respect to this stuff.”

None of this is to say the corporate office will disappear. But hard times will accelerate a Digital Age makeover. Adieu to cubicle farms, fixed walls, and standing-room-only conference rooms. Hello to sliding walls, moveable furniture, and lots of lounge areas. Space will be allotted by function, not title. Square footage will be based on office presence, not rank. The flexibility will cut costs and at the same time accommodate both loud talkers and hermits. The new workplace will be less about working alone and more about working together. One thing, however, will never change: The office will remain the primary spot for meetings, collaboration, and, of course, gossip.

Our perspective:
The economy is challanging us to now think outside the box. Companies, besides fighting to survive, are still looking for the opportunity to grow and expand.
How can they be unique?
Robert Kennedy once eloquently stated that “some people look at things and ask why, I say why not?”
We got to where we are today, for we took our eye off the ball . This is not to say that we should turn our back on everything. There are many things that we can still incorporate. But it is time to also incorarate opportunities, to introduce efficiencies that will not take away from the ability to service our clients
There are only 24 hours in a day. Use our time more effectively. That is the key. Those willing to adapt will succeed.
What will we be looking at?
Teleconferencing…. Telecommuing…. Video Conferencing… Video Training
All of these play into raising efficiencies, lowering cost and challenging the norm.
Let us know your thoughts?
Should you like to knw more on incorporating these opportunities into your business? Leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Conlin is the editor of the Working Life Dept. at BusinessWeek.

2009-03-10 23:39:19

As reported in Huffington Post

AP March 12

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is encouraging state officials to get on the front lines of the government’s program to revive the ailing economy.

Obama stopped by a conference Thursday with state officials gathered in the capital to discuss carrying out the $787 billion economic stimulus program. He said he believes the American people are behind his administration’s efforts but also said that officials at all levels of government must spend the money wisely.

Obama told his audience: “You’ve got this wonderful mission. And it’s rare where you get your chance to put your shoulder to the wheel of history and put it in a better direction.”

Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also announced $8 billion in stimulus money to be directed to state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts.

From the Vice President’s press release:

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Chu today detailed an investment of nearly $8 billion in state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts as part of the President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With an investment of about $5 billion through the Weatherization Assistance Program and about $3 billion for the State Energy Program, the Department of Energy will partner with state and local governments to put 87,000 Americans to work and save families hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills.
To jump-start job creation and weatherization work, the Department of Energy is releasing the first installment of the funding – about $780 million — in the next few days. The Department will release additional funding over time as states demonstrate that they are using the funding effectively and responsibly to create jobs and cut energy use.

 

As reported in Huffington Post Green

Written by Dave Burdick

Green vs. greenbacks.

It’s a balance we’ve been told we have to accept. But somebody who knows a lot more about making greenbacks than the vast majority of people says it’s not so. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has patiently been telling Google investors not to worry about the company’s massive interest in the US energy grid. Changes have to be made to the way energy gets transported around the country in order for renewable sources of energy to play a larger role, and Google is in on the ground floor, along with IBM, Cisco, GE and others.

But the investors would still like Schmidt to show them the money.

At the WSJ’s ECO:nomics conference in California, Mr. Schmidt was asked how he would respond to Google shareholders who worry the Internet titan is taking its eye off the ball by paying so much attention lately to alternative energy.
“Money we save on energy goes straight to the bottom line. Lower costs mean higher earnings. Green energy done right is more profitable than old energy,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Is that a crisp enough answer for you?”

He cited Google’s own multi-trillion dollar blueprint for overhauling the U.S. energy mix. Sure, the pricetag looks hefty–but it would more than pay for itself.

“That’s $3.5 trillion, but over 22 years, not a matter of months,” Mr. Schmidt said. “And the benefit would be $4.4 trillion.”

 

But don’t blame the investors for asking — it’s a confusing issue, and one that’s bound to come up very frequently for a while, since President Obama has committed to spending some $4.5 billion on smart grid technology. Schmidt was, of course, a big Obama supporter during the election.

Grist’s David Roberts has a primer (with maps, which we all know I love) on the tangled problem of the national energy grid vs. the “smart grid.”

• First, there aren’t many high-voltage lines that go to the places where renewable energy is most abundant (e.g., the Southwest for solar, the Midwest for wind).
• Second, right now there are (depending on how you count) anywhere from three to seven distinct regional grids that make up the national grid, and they aren’t very well connected. While juice circulates relatively freely within these grids, it’s difficult to get juice from one grid to another.

 

As reported in

The Executive’s Daily Green Briefing

A new loan process from the Department of Energy could jump-start the alternative energy business, observers say.

Under the Obama Administration, energy companies can expect a quicker response to loan requests, in stark contrast to a process that tended to bog down in recent years.

As part of the new economic stimulus, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is revamping the Department of Energy’s method for dispersing direct loans, loan guarantees and funding aspects of the recovery plan. Chu wants to expedite disbursement of funds to begin investments in a new energy economy, putting millions of Americans back to work, according to a DOE press release.

Govi Rao, chief executive officer of Lighting Science Group Corp., Westampton, N.J., welcomed the news.

“DOE has been proactive in funding cleantech companies like ours,” Rao said. “But by reducing the bureaucracy and paperwork, the process should be much simpler now.”

In the press release, Chu said, “These changes will bring a new urgency to investments that will put Americans back to work, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and improve the environment. We need to start this work in a matter of months, not years – while insisting on the highest standard of accountability.”

As an example of how critics say the loan process is broken, Massachusetts-based Beacon Power Co. has been waiting 25 months for a $50 million loan guarantee toward an electricity-storage plant, according to WSJOnline.com.

