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Swanson’s Law and Making US Solar Scale Like Germany

November 24, 2014
Can the U.S. halve the price of solar?

Swanson's law states that with every doubling in the production and shipments of solar PV panels, there has been a 20% reduction in their cost. By getting to scale, with solar installations becoming widespread and common, Germany has reduced the cost of installed solar to half of what it is in North America. So we can observe, learn, and do the same. 

Can China Get 40% of Its Electricity From Renewables by 2040?

November 25, 2014

With the right policies, China could get 40% of its electricity and 16% of its full energy mix from renewables by 2030.  It would cost $145 billion a year from now until 2030, and bring savings of $55 to $228 billion a year in health benefits and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Wind Could Provide Almost One-Fifth Of Global Electricity By 2030

October 22, 2014
Climate Progress

The Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014, co-published by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace, has found that global wind capacity could reach 2000 GW by 2030, meeting 20% of the global demand. Growth is versy strong in China, and India is also looking to wind. 

America Could Get 10 Percent Of Its Energy From Solar Power By 2030

November 20, 2014
Climate Progress

Today, America gets 0.23% of its electricity from solar PV. By 2030, it could be getting 10%. 

Amazing? Not if solar PV continues to grow in installed capacity at the current 22% a year, driven by rapidly falling prices.


Bloomberg Explores The Connected Home

November 28, 2014

Will we really be able to talk to our fridges? Will your hot water heater call you to ask when you're coming home? Here is an interview in which the Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Colin McKerracher sits down to explain the connected home.

Site C - Is There A Better Way?

To Dam, or not to Dam?

The BCSEA's Position

For a downloadable PDF, scroll down to the very end.

November 28th, 2014

 Lead author Tom Hackney, supported by Bill Andrews, Jessica McIlroy, Nigel Protter and Guy Dauncey.  

Buying an EV: It Ain’t Easy Buying Green

In the spring of 2013, I made a big promise to myself.  I would own an electric vehicle (EV) by the time I turned 50.  Since I was the New Year’s baby in Wiliams Lake in 1964, that left me approximately 8 months to accomplish the feat.  Easy peasy, right?

Turns out I was being overly optimistic.  

What was the hitch, you ask?  Can’t you just pop down to a dealer, pick your favourite colour, sign the credit card slip, and drive away (silently)?

The world conspires against EV owners, I’ve learned -- at least this part of the world (I live in Kamloops, BC).  

Are BC Hydro's Rate Hikes Enough? Maybe Not.

The Energy Minister, Bill Bennett, has recently approved BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), and announced a series of major price hikes for BC Hydro customers: up to 28% over five years: 16% in the next two years; and an 11% cap on rate increases for the next three years. Compounded it comes to 28%.

The response from many has been to complain, especially about the impact on people on low incomes, on BC’s schools and hospitals, and on a cooperative such as Catalyst Paper with its huge, multi-million dollar electricity bill, which is already tight to the bone financially.

Government-Imposed Hydro Rates Compound the Problem

The BC Sustainable Energy Association said today that BC Hydro’s rate increases aren’t high enough to cover the actual cost of providing electricity to customers.

In response to Energy Minister Bill Bennett’s statement yesterday that the government would put an artificial cap on electricity rate increases, BCSEA’s policy director Tom Hackney said, “Setting rates that are below the true cost of our electrical energy simply shifts today’s expenses into interest-bearing ‘deferral accounts’ that will have to be paid back by even higher rate increases in the future.”