On-Bill Repayment Shows Promise for Energy Efficiency, but Challenges still Remain
On-Bill repayment has received a great deal of attention as a potential approach to expanding the reach of energy efficiency financing in both the residential and commercial sectors. With on-bill repayment, utilities cover the upfront cost of energy efficiency retrofits and customers pay back the loans through their utility bills. One advantage of the program is that they build on the utilities’ preexisting customer relationships. However, some barriers still exist. As is the case with most financing mechanisms, lenders and utilities lack experience with on-bill repayment. Therefore, many different perspectives exist as to the right steps to take for this repayment program to succeed.
100% Green Energy Offered to PECO Customers
FirstEnergy Solutions, an energy company that controls 20,000 megawatts of power from a diversified mix of renewable energy sources, is now offering 100% renewable energy to Ohio residents served by PECO. Residents can enroll in a one-year offer at 9.35 cents per kilowatt-hour through December 2013, a two-year offer at 9.90 cents per kWh through December 2014. For more information, residents can go to www.fes.com/PaGreen or call 1-877-203-6240.
Solar Reserve in Arizona Gets Approval for 150-MW CSP Plant
SolarReserve, a California based Solar company, announced that its latest Crossroads Solar Energy Project had been unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County, Arizona. Receiving the permit makes SolarReserve move a step closer to realizing the construction and operation of a solar plant right smack in the middle of some of the best real estate in the world for harnessing sunlight. This $700 Million project will take approximately 30 months to finish and should be able to produce an output of 150 MW from concentrating solar power (CSP).
Imaging Technology may Solve Plant Architecture Puzzle and Bolster Biofuel Production
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has combined different microscopic imaging methods to better understand the relationship between biomass cell wall structure and enzyme digestability – a breakthrough that could lead to optimizing sugar yields and lowering costs related to the production of biofuel. The aim is to access the plants’ polymeric carbohydrate structures without damaging the basic molecules of which the polymers are constructed. By understanding the changing structure of the plant material, scientists can learn more about how enzymes work. In biofuel production, enzymes are needed to speed up the chemical reactions that break down the biomass during the fermentation process.
Denmark to Decide on UK Power Cable Link Next Year, says Grid
Grid companies in the UK and Denmark are completing studies for the first subsea cable to link both countries, in an effort to boost electricity trading and help integrate a growing share of wind power output. Denmark plans to increase links to foreign electricity markets as it prepares for the growing role of solar and wind sources, helping ship surplus power from countries where the wind blows to others where demand is high. Reduced coal generation is also estimated to increase the country’s reliance on power imports especially during peakload periods.