As part of the approval process, so far Beacon has supplied DOE with 96 documents, including a draft 87-page environmental-impact study for the proposed two-acre site, according to the article.

By reducing paperwork and processing applications on a “rolling basis,”  the Department of Energy aims to emulate the way private industry quickly finances projects. Among other things, according to the release, the department plans to:

  • Offer loan guarantees under the Department’s previous loan guarantee program beginning in late April or early May.
  • Begin offering loan guarantees under the stimulus by early summer.
  • Distribute 70 percent of the stimulus dollars by the end of next year.

Some other aspects of Chu’s approach may appeal to companies, including the department offering applicants the opportunity to pay fees as part of closing, instead of up-front when applying. Additionally, Chu plans to further reduce up-front costs by having credit subsidies paid over the life of the loan.

The Department of Energy is not offering a free ride, however. Companies receiving loans in most cases will have to come up some earnest money on their own.

A spokesman for DOE said it’s too soon to know how much the announcement will affect the number of loan applications.

Rao expects Lighting Science will apply for a loan in connection with a proposed factory in New Jersey, which has been courting the company.

Lighting Science designs, develops and manufactures light engines, plug and play fixtures, screw-based lamps and custom projects. It has operations in Florida, California, New Jersey and Europe. In addition to consumer uses, it specializes in so-called “architainment,” or the mixture of architecture and lighting for entertainment. One of its more famous projects is the Times Square Ball.

While at a previous company, Rao applied for a DOE loan, he said, adding, “It was tedious. It involved extensive documentation and took almost a year. That was understandable to a degree, but I’m looking for it to change.”

Rao said he expects the Obama Administration to deliver more good news for the cleantech sector.

“In general, the Obama administration will result in positive results not only for companies like ours but for the entire energy chain,” he said. “It changes the paradigm for energy production in this country. As we transition to solar, wind and LED lighting, it will take time to overcome the barriers.”

by George Spyros, New York City, USA on 03. 3.09

New Ad Calls for Investment in Clean Energy to Help America Transition off Dirty Coal, Foreign Oil

Click on link to view commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR1nMnaym4w&eurl=http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/03/repower_america_solar_ad.php&feature=player_embedded

 

The “We” Campaign is launching a new national TV ad, called “Solar” calling for continued major investment in solar energy. It’s the latest in a series of ads that from the org’s (we can) “repower America” campaign targeting 100 percent clean energy in 10 years through upgrades in energy efficiency, wind power and plug-in cars.

The shiny new solar ad spot from the WE Campaign

The ad, titled “Solar,” explains how harnessing the power of the sun – as the American West is “the Saudi Arabia of solar power” – can both drive the national movement away from dirty fossil fuels and create good-paying jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. The script of the commercial relies on studies showing that the resource potential of solar energy is so vast that a parcel of land in the Southwest, 96 miles on a side, could power America’s entire electricity system. Says WE:

Before a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama expressed strong support for growing our economy by repowering America, calling for American leadership and innovation in clean energy technologies and for a national energy policy that shifts emphasis away from the dirty fuels of the 20th century.

Specifically Obama said:

We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. It is time for America to lead again. To truly transform our economy, to protect our security and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.

A taste of Solar, wee bit of the new WE ad

As the ad begins, the camera pans from a giant array of solar thermal panels to an actress portraying a solar plant employee.

“You’re looking at the Saudi Arabia of solar power,” she says, “right here in the American West.”

Contrary to the oil lying under the Arabian sands and seas, the power of the sun, the ad continues, “won’t run out or kill our planet,” but instead will create “more jobs here [in the U.S.] instead of sending more money overseas.”

New for 2009

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program offers the new Renewable Energy Incentive Program for 2009.  The program provides incentives and support services needed for participants to build onsite renewable energy projects using solar, wind and biopower technologies. The new program is part of New Jersey’s efforts to reach its Energy Master Plan goals of using 30 percent renewable energy by 2020. The program includes financial incentives to owners who install qualified clean energy generation systems in New Jersey.  The Renewable Energy Certificates  (RECs) Program is also available to help finance projects that do not qualifiy for rebates.  Renewable energy systems enable you or your organization to produce clean energy, help protect the environment, and reduce utility costs.

Why get involved?  For a variety of reasons, such as a desire to:

  • reduce pollution
  • stabilize electric costs
  • lessen dependence on fossil fuels
  • increase self-reliance
  • increase local jobs & economic development
  • preserve natural resources
  • make a long-term commitment to the planet’s future
  • strengthen energy security & long term affordability

Program applications will be accepted February 3, 2009.  Please review the attached chart for available incentives and rebates.

The Renewable Energy Incentive Program Guidebook provides details about operations and procedures for the program.  The program provides incentives for onsite renewable energy projects using solar, wind and biopower technologies.  The processes and procedures contained in the guidebook are subject to periodic revision, review and approval by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program and the Board of Public Utilities.

The Board of Public Utilities is planning to launch a new program in 2009 to support large-scale renewable energy projects, also called grid supply projects.  These projects produce energy that goes directly into the electric grid, without any energy being used for on-site consumption, so they are not eligible for REIP upfront incentives.  More information on the Grid Supply Pogram will be released soon.

In 2009 New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program has developed a new funding model.  The new program will have three funding cycles.  Each funding cycle has its own budget, and when the money is completely committed for each funding cycle all applications will be returned.  Applicants will have the opportunity to reapply when the next funding cycle opens.  The three funding cycles are January 1, May 1 and September 1.

To view charts and more info click on link below

http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/programs/renewable-energy-incentive-program